Ways to Cope With COVID-19 while on Quarantine
It has been more than two weeks since the enhanced community quarantine was implemented due to the threat brought by the COVID-19 health crisis.
All Filipinos are advised to stay at home during this crisis to avoid being infected by the viral disease that has claimed thousands of lives worldwide. Only frontliners, including health care workers, bank tellers, transportation and communication personnel, and grocery staff among others, are only the people who are allowed to go out and fulfill their duties.
But for people who are used to being outside the comforts of their homes—be it for work or for leisure—staying at home and having limited options to go out is quite a challenge too. Not to mention the mental burden brought by the ongoing crisis which may lead to anxiety and stress.
It is important that as we go through this phase, everyone should keep their mental health in a good state so we can all overcome this battle.
The Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) and Psychometrician Jeanne Torrijos Cruz advice the public to take care of their mental health while on quarantine and shares these tips:
Regulate the news you receive
While it helps to always be abreast with the latest news about the pandemic, you need to regulate the amount and nature of news you receive every day. You do not need to be always monitoring too much information of the crisis if you think it adds to the anxiety you are already dealing with.
Be responsible and mindful
Be responsible and mindful when searching for information over the internet. Learn how to separate what is factual from obviously made-up stories which goals are just to incite fear, worry, and paranoia among the public. Familiarize yourself with fear-mongering headlines, manipulated photos and controversial clickbait articles and never share these to halt the spread of fake news. It is imperative to check the sources and only trust official information coming from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Department of Health (DOH) and other authority websites and resource persons.
Focus on things you can control
All of us are hoping and praying that things will go back to normal. But in these times that things are out of our control, it is better to focus on this you can actually control. You are responsible in taking care of your own health by washing your hands regularly, practicing social distancing, exercising, and keeping ourselves physically and mentally healthy. Encourage everyone in your household to do the same too.
Not all people are equal when it comes to emotional resilience. Others may think that being in isolation and quarantine are just a walk in a park. But there are people too who do not have the same state of headspace. Sending or sharing fatalistic messages of hopelessness or fake information that adds to the worry and paranoia do not help in making the situation better.
If there comes a time when you feel like you’re spiraling into despair and anxiety, follow a routine where you can slow down and feel safe and calm. Think of the things you enjoy. It can be painting, drawing, writing on your blog, cooking your comfort food, or just watching your favorite comedy series.
Validate others’ feelings
Mental health in these times is not a one-man battle. You may have cope up with the crisis but do not neglect what others are feeling, especially for the frontliners whose lives are on the line to keep us safe. Stay connected with your family members and friends and let them know you care. These trying times can bring trying feelings that make one feel blue. Validate the feelings of others and be a good listener when they need one.
We know that we are living in such challenging times but it is important to keep a sense of normalcy instead of just thinking that we are mere surviving. Continue to do things just like before while practicing preventive measures. The enhanced community quarantine brought by the threat of COVID-19 may have halted our plans for now but know that this is all for our own sake. Our travel plans by the beach or abroad can wait. Remember, we may be in hard times but this will not last forever.
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