JOHANNESBURG – The looming lockdown has come as a shock to the system for many with things suddenly ” becoming real”.
Now that we have been instructed to stay in our apartments and houses with limit trips outside and social contact you may be wondering how you are going to cope being indoors for 21 days.
Humans are social animals and isolation is an unnatural practice. This will naturally take its toll on our mental health.
Let’s look at some ways to help you cope with the lockdown ;
1.Develop a routine
Granted it was easier to have a routine when things were normal because your day was so structured. You had obligations and errands to run, but now all of that is gone and you may feel like you no longer have control. This is why it is important to take back control by creating order. This will help maintain a certain level of normality. Sleep patterns, meal times and set exercise times will help. Schools are closed, schedule time to help the kids with their online learning. Too much time on your hands you haven’t planned for can create boredom and increase anxiety as you begin to overthink.
The fact is the lockdown is going to last for 21 days and that isn’t going to change – Accept it. Come to terms with the fact that news coverage will not answer all the questions you may have or quell all your concerns. Accept uncertainty. Trust that the government and the medical community are trying their best to address the situation.
3.Maintain social connections
Social distancing is imperative in curbing the spread of the Coronavirus. However, it can understandably lead to loneliness. Texting is great but pick up the phone or video call friends and family. Have a conversation with your neighbour over the wall so you can still feel connected to the world and other people other than your immediate family.
4.Limit your sources
Be deliberate about ignoring fake news. Consume your news through reliable news sources. In an age where information is readily available and everyone is an “expert” it is vital that you ensure that you avoid false reports aimed at agitating society and create unrest.
Whether you live by yourself or with family and kids you need “me time”. Seeing the same face for days on end in close quarters can become monotonous.
Switch off the television to stop the bombardment of information and constant reminder of the situation. Calm the mind by meditating or practicing control breathing to reduce stress. See other ways to deal with stress here.
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