Stay-at-home blues? Avoid fake news
MANILA, Philippines — Feeling blue at home due to the quarantine?
You can improve your mood and ease your anxiety from the forced home confinement by taking certain steps, such as arming yourself with facts, avoiding fake news, establishing a routine, taking a shower, and appreciating what you still have while preparing for the future.
Psychiatrist Marie Pearl Lei Reyes shared these tips during the Laging Handa briefing aired over PTV 4 on Wednesday.
People suffer from stress and anxiety as they are forced to stay home while the government tries to stop the spread of the new coronavirus disease, Reyes said.
“Usually, we like to be in control of our lives, of what’s going on. When these are gone, we develop fear,” she said.
News may also upset people, which is why, according to Reyes, it is important for them to get the facts about COVID-19, such as its symptoms, how it is transmitted, and how people could protect themselves from it.
“We advise that if possible, you arm yourself with facts, just watch what is true, what is in the media that we know had been properly studied, and not what is on social media because these just add to your fear,” she said.
Once they get the facts, people could limit their time on social media, she said.
“Sometimes, these can be overwhelming, especially if the news we see is fake news,” she added.
After this, Reyes suggested that people “shift their perspective.”
They could think about what blessings the situation brings, she said.
While people cannot go out and work, they can see the situation as a chance to be with their families and to do things they did not have time to do before, Reyes said.
She urged people to make a list of things they have long wanted to do and choose which are the most feasible.
They should then make a schedule for these tasks and follow it so that they would feel they have a purpose in the morning and feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day, she said.
Establishing a routine also helps. Take that shower, for instance, Reyes said.
“Just taking a shower will do a lot for your body and your mental health. When you feel good physically, it also helps your mental state,” she said.
‘Here and now’
Reyes said people could try to live in the “here and now.”
While she understands that people worry about losing their jobs, getting sick, or having to pay their bills, “today, let us think of what we have,” said Reyes.
“Today, we are healthy, we still have something to eat, we have a roof over our heads, and we have our family safe and healthy, so let’s maintain it. Let’s only think about this for now. Let’s try not to think about tomorrow,” she said.
This does not mean people should not prepare for the future, only that they can try to train their thoughts on what they have at the present, she said.
“When we are able to practice that, we’re not going to be as scared,” she added.
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