SADAG's 10 tips to survive the lockdown and stay sane
Durban - The growing numbers of Covid-19 cases in South Africa, the 21-day lockdown and all the uncertainty that comes along with it, is all very overwhelming.
According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group, Covid-19 is causing anxiety, panic and unrest across the globe with new guidelines and recommendations being published and changed frequently.
"It’s natural to feel worried and overwhelmed about our safety and wellbeing. So if you’re feeling concerned about the Coronavirus, you're not alone. Yet, for some of us, this concern can quickly grow into anxiety, even panic. Hearing about shortages of hand sanitizer, people stocking their homes with food, and the number of deaths worldwide only fuels this fire," said Clinical Psychologist, Dessy Tzoneva.
SADAG has issued 10 tips to survive the lockdown:
- Maintain a daily routine as much as possible – get up, get dressed, create a to-do list, etc
- Reduce the time you and your family spend watching or listening to media coverage – filter what you are watching, reading and listening to. Don’t have the radio or news channel playing on in the background at home. Learn what you can from these respected sources. Only check these sites at specific times of the day. For example at 8am, 1pm and 9pm.
- Acknowledge that the situation is frightening, it’s frustrating, and you feel out of control and allow yourself specific time to sit with those feelings – and then make sure you focus more time on the things you can control and do. Create a list of things to do to keep yourself busy and active – even during social isolation. Make a list that you can stick up on the fridge or in your bedroom, make it public so the whole family can add ideas (such as reading books you haven’t been able to get to for months, gardening, watching your favourite movies, do something creative like painting, drawing, poetry, listening to your favourite music, trying a new exercise at home, cleaning out the cupboards that you have been avoiding to do for months, etc.). When you run out of ideas – ask your friends and family for ideas. Do small things every day that you enjoy and help lift your mood.
- If you take medicine every month, speak to your medical scheme and pharmacist to get scripts filled in advance or arrange for home delivery.
- If you are really struggling to cope with the situation, don’t be afraid to speak up. Call SADAG, talk to your therapist, create a WhatApp or Facebook support group. Stay connected with people via technology – do more video calls, phone friends to catch up, etc.
- Mute key words which might be triggering on Twitter, unfollow or mute accounts, mute WhatsApp groups and hide Facebook posts and feeds if you find them too overwhelming.
- Thinking positively during a crisis is easier said than done. One of the best ways to ground yourself is in fact, in science. Avoid watching or reading news or social media, especially fake news, where facts can become blurred and exaggerated. Listen to what acknowledged experts are saying about the virus and only follow accredited news sites.
- Discuss with family, friends and neighbours what you can do to protect yourselves and be there for each other. Draw up a plan and keep it visible.
- Ask yourself what you can control – your attitude, your thinking, your home, caring for your body and mind. Focus on these things.
- Make it a part of your daily routine to reach out to friends and family. Having a sense of connection and a feeling of community is essential for hope and healing.