While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it a lot of uncertainty, what is also uncertain is when this uncertainty will end, and that, in many ways, only serves to magnify the doubts many of us have during these testing times.
Doctors, however, have said that worrying too much about our future, when we at present have little control over them, will only cause more anxiety. What we instead need to do is focus on the present and do our best under the circumstances.
Dr Ashok Antony, Specialist Psychiatrist, Badr Al Samaa Hospital, Al Khoud
Spend quality time
·The pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the mental health of all. The theme of uncertainty, which this pandemic has ushered in, has pushed many people into severe anxiety, post-traumatic stress, depression and even psychosis.
·The main concerns of people right now are mainly about their future. No one is sure about the long term impact this pandemic and its subsequent fall out can have on their job security, family, and the future of their children, among other things. Many who've been infected are also worried about the long-term complications of this condition.
·The main theme in terms of sound mental health is to continue one’s daily routines in a manner that is as normal as possible. Have adequate sleep, exercise, leisure activities and spending quality time. Follow all the required precautionary measures such as the proper use of a mask, keeping physical distance and proper hygiene measures. -Dr Ashok Antony, Specialist Psychiatrist, Badr Al Samaa Hospital, Al Khoud
How do you know you are stressed?
To help people cope better with the mental impact of the unprecedented effects of the pandemic, the World Health Organization launched its mental health and psychosocial support portal.
This can be visited at: http://www.emro.who.int/mhps/dealing_with_stress.html
What is stress?
When we are experiencing difficult and challenging times, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is normal to feel:
· Worried or concerned about loved ones, especially if they are at risk of illness.
· Worried or concerned about your personal health and safety.
· Concerned that health care services may be disrupted.
·Socially isolated or sometimes lonely, especially when living alone.
·Bored, tired, or lacking energy, and you may not feel as productive as usual.
·Uncertain about the future and not be able to focus or concentrate on making plans.
·We consequently experience a range of emotions, like fear, sadness, anger, numbness, helplessness, and hopelessness. These can manifest in many physical, psychological, and social signs.
You are not alone
We often start doing things that make our situation worse. For many of us, our reactions to a stressful situation change over time.
However, for some of us, signs that we are struggling continue and they negatively impact how we live our daily lives, perform at work or they affect our relationships with family and friends.
This is not because we are weak or are to blame for what we are experiencing. Rest assured that you are not alone, and many other people feel the same.