In the beginning of 2020 most of us were caught off guard with the spread of Coronavirus all around the world, including Indonesia. This virus that was first discovered in Wuhan, China has caused panic and anxiety. Even various sectors of the economy and government are hampered by various panic responses of the people in this event.
For those of you who have been diagnosed with anxiety disorder, or perhaps OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), the Covid-19 virus attack very possibly be a terrifying thing for you. Your anxiety rises sharply, your fear becomes stronger. Your effort in trying to convince yourself that your hands are clean from the virus’s presence and it might lead you to wash your hands more often. You hoard hand sanitizers to give you a sense of security but that feeling of safety refuses to come.
What You Should Do With These Feelings
It is normal for anyone to feel anxiety, sadness, anger, disappointment, frustration, and other emotions. It is important to be understood that there is wrong emotion, especially as we go through the Covid-19 virus attack. After all, human beings have the right to their emotions. We understand how you feel, KALMers. However, we need to be able to manage our emotions effectively so that we may be able to keep our physical and mental health as we do our daily activities. We need to respond to this situation wisely.
Especially for our mental health, Covid-19 virus can threaten its wellbeing. What might happen are:
- Uncertain situations can trigger anxiety and panic
- Financial loss may cause stress
- Limited activities may cause frustration
- The inability to do our normal daily activity can make us confused and/or bored
- Physical distancing policy by the government may cause separation anxiety to some people
- Loved ones who are quarantined or died certainly will cause you grief
- The future may look hopeless and can cause depression
- Traumatic experiences that happened during this time may cause Post-Traumatic Syndrome Disorder (PTSD)
Especially for you who have OCD or other mental health conditions, Covid-19 may cause the intensity and frequency of your symptoms to increase and push you to think about what the worst that could happen. We really encourage you to manage your anxiety. Contact the professional who has been on your side going through your symptoms and find a suitable counseling option. You can also do online counseling through KALM App (available in Playstore and Apple Appstore)
. Our Kalmselors are ready to help you to identify the causes of your anxiety and how to take the necessary steps to respond to them.
A Few Tips to Effectively Manage Your Emotions
It is important to know that all of these emotions we feel right now, like anxiety, panic, stress, anger, fear, frustration, etc. if not being effectively managed will only weaken your immune system, which will make you even more vulnerable to Covid-19 Virus. That is why you need to manage your emotions well. How?
- Recognize your own emotions and acknowledge or validate those emotions.
- Find out what can effectively lower your negative emotions and trigger your positive emotions.
- Do these things when necessary. You don’t need to wait until your negative emotions to show up:
- Breathe properly
- Wash your face
- Drink warm drinks
- Read books
- Watch a movie
- Listen to music
- Play an instrument
- Chat with friends
- Play games
- Do light exercise
- Tidying up
- Plan and follow a daily schedule
- Listen to selfKALM in IGTV (Instagram link)
- Prepare medications and food as necessary
- Listen to KALM Podcast (Spotify link)
- Talk to a Kalmselor through KALM App that can be downloaded in Playstore and Apple Appstore
Responding to the Coronavirus News Wisely
Who among you kept on going back to look for news on Coronavirus, whether through mass media or social media? The problem is that not all of these news are true! There are more than a few hoaxes about Coronavirus out there. These false news would only trigger too much fear and anxiety. You don’t need that right now. So we need to be thorough in picking and choosing among the news so that it would not affect your own physical and mental wellbeing. These are some things that you can do:
- Only access and consume information from official and trusted sources.
- Be critical in absorbing information and not just read the headline.
- Understand relevant terminologies (such as physical distancing, supers spreaders, and contact tracing).
- Accept and validate every emotion that appears when accessing the news so that you can find calm sooner.
- Limit the frequency and the duration of news consumption about Coronavirus, you do not need to access it all the time.
- Do not access information about Coronavirus at all if your negative emotions are particularly difficult to regulate.
- Try to be updated with other news – Coronavirus is not the only thing happening in the world.
- Share positive and hopeful news or an inspiring story more. Trust us, this is good for you, too!
- Consume humorous contents once in a while because humour and laughter are good for us, it also helps to distract us from things that worry us.
- Understand it well that Coronavirus is a world pandemic, not just a problem for particular nations.
The best thing you can do right now in this situation is to maintain your mental health so that you will not be negatively affected by the current situation. Don’t forget to also keep the goodness in your heart just like what our previous article said before (link).
Keep up the good positive, KALMers!