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  • Zulf Choudhary

Practical Advice

The BBC have provided good advice on mental wellbeing. ‘Coronavirus: How to protect your mental health’ (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51873799

Just remember that Covid-19 could last for 5-6 months and more (China) and in the past we have had worse plagues!

The current 24/7 media coverage of the Covid-19 impacts can create stress and anxiety, leading to panic attacks causing to ill-health. Depend on official advice, not rumours, no matter if you feel it will help your loved ones; you feed fears and stress and encourage evil rumour mongers.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) advice is:

1. Avoid reading, watching, or listening to news and media reports that make you anxious and stressed.

2. Seek information from official sources, to practically protect your-self and people you care about.

3. Set times to seek news updates at fixed times (say once in morning and at night about 6) and then relax.

Also

§ There is a lot of misinformation swirling around - stay informed by sticking to trusted sources of information such as government and NHS websites.

§ We do not know how long the pandemic will last, so learn to relax by enjoying sunlight, create routines. Eat healthy foods and drink water more often, and exercise to stay fit.

AnxietyUK has provides a wonderful guide called the "Apple" technique to deal with anxiety and worries.

§ ‘Acknowledge: Notice and acknowledge the uncertainty as it comes to mind.

§ Pause: Don't react as you normally do. Don't react at all. Pause and breathe.

§ Pull back: Tell yourself this is just the worry talking, and this apparent need for certainty is not helpful and not necessary. It is only a thought or feeling. Don't believe everything you think. Thoughts are not statements or facts.

§ Let go: Let go of the thought or feeling. It will pass. You don't have to respond to them. You might imagine them floating away in a bubble or cloud.

§ Explore: Explore the present moment, because right now, in this moment, all is well. Notice your breathing and the sensations of your breathing. Notice the ground beneath you. Look around and notice what you see, what you hear, what you can touch, what you can smell. Right now. Then shift your focus of attention to something else - on what you need to do, on what you were doing before you noticed the worry, or do something else - mindfully with your full attention.’

Now is the best time to learn to accept the uncertain times we live in, relax and appreciate things we have and be the person we have always wanted to be, compassionate and caring is what defines our humanity.

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