Help! Everyone is so stressed about the pandemic. How can I help them?

Dear Friend,

Like every other Hongkonger, I’m feeling really stressed out during the city’s fifth wave of cases. What can I do to help people who get Covid-19, as well as help my friends and family feel more calm and relaxed?

Sincerely, Stressed

Dear Stressed,
It’s so kind that you’re thinking about how you can help others during this difficult time. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, we have lived under prolonged, stringent anti-pandemic measures. It is normal that
you would feel distressed, tired, worried and lonely, and people who fall ill with coronavirus would feel more vulnerable than usual.

Here are some suggestions that may help you cope with psychological stress and remain positive; you can pass these tips on to your loved ones as well!

– Accept your reaction to stress, and don’t deny or repress negative feelings.
– Stay informed, but avoid overwhelming yourself with updates about the pandemic. Try to read the news for only a certain amount of time every day, and remember to focus on the positives.
– Keep in touch with your family and friends through phone, video calls or text messages. Talking to your loved ones helps you give and receive support and can reduce stress.
– Keep a routine and stick to healthy habits, such as healthy eating, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep.
– Remember to keep up your favourite activities or interests, such as reading, cooking, playing musical instruments or watching films.
– Practise relaxation exercises or meditate to refresh your body and mind. There are many apps, such as Headspace, that can guide you through the process.
– Write a post-outbreak wish list to maintain hope and stay positive.

It’s totally normal – even expected – to feel depressed right now. If these feelings persist, please take the initiative to talk to someone you trust or a counsellor.

Stay positive, and test negative!

Friend of a Friend

This was answered by clinical psychologists from the Department of Health under Shall We Talk, a mental health initiative launched with the Advisory Committee on Mental Health.
Source: Young Post