One lesson I learned the hard way during this unprecedented time is not to let the stress take over you. So I listed down a few ways on how to handle the stress this has caused.
Let’s face it, 2020 didn’t start on a good note. We all wished it would, but sad to say it didn’t. We all hoped everything that had happened were just all bad, really bad dreams and we would wake up from it one day.
People all thought this was just some flu caused by some new virus but it turned out to be one shocking and dreadful pandemic. The world is suffering, many people have died. Panic and anxiety have taken over every single one of us, but it doesn’t help. Yes, we become more wary and careful but letting it control us won’t support us. We should clear our mind and focus during this trying time. We should be rational and be sensible, prevent one another from blaming the other and uttering xenophobic comments. We should all be united this very moment.
You may say that I’m in no position to suggest these things to you but these are just a few things I learned during this period. Don’t even get me started with how I was discriminated when this was all starting, with how people staring at me and spitting comments like ‘where is the hand sanitizer’ on the streets just before the lock down, and with how people stayed away from me because I was walking home with my nurse uniform on. Plus things didn’t turn out the right way, the place I was in was dissolved and it felt like the whole support system here was taken away from me as a medical professional, especially now that I have to look after patients with the virus. I haven’t been in so much psychological and emotional distress in my entire life. All I could think about was, I have people to live for, I love my family. I have video called my mom multiple times after exhausting shifts because I need them throughout this stress I’m in. She never fails to make me feel better. She made me realize that I have to stay strong. This is the path I chose and I’m not letting any virus hinder my dreams of taking care of the frail and the sick.
With this in mind, here are 5 things to do to cope with the stress created by this pandemic:
1. Stay home, eat well, stay safe, be well
A lot of us are granted the opportunity to just stay and even work from home so please when told so, please stay at home. It is for your safety and not anyone else’s. It is a time that our health should be a top priority so always eat well, do still exercise and don’t forget your vitamins. It doesn’t mean that you’re just at home then you wouldn’t take care of yourself. Also, stress affects one’s immunity. When one is too stressed, one’s body will mask it with different symptoms. Let us not let our minds get into our bodies.
2. Be productive and take your mind off of it
While at home, think of things you can do to be productive. It doesn’t mean that you’re at home, you’re just left for boredom. This will only make you think of the current situation even more. To fight this, you can always do a lot of things like decluttering and organizing your things, learning new hobbies or even developing new skills.
3. Read the news but don’t let it drain you
Trust me, I do this. Majority of the reports now are draining, but there are still news updates that we’ve got to know, just don’t check it every single time. The figures especially will stress you out even more. The panic and anxiety will turn into depression. If needed, go off social media and do something else. People are naturally anxious with what’s in the media. This is why people were panic buying, fake news have even worsened it. To control the panic buying, shops have decided to limit the things one can purchase. Knowing this, it made me sad, as I understand that some have a big family to feed which is why they have got to buy a lot but there are also other people who need the same things which is why this has got to be done.
4. Keep your faith, focus and be grateful on what you have now
This situation has affected multiple people, a lot have lost their jobs so having to work from home is already considered a gift. Some even can’t do that, they have to face uncertainties every time as that’s the nature of their jobs just like the front liners, the doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, the hospital auxiliary staff, the security, the shop assistants and the delivery personnel. Never take anything for granted. Be grateful if you are with your family now because some aren’t, a lot have lost their loved ones because of this virus. Be thankful if you’ve got food on the table as some are getting desperate and may have resorted to theft just to feed their families. Keep the faith. This too shall pass, sooner if you do your part, keeping yourself and the others safe, praying it will end well at the very least.
5. Think of the things you look forward to the most when this is all over
Yesterday, the clocks have moved forward for an hour for British Summer Time. It made me think of the things I am looking forward to the most when this is all over. Instead of stressing yourself out about what’s happening, list the things that you are looking forward to the most when this is all over. This will help you uplift your spirits and think positively.
Everyone wants this to stop and end soon. I am praying everyday that a lot will survive this. I am hoping this pandemic and the fear it caused fade soon. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Please do keep safe and take care of yourselves.
With utmost sincerity, H~