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Having to think about this topic, a very in depth and serious thought, forced me to contemplate on it to the deepest level.
When the World Health Organization declared the outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International concern on 30 January 2020 and a Pandemic on 11 March 2020, I immediately felt that there will be change of an enormous scale and knowing human being not liking change, I knew resistance to accept the change will be at the order of the day. The thought of different type of suffering on the horizon and inevitable made me also feeling overwhelmed at some moments not also at first understanding the impact completely. I knew that people will suffer and my passion for people led me to jump into action with preventative mental coping skills preparation to be able to help more people as I understood that the need will become bigger and bigger as time progressed.
Taking into consideration that this pandemic will have some people experiencing not only their own personal mental coping challenges but also grief for a lost ones, loss of income, loss of connection to others and much more........
We are definitely experiencing a mental health crisis based on this pandemic and while we are focussing on keeping ourselves safe from the biological virus we cannot help to think what are we doing to keep ourselves safe mentally and cope with the stress and emotional rollercoaster that comes with all of this.
Taking control over what we have control over is fundamental at this stage. I would like to share a few basic steps that you can follow while doing your best to keep yourself biologically safe.
Step 1 - Building awareness for not only your loved ones but for all that you come in contact with
Step 2 - Keeping you grounded to not suppress reality or to hyper reflect on what is currently happening. (Take a break from watching, reading or listening to news and social media)
Step 3 - Take care of your body. Breathing, stretch, meditate, eat healthy with well balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid excessive alcohol, tobacco and any substances.
Step 4 - Make time to unwind. Try to do any activity that you enjoy with safety precaution measures
Step 5 - Connect with others in a safe way as much as possible. Counselling sessions can help a lot here as well.
Step 6 - Taking care of yourself can better equip you to take care of others. During times of social distancing, it is especially important to stay connected with friends and family. Helping others cope with the stress through phone calls or video chats can help you and your loved ones feel less lonely and isolated.
Remember that suffering brings tension that shows us what ought not to be!
Understand that the feelings of uncertainty and the low feeling of sadness towards different levels is normal but also do not try to be stronger than you normally are. Rather seek professional help before this challenging times consumes your mental health.
You are not alone and help is one phone call away.
Take care and stay safe
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I use a meaning and value based approach to help people conquer their problems, challenges, fears and obstacles for a happier and more fulfilled life.
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Level Four B-BBEE Contributor. Council of Counsellors Registration: IR 10177. Viktor Frankl's Institute SA (VFISA) Registration: 50155. Professional Member of International Association for Counselling (IAC). Professional Member of Mediation Academy Accredited in SA and Internationally by ADR International Register, SAAM (South African Association of Mediators), NABFAM (National Accreditation Board of Family Mediators) and ISO9001 Certified.