Following the March 23, 2020 #MindfulMonday Live Chat on “Anxiety & Mindfulness in the Time of COVID-19”, our panelist, UERM psychiatrist Dr. Robert Buenaventura shared these practical tips on coping with the anxieties of the COVID-19 outbreak.
We are sharing the original visuals here and also retyping these tips in text format (emphasis ours) for better readability.
1. Practice self-care–eat right, hydrate, sleep well, exercise, maintain proper hygiene, and take your prescribed meds.
2. Focus on timely and accurate information from dependable and credible sources, such as the WHO and the DOH.
3. Limit mass media and social media exposure. Check the news or posts only 3 to 4 times a day and select only one or two good sources.
4. Educate oneself, such as on proper handwashing. Follow recommendations, like staying at home during the quarantine.
[5.] Reach out and connect with family and friends. Catch up with your loved ones. Put down the celfone, turn off Netflix, and just talk. Reach out to those who are isolated as well.
[6.] Do enjoyable activities, hobbies, crafts. Listen to music, sing, dance with your spouse, play with the kids, Do gardening. Bake some goodies.
[7.] Think positive. Be positive. Act on things where you can assert control. Make decisions. Plan. Draw up a schedule.
[8.] Develop a routine but be spontaneous as well. It’s ok to change plans.
9. Be productive. Help. Donate. Volunteer. Do it for your self-worth to minimize feelings of being helpless, useless, powerless. The Pinoy ‘bayanihan’ spirit coming to the fore.
10. Increase self-awareness; monitor one’s thoughts and actions. Have a quiet time. Pause and listen. You don’t have to be doing anything all the time. You can just be STILL & CHILL.
11. Rely, if possible, on one or a few trustworthy individuals who can advise, guide, help. It would be great to have someone you can talk to, who will listen and be non-judgmental so you can vent your fears and frustrations.
12. Pray–in the silence of your heart, or together with your loved ones, or in one unified global voice. In a way, prayer is like meditation–for a lot of people it gives them a calm reassurance that soothes their nerves.
13. Be kind. To everyone. To yourself.
14. “Laughter is the best medicine!” Find something funny. Break the vicious cycle of negativity.
15. And finally, find meaning. It could be at this time or it could be later when things have settled down. It is important to be able to make sense of what’s happening and rise above it all to move forward.
These Practical Tips were paraphrased and collated by Dr. Robert D. Buenaventura from various sources, including the World Health Organization and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee of the United Nations. He has added a few of his own. Please note that these are intended primarily for individuals going through the normal or typical human responses during a crisis situation. No copyright infringement is intended. Dated 20 March 2020.
Original images below: