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Be kind to yourself through the anxiety of Covid

For more information visit info@toughlove.org.za

ToughLove Benoni’s facilitator and board member, Chantal Grotto, shared some advice about how to handle the anxiety of living in a world predominantly dominated by Covid-19.

The onset of corona has hit billions of people worldwide, changing life as we once knew it.

“Covid-19 has certainly robbed us of lifestyle elements that we never truly appreciated,” said Grotto.

She said this included:

• Washing our hands more than we did before.

• Stopped hugging and kissing people.

• Schooling at home and online.

• Staying at home.

• Postponing of elective medical treatment. Medical facilities find themselves under increasing pressure as the virus continues to spread. Elective surgery, or treatment and medical procedures that are not essential may have to wait.

• Quarantine at home for those who acquire Covid-19, to name a few.

But what about the emotional affects this has implemented in our lives?

“Frankly speaking, when asked, most people answered that they experienced feelings of isolation, depression, anxiety, and other emotional or financial stresses are known to raise the risk for suicide.”

What can one do to cope with the effects of Covid-19 quarantine?

• Sedentary behaviour and low levels of physical activity can have negative effects on the health, well-being and quality of life of individuals.

Physical activity and relaxation techniques can be valuable tools to help you remain calm and continue to protect your health during this time.

It’s recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, or a combination of both.

This could include walking around your garden or doing physical activity in your house.

If you are struggling to find ideas as to what sort of activity to engage in it is recommended to download free applications on your cell phone that show you basic exercises.

Psychological effects can be alleviated by considering the following:

• Be kind to yourself (and others)

Living through this pandemic is tough. Many of us have not been in this situation before. We have no rules or experience or role models to turn to. We are making things up as we go along.

• Manage your feelings

The uncontrollability, uncertainty and potentially high consequences of Covid-19 can cause anxiety even in people who aren’t prone to it.

Find a safe and controlled way to acknowledge and express your difficult emotions, for example by writing them down in a journal or letter, talking to a friend, getting physical exercise or practising yoga or meditation.

• Be realistic, lower your expectations

Prioritise one or two things, and let the others slide a little. Leave the teaching to the teachers and focus on parenting. Take time out for self-care.

• Make the best of the situation

Here you need to distinguish between things you can control and things you cannot. In particular, you are totally in control of your response to the situation.

Accepting the uncertainties of the future, while at the same time identifying areas in your life you can control is a good place to start.

For more information visit info@toughlove.org.za


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