Wednesday, 01 April 2020 08:07

Looking after your mental health during the COVID-19 crisis

The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted our world and plunged us into a time of great uncertainty. In an opinion piece for Health24, Prof Ashraf Kagee from the Department of Psychology offers a few tips that can help us stay mentally healthy during the lockdown period.The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted our world and plunged us into a time of great uncertainty. In an opinion piece for Health24, Prof Ashraf Kagee from the Department of Psychology offers a few tips that can help us stay mentally healthy during the lockdown period.

Authur: Ashraf Kagee*

​The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted our world and plunged us into a time of great uncertainty. Under these circumstances, it is quite common for people to be worried, distressed and anxious about what lies ahead. There is, however, no reason to regard anyone who feels afraid and anxious during these difficult times as being psychologically abnormal. We still have some time to go before the lockdown is over and almost everyone will be having some of these feelings at some point.

However, the constant stream of news reports about the COVID-19 pandemic can lead to a rise in levels of anxiety. If this is the case then one should limit the amount of time spent listening to or watching the news. It is, of course, necessary to get the facts – not rumours, misinformation and fake news – and we should seek information only from trusted sources. This will help us all take practical steps to make plans and protect our own mental health and that of our loved ones.

This is also a time to support others as helping other people in their time of need can benefit both the person receiving support and the helper. For example, checking by telephone on neighbours or people in your community who may need some assistance. Perhaps when leaving the house to buy supplies for yourself, it can be helpful to buy extra food for people who have no means, and whom government and NGOs might not be able to help during this difficult period.

For most people, living in lockdown for three weeks can be very stressful. It can be useful to structure the day with activities such as doing schoolwork and housework, working from home if your job allows, exercising, having some quiet time, watching TV and reading, spending some time with others and also spending some time alone. For many people, prayer or meditation can be quite helpful.

​Read the article on Stellenbosch Univeristy website or click here for the piece as published. Looking after your mental health during the COVID-19 crisis​Read the article below or click here for the piece as published. Looking after your mental health during the COVID-19 crisis

 

hefma logo 200

HAVE A QUESTION?