Adapting to a New Reality

Our world has changed. A new threat is directly affecting the global economy, health, security, and international politics.
Across the globe, our lives have been altered and we are being forced to adjust to our new reality.

Despite the challenges we now face and those that are yet to come, we must start getting used to doing some of what the common good requires.
The common man on the street is being called upon to show resilience for our country, for our world, and most importantly, for each other. When tragedies happen we are expected to unite, to show compassion and to share love.
But really, just how are we coping?

So much of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is outside of our control. Aside from the threat that the virus itself poses, your life has been impacted; from work and finances to socialising and travel. However, dealing with this challenge can make you more resilient.  It will be helpful to remember that there are things you can do to deal with the uncertainty that lies not just in front of you, but all around you.

Stress – Stress is an understandable response to the current situation. You might be worried about becoming infected with the virus, about how your loved ones will cope, about the disruption to your studies, your job and routines, and perhaps most importantly, the financial impact this could have on you. These stressors, along with the constant media hysteria and dealing with disappointment such as travel restrictions and event cancellations, can take an emotional and psychological toll on anyone.
As hard as things are, it can be comforting to know that you’re not alone and that others share your feelings. I repeat, you are not alone in feeling stressed and anxious right now, particularly because of the uncertainty surrounding the situation.

Uncertainty – Predictability helps people to feel as though they are in control and it reassures them that their lives are settled and nothing bad will happen. On the other hand, having to deal with the unknown can make people anxious. Get a handle on anxiety by practising to tolerate uncertainty. You can start with small changes to you own personal routine such as cooking a meal without a recipe or randomly choosing a show to look at on Netflix. One thing we don’t like about uncertainty is that if we allow it into our life, things can go wrong.

Facts – Keeping up to date with factual resources can provide some more certainty about what’s happening. Choose media sources wisely where you’re less likely to get overwhelmed with the constant coverage and it will be easier to stay grounded. Cable news 24/7? Hard pass. It’s a good idea to limit your media intake to a few times a day so you don’t become overwhelmed. You may also want to avoid speculation and social media discussions.
Some good resources for factual updates include:
– World Health Organisation (WHO)
– Your local government’s Ministry of Health
– Your local government’s Ministry of Communications

Remember, despite the challenges we now face and those that are yet to come, your personal health and mental well-being must not be ignored.
This is undoubtedly, one of the greatest tests we will ever undergo in humility and the overwhelming power of humanity. When tragedies happen, we can unite, we can show compassion and we must share love.
It is my hope that as we adapt to this new reality, that we take care of each other and that collectively, we will overcome this soon.

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