A few days ago, during a Zoom meeting, I mentioned that; ‘we are not just dealing with a pandemic, but also an infodemic’, which is an excessive amount of information concerning a problem such that the solution is made more difficult. Little was known about COVID-19, 5 months ago, but right now it is in the lips, ears and minds of a lot of people worldwide. Considering the amount of updates, especially fake news, with the level of uncertainty, with the level of loss of control, with dwindling fortunes in many quarters… Fear and anxiety is at an all-time high.
This is the period when having a cough, fever, catarrh or difficulty in breathing can increase the worry hormones. This is also a period where a lot of people are worried about their own health and the health of their loved ones especially those that are more vulnerable to COVID-19.
And to keep up to speed with the news, a lot of people are having issues with their sleep and having changes in their eating patterns. Many are having issues with concentrating, as bad news hits left, right and center. Worsening chronic health problems stare us at the face. There is also worsening of mental health conditions and increased use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs this period, as people find ways to deal with stress and fear.
So how do you cope with stress…
*Get news only from verified sources, trust me ‘e get why’. That ‘salt and pepper’ that brings out the dopamine in you, may not be good for your health. Professionals report having your health in mind, while many sources report with sensationalism and the overwhelming need to get more clicks at the back of their mind. Also it is important you get the right information, so that you may be properly equiped.
* Take breaks from watching reading or listening to news stories, including social media, it will do you a great good.
* Take care of your body needs by eating healthy; a nutritious diet will do you a whole lot of good. You will also need to exercise regularly; you can tailor-make the exercises you do, so as not to break the physical distancing rule. Get adequate sleep; sleeping well does not in any way connote laziness, a good refreshed sleep is very important. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and drugs this period.
* This is also a time to meditate, pray, listen to wholesome/soul lifting messages, it will do you a whole lot of good.
* Learn something new this period, the fact that it looks as though things are on hold, does not in any way mean your life should be on hold. You can learn something new, but come on, it doesn’t have to be a competition.
* Give back to society in your own capacity, you may think your effort will be considered too small, but you can be a voice for someone or something this period, you can be a reason someone says thank you and wishes to live one more day.
* Do something you enjoy this period, of course something that would not put your health at risk or expose others to harm.
* Connect with others. As you know Physical distancing does not mean you should cut off from people, call your parents, call friends on phone, ask people how they are doing, care about others, and be willing to respond to other people’s need, it will also not be a sacrilege to receive help from other people. No one is a superman or superwoman. Find out how others are doing, and do not be embarrassed if people ask you how you are doing.
* Play your part to stop the spread of fake news, be careful what you share, if you are not sure and it is malicious, you may as well not share even if it sounds so sweet. Never allow fake news and rumors spread in your hands.
* We should also play our part to reduce stigma and stigmatization of people during this period.
Do have a great day ahead, we will overcome this. Let’s play our part to flatten the curve, it is in our hands.