Managing FEAR, STRESS and STIGMA

Dr Johnsey Thomas

Senior Psychologist

Aster Prime Hospital – Hyderabad

Telangana

Fear and anxiety about disease can be devastating and cause sharp emotions, particularly during uncertain times of Covid -19. It is important to take time for yourself to manage your mental health. Even though anxiety is a natural and anticipated likely reaction to the pandemic, too much anxiety can start to cause harm. Stigma has exacerbated the suffering from every major infectious disease epidemic in our history, and it will certainly play a role in the current Covid-19 pandemic. Experiencing stigma from others can lead to elevated depressive symptoms, stress, and substance use.

Tips to combat Stigma

  • Know the facts about how the virus spreads and infection risk.
  • Understand that anyone can contract the virus.
  • Be kind; remember we are all human.
  • Stay informed—but don’t obsessively check the news

Steps us handle Stress and maintain Mental Balance

  • Focus on the things you can control
  • Plan for what you can
  • Take care of your body and spirit
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Maintain a routine as best you can.
  • Take time out for activities you enjoy.
  • Get out in nature, if possible. Sunshine and fresh air will do you good.
  • Find ways to exercise.
  • Keep things in perspective.
  • Count on your own strengths.
  • Take up a relaxation practice. When stressors throw your nervous system out of balance, relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can bring you back into a state of equilibrium.

Acknowledge your feelings. Whatever you are feeling right now, know that it’s okay to feel that way.