When will it end?
In the late 1970’s to mid 1980’s HIV was a disease associated primarily with the male gay community; in the same way, albeit it for a much shorter period of time, the Coronavirus was associated with China, given its Wuhan origin. In both instances, there was discrimination, because people are inclined to fear what they don’t understand – either because they’ve been raised by parents who have bigoted views, or simply because they don’t educate themselves with information from reputable sources.
By now, most of us know of someone who has been infected by Covid-19, or worse, died from it. Some people may have had the 21st century plague, survived, and chosen not to share their status for fear of being shunned, just in case they are possibly (still) infectious.
The adage about ensuring your cup is full because you can’t pour from an empty cup is true, but ‘Self-care’ has become a buzzword lately – one which is tossed around with disrespectful nonchalance. Again, this boils down to the lack of education as to what self-care really is.
For some, it is having a structured routine that brings focus and a feeling of safety. Studies have shown that people that make their beds every morning are often more productive than those who don’t. Exercise, for others, is an imperative facet of self-care. Lockdowns and restricted movement had much negative impact on this specific demographic. Many social gatherings of like-minded individuals such as Pride marches were cancelled. Humans, by nature, are beings that were created to interact with one another. Not being able to do so has created anxiety in people who may never have presented with the illness had the Coronavirus not hit.
If you present with symptoms of anxiety, such as:
· Inability to focus
· Nausea or stomach upsets
· Excessive tiredness
it is recommendable to seek the help of a counsellor, who will not only help you cope with and manage your anxiety but also to understand what is causing it.
A few small, inexpensive changes within your immediate environment can already pave the road to helping you alleviate racing thoughts or negative feelings. These can include:
· Short breathing or meditations sessions. There are a variety of apps available, so you’re likely to find a suitable fit for you and your lifestyle.
· Bring in some greenery into your home. Many plants, such as Peace Lilies and Anthuriums not only have beautiful flowers when in bloom, but their leaves absorb dangerous chemicals from the air. Other plants, such as Snake Plants, are known to aid better sleep. Having successive nights of good rest will improve your circadian rhythm, which in turn may lead to fewer moments of irritability.
· The benefits of waking up at the same time every day and having something to eat before leaving for the office have been documented endlessly, so having a morning routine is another way to keep anxiety at bay.
As many people in the UK return to work, it is understandable that they may feel anxiety, even more so for those who are of Asian descent, or being someone who has recovered from the Coronavirus. Dealing with anxiety under ‘normal’ circumstances is difficult. It is exponentially harder in current times. The one thing each one of us can do to alleviate the angst in others is to listen actively, be kind, and practice empathy.