Wellbeing amidst the pandemic

By Sadie Hussain

With more than 20 percent of the world’s population on lockdown, it goes without saying that the outbreak of COVID-19 or the “Pandemic” has impacted us all in different ways and on varying scales. Feelings of fear, anxiety and dejection as a result of the constant alerts and coverage surrounding the spread are understandable.

This is an unprecedented scenario; stress and the feelings associated with it are by no means a reflection of your adequacy. In fact, feeling under pressure may be a likely experience for you and many of your loved ones. Managing your psychosocial wellbeing during this time is just as important as managing your physical health.

Many, if not all of us, have heard the important rule on flight safety “put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.” This is just an example to remind us of the importance of self-care. If you cannot take care of yourself, you cannot take care of others including your loved ones. By incorporating certain activities into our daily lives, we offer our body and mind the time to rest, reset, and rejuvenate; so to avoid the symptoms of stress and anxiety. The following may be practiced to support and enhance wellbeing, particularly during this time.

Responsible contribution
Be mindful not to act in ways that contribute to the widespread panic. This hinders all efforts in managing the outbreak. One groundless act could lead to sensationalizing the issues that are being faced worldwide.

Rather, ensure you are following directives issued by the Kuwaiti government and medical officials. Your contribution starts in observing and maintaining good hygiene habits and adhering to the curfew. Focus on other positive contributions that you can make, such as limiting your exposure to others. Consider your self-isolation as an act of love.

Media exposure
In a digital age, with instant access to information in the palm of our hands, it is difficult to escape the threat of the Pandemic residing in your thoughts. Whilst it is great to stay informed, manage your exposure to media coverage in order to avoid obsessing and reaching pointless speculation as this can unwittingly increase feelings of fear and anxiety.

Living in a constant state of stress where you cannot stop thinking of the Pandemic means you are putting your body into permanent ‘fight or flight’ mode, which studies have proven to be damaging to both physical and psychological health and wellbeing. Always be mindful of the source of the information you seek and ensure you access and share only reputable information.

Studies have also found that you are more susceptible to the effects of bad news within the first 30 minutes of waking up. Try to take your time to enjoy your morning and set a positive tone for the day before you sit down to catch up on the news.

  • The above advice should not be considered as a comprehensive report or medical advice concerning issues that may affect physical and mental wellbeing.
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