Dealing with fear: ‘Focus on things you can control’

With lockdown in force, we are not only missing our loved ones but there’s also uncertainty looming. “We’re social people and it’s hard to keep to ourselves and not want to be around people,” remarks Dr Tracey Marks in this YouTube video from The Outcome.

With lockdown in force, we are not only missing our loved ones but there’s also uncertainty looming. “We’re social people and it’s hard to keep to ourselves and not want to be around people,” remarks Dr Tracey Marks in this YouTube video from The Outcome.

We spend our days streaming shows, cooking and baking or simply reading books. But, while we are doing tasks to keep ourselves occupied, it is also a challenge to keep our minds free of stimulation. News, for instance, can “ramp up our anxiety”, points out the doctor.

To bring our emotions in control, the first thing is to understand that there’s a lot we cannot control. “You have to accept that, so you focus on the things that you can control,” mentions Dr Marks. This could be something as simple and imperative as washing your hands and ensuring that you don’t continuously touch your face.

However, it doesn’t end here. “There’s the issue of isolation; find creative ways to connect with people. I think social media is going to play a big part in this, and maybe you could do a group live-stream or group chat or online hangout with friends and family,” suggests Dr Marks.

“The next suggestion is to keep a structured day,” suggests the doctor. Some people have always worked from home and they thrive doing it, but for some, the lack of the separation between their work and home life can leave them wondering, “What’s the meaning of life?” Strike a balance and it will make world of a difference.

Another important suggestion is to limit the consumption of news. “We have to strike a balance between keeping updated and keeping informed about what’s actually going on, and being overloaded with death counts,” says Dr Marks in the video. “Maybe you could just reduce your watching to a morning and an evening time,” she suggests.

Lastly, get some fresh air. Go to your porch or balcony with a cup of coffee and enjoy the sunrise/sunset or the chirping of birds. “Getting closer to nature is calming,” says Dr Marks. This can distract you from focusing on negativity.


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