Registered psychologist Jade Ibhar V. Cuambot shares some professional tips on how to handle stress and anxiety during COVID-19.
One can say that the COVID-19 pandemic came as a bolt from the blue. At first, people seem to take it for granted. Some took it as light as a feather and numerous people still continue their normal activities without taking the necessary precautionary measures to protect themselves. However, as time pass by, we were all surprised with its tremendous effects, starting with the huge blow the economy took, the abrupt decline in the food and beverage industry, the unexpected fall of travel and tourism among countries, the major halt in the entertainment business, the sudden shift in the teaching and learning experience in education, and of course, its significant negative effect on everyone’s mental health.
When the number of COVID-19 cases escalated and significantly spread across countries and nations, countless individuals experience stress and tension. Initially, these adverse thoughts and emotions deal only with how they will continue to work in a safe manner and provide food on the table for their family. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hold an ultimatum on everyone’s future, these adverse thoughts and emotions started to grow which eventually took a toll on the psychological, emotional, and physical health of countless individuals. A lot of people continue to suffer from anxiety, depression, and other symptoms of poor mental health because of the continuous threat that the COVID-19 pandemic holds against us.
Dealing With Stress & Anxiety During COVID-19: Adapting to Survive
As human beings, people have an intrinsic motivation to grow. People survive because they know how to adapt and modify their ways to fit the current situation where they are in. To fight the COVID-19 pandemic, people developed safety precautionary measures that one should strictly follow, pharmaceutical companies developed vaccines that can theoretically help people be immune to the said virus, innovators developed safety gears such as the face shield and the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). More than this, people religiously practice self-care techniques that help them maintain equilibrium in themselves.
Numerous people have been asked what are the personal self-care methods that they use and practice in order for them to maintain their well-being. Below is the categorized list of the said self-care techniques which you may also find useful.
As they say, the body is the core of all human experiences. Hence, taking care of one’s physical body may be the first step everyone can take in maintaining their well-being. Jim Rohn, an American entrepreneur, and author, once said, “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” This serves as a reminder that our body is more than just a vessel. It is the home where our soul thrives. Therefore, proper care and maintenance must be done.
The self-care techniques which one can do towards his or her physical body involve exercising, having enough rest and sleeping time, eating nutritious foods, maintaining proper hygiene, and more.
Remember that mental health is as important as physical health. Henceforth, prioritizing your mental health the same way you pamper your body is also essential.
To do so, one can engage himself or herself In activities that relax one’s mind such as yoga. this activity does not only help reduce tension in one’s physical body, but it also helps in decreasing stress as it urges the person to focus on positive elements and not entertain negative thoughts. More than this, one can also perform meditation, developing a healthy inner dialogue, and more.
It is very much vital for one to develop and conscientiously practice self-care techniques to combat undesirable and deleterious thoughts and emotions such as anxiety, anger, and fear. Whenever a person experiences any of these adverse emotions, one can engage himself or herself in activities that can induce happiness and other positive thoughts and emotions. Such activities are watching an old or a new movie, having a good conversation with a friend, partner, or a family member who can listen without judging, having a long warm bath, writing down all your negative thoughts and emotions in a diary or a journal, taking an alone time such as having a long walk, and many more.
Socialization may be one of the most common self-care techniques one may practice as it provides strong social support which allows individuals to feel empowered and positive. Socialization does not necessarily need for a person to go outside, stroll around with friends, or dine-out with family in a fancy restaurant. Socializing may be as simple as talking with one’s friends over the phone or a video call with one’s family members. What is important is that you experience the company of the significant people in your lives no matter what the medium is or how it is done.
Keeping a strong faith fortifies one’s approach in battling stress and anxiety due to COVID-19. It acts as a reinforcer that bolsters one’s physical, emotional, mental, and social domains of an individual. Remember that spirituality does not necessarily mean that one should be heavily and actively involved in a specific religion because spirituality pertains to one’s personal connection to a divine being or a supernatural entity. Spiritual self-care involves activities such as praying, engaging in religious activities such as attending eucharistic celebrations, practicing humility and forgiveness, exploring one’s inner self, strengthening an individual’s personal link or connection towards a supreme being, and many more.
Aside from these self-care techniques, there are other ways that an individual can dutifully practice in order for him or her to combat the stress, anxiety, and tension brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Keep in mind that it is vital for a person to take care of himself or herself, maintain well-being, and develop strong resiliency as these will be one’s weapons to survive the challenges that life may throw upon him or her.