Dealing with stress during the pandemic

THE outbreak of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has modified our daily lives. Some woke up and slept in a day without being productive and some remained to be actively finding ways to continue with their work or businesses. The enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), although has caused people to take a rest, it has still caused too much stress to others. An increase in the number of people with psychological problems or apprehensions is expected and this may contribute to damaging the society as well, in general.

It is important then to take care of ourselves, our families and friends by learning to cope up with stress especially that the stress level now of the community is rising due to the fear of the massive and unknowable effects of Covid.

Dr. Mabelle Soriano-Lemen, who is the President of Center of Psychological Extension and Research Services (Copers) of the Ateneo de Davao University shared that, “although people may experience an increase in anxiety, stress, or depression, not everyone who may have felt these symptoms may go on to develop diagnosable psychological conditions. Many may only need counseling for a brief amount of time while only a small percentage would need psychotherapy or psychopharmacological intervention.”

Lemen emphasized that when one starts to feel anxious or stressed it is important that people should only focus on things we can control. For example, if we are worried about contracting Covid-19, then we should take all the steps necessary to protect ourselves by following recommended steps to do so. And that once we start doing that, we will start feeling safe. It is only then that our lives will start going back to normal or what we now know as the new normal

She also added that, “we need to ensure that we have a support network that we can rely on.” Having people that we can rely on helps alleviate some feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety because this will allow us to share our feelings.

Moreover, she shared that one can also practice mindfulness or relaxation techniques. These may help us deal with feelings of depression, stress, and anxiety by helping us take control of physiological reactions such as improving the quality of our sleep, helping us deal with emotions, and reducing the activity of stress hormones.

So, if you feel stressed these days, you may follow the guide Dr. Lemen has shared. And if you feel as though these steps have not helped you, you may then consider seeking professional help through centers like Copers at the Ateneo de Davao University that offers mental health services. You may check the Copers page on Facebook for more information.


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