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Simple ways to reduce stress during isolation period

Simple ways to reduce stress during isolation period

                                 By : Dr. Ateff Yusof

January 16, 2021- Since December 2019, the world has been affected by Covid-19 not just economically or physiologically but also psychologically.

The struggles range from the growing concerns and worry with the growing number of cases and mortality rate, struggling to get even a plate of rice or basic food on the plate, or self-isolation, which have led to severe anxiety among many of our friends, colleagues and family members.

In times like these, psychological needs go hand in hand with our basic physiological and safety needs to keep our sanity throughout the trying period, to sustain good mental health.

Here are some tips which may come in handy during this Movement Control Order (MCO) period to preserve our mental health.

It is reasonable to understand what self-isolation is and its psychological effects on society, also known as post-Covid-19 effects.

An American Psychological Association (APA) study dated March 17, 2020 revealed that there is a big possibility for those who have been confined for 14 days or more in private spaces to experience some mild mental health issues after the movement restriction order ends.

In the same study, it was reported that self-isolation like what we are facing now amid the Covid-19 virus outbreak can lead to depression, anxiety, sleeping disorder, memory problems and inability to concentrate.

Thus, it is vital for the public and society at large to acquire some knowledge on the coping mechanism to prevent the onset of severe mental health in the future.

There are several suggestions or tips that might help us to cope with anxiety either during or post-Covid-19.

FIRSTLY, ever since work from home has become a new normal for the working class during this confinement, productivity has become a worrying issue for many, especially for working parents.

Some may be late reporting to work as they have to juggle other responsibilities such as cooking, house chores and babysitting.

Thus, in an effort to reestablish our normal routine, dress to impress, like how we used to do when going to the office.

Doing so helps to preserve such feeling and, at the same time, manage your anxiety level, since your daily activities are being limited.

SECONDLY, varying your activities may also be helpful to reduce your anxiety level during this MCO period.

Even if you are physically disconnected from the world, it is not an excuse to not look for alternative activities to be engaged in and occupied with — to do things that are within your capacity at the moment.

THIRDLY, getting updated on the news via reliable sources or channels is equally important. This is because reading on social media platform comes with the risk of fake news which can spread unnecessary panic, which may then lead to a higher level of anxiety.

By verifying the news from credible sources, this can stop you from making assumptions and overthinking about an issue whose legitimacy has not been established.

LASTLY, practise "micro-lift" like you always do. Smiling at people or greeting them while we are on our way to work, bumping into a friend or neighbour at the supermarket, or stopping at our favourite fast food chain's drive through to grab some light breakfast meal are the things that lift us or make our day, hence the term "micro-lift".

Even during MCO, with the least mobility privilege provided, "micro-lift" can still be practised online, through social media platforms such as Facebook or any communication platform such as WhatsApp, or even by simple talking to the food delivery guy such as Grab Food, or even connecting with your friends via video calls.

All these could help you to feel less anxious and depressed for having your social needs deprived throughout the confinement period.

The coping strategies listed above are just a few tips. There are many others which you could explore at your own time and pace.

On a final note, let us give a round of applause to the frontliners. It is important that we abide by the MCO standard operating procedures (SOP) and restrictions closely.

Keep praying hard for ourselves and for our fellow Malaysians. After hardships come ease. After the rain comes the rainbow.

Tarikh Input: 18/01/2021 | Kemaskini: 18/01/2021 | noor.aisyah


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