26 May

Over the past few weeks, the Coronavirus infections and deaths in South Africa have been rising exponentially as predicted by the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) in the early stages of the virus hitting South Africa.

The threat of getting infected is now closer than before, with friends, co-workers, or even family members reporting that they have tested positive or they know someone close who has. 

Social media is a buzz with the latest information regarding Covid-19 and its progression in South Africa. This information overload can sometimes become overwhelming which can lead to feelings of helplessness that can result in stress and anxiety.

UASA has put together some tips on how you can avoid being overwhelmed with information, especially on social media.

Filter your news

There are too many stories around coronavirus. Not all of them are accurate. You don’t necessarily need to read posts that cause unnecessary panic especially if they are not based on scientific evidence.

Dealing with anxiety, you might feel the urge to read as many things as possible to know what’s happening. But once you reassure yourself that you’re up-to-date, it’s time to evaluate your news sources and the frequency of checking them.

Instead of using social media to keep up with news, pick the resources that can update you without exposing yourself to endless stories through social feeds.

It’s still important to be aware of what’s happening but you can limit the number of times you check updates to a couple of times a day.

Make your feed more positive

It is important to get your mind off coronavirus. There are still a lot of positive stories out there that can cheer you up. There are online publications such as The South African Good News, which can help you find those good news stories happening within your community or around the world.

Adjust your social media consumption

It’s easy to lose track of time on social platforms but if you are already feeling anxious enough with everything happening, you need to be more mindful of your social media usage.

Going beyond #coronavirus, increased social media usage can still affect your anxiety and as such you need to limit the amount of time you spend on social media and online platforms.

There are cell phone apps that can help you track or in worst cases, block you from accessing your social media apps based on usage and restrictions you set. 

Do your research and find out which one will work best for you.

Seek distractions

Distractions can help you forget about your worries for a bit and relax. You do not need to ignore the situation and act as if we are in a bubble, but we can still protect our sanity if needed.

Do not underestimate the power of distraction on times like these. Do the things that help you to relax while adhering to the health and safety measures and regulations in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Star a new project or find a new hobby, who knows, you might even discover some hidden talents.

Communicate your anxiety

If you’re feeling anxious about the current situation, you need to communicate your feelings with a qualified professional, colleagues, or friends.  

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADG) stands ready to assist people who might not be coping with the current state of things. Contact them if you feel you need help.

SADAG Mental Health Line

011 234 4837

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