How is everyone coping I wonder? This is an incredibly strange and surreal time for all of us, not just in our own homes, but in our communities, our towns and all around the world. Coronavirus has changed everything.
This is happening to all of us, and we are all in it together. Which, by definition, builds a sense of community and inclusion even though we are all isolating ourselves. Some of us will be handling this better than others. However, those who have underlying mental health issues or suffer from anxiety may well find this new normal extremely stressful and will be struggling to cope.
Those of us who felt in a pretty good place a month or so ago may now be feeling anxious and worried about what the future holds, the health of our loved ones, how long this will go on for and what it will be like when it’s all over.
Remember it will take time to adapt to this new reality and all the far-reaching implications, so it is really important to remember – it is absolutely fine to NOT feel fine right now!
When an event occurs that causes fear, stress or anxiety our primitive mind takes over and makes us even more vigilant, negative and obsessive. It will look back to how we have handled situations like this in the past, but this is new for everyone and there is nothing to refer back to. So instinctively we imagine the worst, because if we fully expect the worst, we can be prepared for it. That is why the shops were bare a few weeks ago, and panic is contagious, in fact it’s more contagious that the virus!
So it is perfectly normal to be feeling anxious and worried right now. It’s actually perfectly normal to jump every time you hear someone cough, and it’s perfectly normal to become slightly obsessive about washing your hands and moving away from people. These types of instinctive behaviours have helped us stay safe for hundreds of thousands of years.
But as we become more used to this new way of living, we will become more relaxed and fit into a new normal. It’s really important to keep control of those things within your control and let go of the bigger problems as much as you can. Worrying about when this will be over won’t make it end any quicker.
Instead focus on what you can do, rather than what you can’t. Everyday take time to appreciate the little things that we used to take for granted. Stay in touch with friends and family. Offer to help others. Develop a sense of routine as much as you can, and set yourself small goals to achieve.
How to stop the infection spreading
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with coronavirus.
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- wash your hands as soon as you get home
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
WHAT TO DO IF YOU NEED MEDICAL HELP
If you need medical help for any reason, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the 111 coronavirus service.
If you need help or advice not related to coronavirus:
- for health information and advice, use the NHS website or your GP surgery website
- for urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service – only call 111 if you’re unable to get help online
- for life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance