DO things that make you happy and keep a schedule while in lockdown for the Covid-19.
This was the advice given by Director of Mental Health Dr Hazel Othello during a virtual news conference of the Ministry of Health on Wednesday.
Dr Othello said it was important to allow oneself to indulge in things that bring joy.
She said, “Try to do the things that give you pleasure, the things that you find relaxing, spend time on those things so that you keep your mind in a place of peace and tranquility.”
Regarding a schedule, she said, “If your original schedule cannot be maintained, for instance, you are accustomed to going out and you can’t do that the way you normally would, create a new schedule that is positive and that is helpful.”
Dr Othello said undue exposure to traumatic and unhelpful information can heighten anxiety, especially when not all the information was true.
She said, “There’s a lot out there on social media, on the 24-hour news cycle that can be very distressing if we pay too much attention to it.
“It is important to get news, it is important to know what is happening, but we do not need to bombard our minds with negativity all day long. It is not helpful.”
Dr Othello also advised people to speak to their loved ones.
She said, “Check in with your loved ones from time to time, even if you can’t visit them, but we have to have our phones and today’s technology which allows us video calling on several different platforms.
“Particularly your elderly relatives, call in, check on them and make sure they’re doing okay and provide them with the encouragement and support that they may need.”
She also called on parents to talk to their children and encourage them to express themselves and “reassure them that it is okay to feel a little anxious or to feel a little worried at times.”
Dr Othello said it was important for children to feel comfortable with talking to adults about their feelings.