Caring for your mental health amid the COVID-19 outbreak
Almost two weeks into the enhanced community quarantine and you have probably exhausted a long list of to-do’s—from decluttering, spring cleaning, reorganizing your closets, whipping up new meals, to relearning old hobbies, all while working from home.
Despite keeping busy however, some might still feel a little uneasy right now—perhaps anxious, stressed or even scared amid the rising cases of COVID-19 in the country. For some, the pandemic has started to take a toll on their physical, mental and emotional health.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it’s normal to “feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry during a crisis” which it said was “generating stress in the population.” To help provide support for mental and psychosocial well-being during COVID-19 outbreak, WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Use came up with several mental health considerations it released last March 12. Here are some of them.
Minimize watching, reading or listening to news that causes distress
In this age of “infodemic,” it’s best to filter your social media feeds and seek information only from trusted, credible sources. According to WHO, it’s best to “seek information updates at specific times during the day, once or twice. The sudden and near-constant stream of news reports about an outbreak can cause anyone to feel worried. Get the facts; not the rumors and misinformation.” WHO, for instance, is available practically across all social media platforms including TikTok.
Take care of yourself, too
Despite the difficulties, healthcare workers must also strive to take better care of themselves by “ensuring sufficient rest and respite during work or between shifts, (eating) sufficient and healthy food, (engaging) in physical activity and (staying) in contact with family and friends.” Since many of our frontliners are quarantined as well, they should stay connected with their loved ones through digital methods, while turning to colleagues or other trusted persons for social support.
Maintain familiar routines for kids
Provide engaging age appropriate activities for children, including activities for their learning. Encourage children to continue to play and socialize with others, even if only within the family. You may also want to discuss COVID-19 with your children in an honest and age-appropriate way.
Children will observe adults’ behaviors and emotions for cues on how to manage their own emotions during difficult times.
Maintain healthy lifestyle
In general, people in isolation should strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle: “engage in healthy activities that you enjoy and find relaxing, exercise regularly, keep regular sleep routines and eat healthy food.” It’s also best to keep things in perspective: remember that “public health agencies and experts in all countries are working on the outbreak to ensure the availability of the best care to those affected,” WHO further assured.
If you need tips on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, Medicard Philippines Inc. has a blog called Medicard Lifestyle, which offers easy-to-follow recipes, health tips and simple workouts that you can do while on quarantine.
However, if you think you need to consult any doctor, you can do so online, anytime and anywhere through the MyPocketDoctor app, which can be downloaded in the App Store or Google Play, or you can also visit www.mypocketdoctor.com. MyPocketDoctor is the first telemedicine app in the Philippines established in 2006 by businessmen and doctors from Europe and in the Philippines.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
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