Seven Ways To Combat
Living through a pandemic is highly stressful. We’re all scared, but that doesn’t mean we should let fear take over our lives.
While the number of active COVID-19 cases in Namibia remains relatively low, we’ve seen how the pandemic can rapidly spiral out of control. Despite implementing bold social distancing rules, our neighbours, South Africa, could only flatten the curve, not prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.
The number of people infected keeps rising, and that’s why it’s so important to take the necessary precautions. But it’s also crucial to take care of your mental and emotional health.
We live in uncertain times. Who knows what next week or next month holds in store for us. But what we do now can ensure that we’re ready to face any difficulties that lie ahead. The key is to be proactive.
So we’ve put together a list of seven things you can do to stay positive, healthy, and safe. Let’s dive in.
7 Steps To Help You Cope During The Pandemic
1. Get The Facts
COVID-19 is the number one reported topic across the globe. Everyone is talking about it, and there’s been a lot of fake information disseminated. So it’s understandable if you don’t know how to distinguish fact from fiction.
That’s why we’ve developed a comprehensive, up-to-date portal of information as it relates to COVID-19. Check it out now.
Here you’ll find vital information such as:
- How many cases have been reported in Namibia, the number of deaths, and recoveries.
- An assessment tool to help you determine whether you’re displaying symptoms and how to arrange an appointment to see a medical practitioner.
- Lifestyle changes you need to make to avoid contracting the virus, particularly if you are a high-risk candidate or are pregnant.
- What to do if you test positive for COVID-19.
- How to self-isolate.
- How to attend to your mental health during this pandemic.
- Changes to visiting hours and hospital regulations.
Much of this information has been gleaned from reputable sources like the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Their days are consumed with monitoring the coronavirus outbreak. They’re working around the clock to discover a cure, to gathering the latest data, and to ensure that any information shared is the absolute truth.
So before opening your Twitter account and reading the latest COVID-19 rants, we suggest you stick to credible sources. It’ll put your mind at ease and ensure that you’re really doing your best to safeguard your health.
Get The Facts
For the most up-to-date information on coronavirus, check out Welwitschia Hospital’s COVID-19 portal.
2. Stay Home, Stay Healthy
The best way to flatten the curve is to stay at home. But what once was a haven to escape to can quickly start to feel like a prison, especially after two or three weeks.
You’re likely bored and maybe a little depressed. Under these conditions, it’s normal to comfort eat, to spend more and more time in bed, and avoid any form of exercise. But this will only make you feel worse.
If you’re self-isolating, make a concerted effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Try these four top tips:
- Get enough sleep. Eight hours is ideal. Avoid anything more than that.
- Eat a balanced diet. Stock up on healthy foods and snacks. Don’t deny yourself a bar of chocolate or a glass of wine, but do limit how much you consume.
- Exercise. If you have stairs, walk up and down them daily. Set yourself a goal to run one or two kilometres every other day. Join an online Pilates or Yoga class. The choices available to you are endless, so take advantage of them.
- Contact your loved ones regularly. Whether it’s a WhatsApp message or a Skype call, stay in touch with your family and friends or your Religious Support Group. Talk to them about what you’re going through—this develops a sense of comradery, which is vital during stressful situations. You’ll feel better for it.
3. Deal With Your Negative Emotions
Our minds are so powerful, and they can play havoc with our emotions. If you allow negative thoughts to consume you, these will start to affect you emotionally, and recreational drugs, smoking, and alcohol can quickly send you into a downward spiral.
It’s an incredibly stressful time, and although you may want to escape for a few hours, drowning your fears and sorrows in inhibitors is not the solution.
If you feel overwhelmed, if everything is becoming too much, reach out and talk to people you trust. If you don’t have a close friend or family member who you believe can help you, then contact Welwitschia Hospital at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we can’t help you, we can certainly point you to someone who can, someone like a health worker or counsellor.
Remember, there’s nothing wrong with admitting that you need help, that you’re not coping.
4. Stop Worrying
There’s no point in worrying. It will just agitate you and others around you. So limit worrisome thoughts. Instead, focus on the things you can control, and that which makes you happy.
- Take a break from upsetting and unsubstantiated news. If you notice that after watching or reading the news, you start feeling anxious, choose to limit how much media you consume each day.
- Avoid sending and listening to unsubstantiated voice notes. While your friends and family have the best intentions, sharing these voice notes can cause alarm. Instead, choose to share funny memes. The Internet is full of laugh-out-loud memes and posts that have been created since the announcement of the virus. And laughter really is the best medicine.
- Think back to times where you’ve experienced previous adversities. What did you do to get through these difficult periods? What skills can you draw on to better manage you and your family’s emotions?
5. Practice Good Hygiene
Practising good hygiene is a must. But with the outbreak of the coronavirus, you need to be pedantic about cleanliness.
We suggest the following:
- Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly with antibacterial handwash or soap. Not only does this help to kill the virus, but it’s proven to effectively guard against the spread of the virus. Water is precious, so please use it sparingly when washing your hands. Check out the portal for more info.
- Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands. Instead, use your elbow to cover your mouth and nose.
- Avoid touching your face. You’d be surprised by how often you touch your eyes, nose, cheeks, and mouth—roughly 16 times an hour. The virus lives on surfaces and we constantly touch surfaces. So be conscious about your actions.
- Make sure to avoid anyone who coughs or sneezes. It might be a simple cold or hay fever, but it can also be COVID-19. When you cough and sneeze, small liquid droplets are expelled through your nose and mouth and can carry up to a metre indoors, and several metres outside. Anyone standing near you can breathe in these droplets, and contract the coronavirus if you are a carrier.
- Remember that the virus can live on surfaces for several hours, if not days. So clean your home regularly, especially after trips into town.
6. Take Precautions
While barricading yourself in your home is an excellent preventative measure, realistically, you’ll need to go out to stock up on groceries and household goods. But don’t view these outings with trepidation. Just take these five necessary precautions.
- Seal up. Make sure you have a cloth mask and wet wipes. You need to wear a mask as this stops the spread of the virus, and you unwittingly breathing it in. Take a stab at creating your own homemade face mask. The CDC has shared the pattern, and it’s really not difficult to make.
- Avoid touching doors where possible. Always look for automatic doors.
- Don’t be afraid to ask the teller to wipe their station. While most supermarkets will have enforced strict safety and security rules, you’re well within your right to ask the teller to wipe down their till before dealing with you.
- Pack your groceries. You want to limit the number of hands dealing with your goods, so pack your groceries into your packets.
- Choose to pay with your debit or credit card. Cash exchanges hands all the time, and you really don’t know where it’s been. Your card, on the other hand, lives in your wallet and only gets handled when buying something. It can quickly be wiped down, unlike cash. So be smart and stick to cashless purchases.
You’ll also need to wipe down your steering wheel, door handle, car keys, and gearbox after arriving home, as well as all your products and packets. Wet wipes work wonders. Alternatively, a soapy cloth works just as well.
And whatever you do, don’t touch your face until you’ve washed your hands.
7. Find New Outlets For Fun
By now, you’ve likely settled into a routine, and for some, boredom will have set in. This can often lead to overeating and feeling down. To help you combat the blues and hunger pains, we’ve compiled a list of things to try at home.
- Indulge your inner bookworm. Find a few good books and start reading. If you don’t own books, why not download the Kindle or Kobo app on to your phone. You can also listen to audiobooks. Like the e-books there are some audiobooks freely available on Audible currently.
- Watch your favourite series on Netflix or Dstv. There’s nothing quite like escaping reality for a little bit.
- Play board games or cards. If you don’t own any of these, not to worry. As long as you have an Apple or IOS smartphone or tablet, you can download popular games from your app store. You can also play online.
- Discover the joy of arts and crafts. Whether it’s painting, pastels, scrapbooking, or needlework, this is a time to express yourself. These activities can be deeply calming and a welcome balm to frazzled nerves. Check out Pinterest for great ideas of things to create using everyday items found in most homes.
- Enrol in an online course. Whether it’s learning a musical instrument or how to start a business, there are many affordable short courses that you can choose from. What better way to take your mind off the coronavirus.
- Join a free online exercise class like yoga or dance. This is a great way to keep you moving, help you relax, burn some steam and feel good.
Take Control Of Your Mental And Emotional Wellbeing
And there you have it, seven ways you can restore and nurture your mental and emotional wellbeing during this challenging pandemic. You are in control.
You can choose what information you consume, what you need to do daily to feel good, what to put in your body, whether to exercise or not. Be proactive. Take precautions when going outside.
And if you feel ill. If you develop a fever and experience difficulty when breathing. If you suspect that you might have COVID-19, contact your doctor or Welwitschia Hospital on (+264) 64 218 911. Our team of medical specialists is on standby to assess and treat you.
Don’t wait to get the care you need.