The increasing threat of COVID-19 has been waning everyone’s sense of security regardless of their background. While the number of confirmed cases is going up and public places are closing down, anxiety is right at our doorstep. Staying safe at this time, while balancing all our responsibilities, can take a toll on our mental health.
To help combat the anxiety that COVID-19 brings, Havas Ortega stringed together a list of 19 helpful pointers to get us through this dire period – COPING 19.
1. READ UP
And not just your work emails. The more you know about the latest on COVID-19, the better you can prepare yourself and your fam. But make sure your eyes are glued to reliable sources. If it starts to get overwhelming, stop scrolling.
2. GET THE TERMINOLOGY RIGHT
Do not refer to people with the disease as “COVID-19 cases” or “COVID-19 victims”. They are “people who are infected with COVID-19”, “people who are being treated for COVID-19” or “people who are recovering from COVID-19”. By separating the person from the condition, you are being reminded that the two do not go together and will allow you to focus on the human element.
3. COLOR CODE YOUR PHONE SCREEN
Arranging your apps by colors makes your phone visually easier to navigate. It has a therapeutic effect by giving you a sense of proper order, especially in your mobile, on which many of us will be heavily relying for the next month.
4. REACH OUT
If you’re feeling helpless and overwhelmed, how about taking a proactive role by helping others? There are plenty of options online to make a difference while staying at home: help raise funds; use your talents for good; donate your points, rewards or spare money—or simply share a post on your feed for a good cause.
5. BE A MEME LORD
A Filipino specialty for sure, we have always been cited for our sense of humor even during the bleakest of situations. Keep anxiety at bay by turning to memes, or by making them. Just remember to be mindful of your jokes. Tickle the funny bone without being tone-deaf and insensitive.
6. CLEAR YOUR MIND
A few minutes of meditation with your Spotify playlist in the background can go a long way. Stare at your wall and then space out. Resting your mind through these activities can definitely draw you away from the crazy scenarios you might be picturing.
7. GET PHYSICAL
A few push-ups here, a high intensity routine there. Maybe dust off the old Hip Hop Abs videos. Keep this going for the duration of the quarantine and it will help you get in better shape – both physically and mentally.
8. NETFLIX AND NETFLIX
During your breaks, you can whittle down that lengthy ‘my list’ you have on Netflix. Whether it’s K-drama or stand-up comedy, a bit of entertainment can distract you momentarily. Skip “Pandemic” for now though.
9. MARIE KONDO YOUR CONDO
With all the time in your hands, you can finally sort out which items in your household truly bring you joy, and which ones don’t. Set them aside to give away or dispose once the pandemic is past us.
10. FOCUS ON WHAT’S IN YOUR HANDS
One thing definitely under your control? Your personal sanitation. So, wash your hands, take your vitamins, and if possible, take this chance to sleep early.
11. STAY IN THE PRESENT
The doomsday scenarios are attacking left and right. Though not completely unfounded, the paranoia can eat away at your mental health. Take it one day at a time. Trust that this too shall pass.
When you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, pause and take three deep breaths. Count to five while letting the air out. So basic, yet so effective.
13. FIND A BUDDY
Whether it’s a family member or a friend, remain accountable to someone. Check on each other’s mental and emotional well-being once in a while. Don’t be remiss in asking how you can help each other.
14. EAT BETTER
Your dietary choices impact your mood and your well-being more than you think. While you’re temporarily away from Jolly Jeeps, Times Square, and all the fast food joints, switch to healthier options. While you’re at it, take Mimiyuuuh’s advice and drink your water.
15. WORK BY THE WINDOW
Long days of working indoors might trigger cabin fever. Feeling cooped up can definitely mess with your mood. By working close to a window, you can have that sense of positive space, while also giving your eyes a chance to rest.
16. PROJECT AHEAD
Quick! What’s the first thing you’ll do once the situation’s resolved and the quarantine’s over? Play football? Eat a tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? Catch up with the Village Drinkers? There’s always something to look forward to.
17. I HAZ A PET
The biggest winner of this Work from Home set-up are your fur babies. Shower them with love and draw comfort from your pets. Their loyalty and friendship bring out the best in hoomans.
18. BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF FAITH
What to do when you’re faced with a pandemic that’s bigger than all of us? You cling to something even bigger. Let your faith be your sanctuary.
19. SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
Anxious? Talk to your loved ones about it. We are in uncharted territory here – it’s OK to be a little scared. Allow yourself to be vulnerable around the people that care for you. We have a partnership with In Touch Well-Being Matters. If you feel the need to talk with licensed mental health professionals and first responders, their Crisis Line is available to you 24/7. You can reach them through any of these numbers: (02) 8893-7603 or 0917 800 1123 or 0922 893 8944.
At this point, giving up is not an option. We need to take care of ourselves as our own little way to help flatten the curve. At this time when we’re grappled with anxiety, turning to empathy and kindness — for ourselves and for others — may just be the better option.
To know more and share these tips on your social media accounts, follow @havasortega on IG.