Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations such as an infectious disease outbreak that requires social distancing, quarantine, or isolation.
People may feel:
• Anxiety, worry, or fear related to:
• Time taken off from work and the potential loss of income and job security.
• The challenges of securing things you need, such as groceries and personal care items.
• Concern about being able to effectively care for children or others in your care
• Uncertainty or frustration about how long you will need to remain in this situation, and uncertainty about the future.
• Loneliness associated with feeling cut off from the world and from loved ones.
• Anger if you think you were exposed to the disease because of others’ negligence.
• Boredom and frustration because you may not be able to work or engage in regular day-to-day activities
• Your own and the health status of others whom you may have exposed to the disease
• The resentment that your friends and family may feel if they need to go into quarantine as a result of contact with you
• Uncertainty or ambivalence about the situation
• A desire to use alcohol or drugs to cope
• Symptoms of depression, such as feelings of hopelessness, changes in appetite, or sleeping too little or too much
• Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as intrusive distressing memories, flashbacks (reliving the event), nightmares, changes in thoughts and mood, and being easily startled.
Ways To Support Yourself
UNDERSTAND THE RISK
Consider the real risk of harm to yourself and others around you. The public perception of risk during a situation such as this is often inaccurate. Media coverage may create the impression that people are in immediate danger when really the risk for infection may be very low. Take steps to get the facts:
• Stay up to date on what is happening, while limiting your media exposure. Avoid watching or listening to news reports 24/7 since this tends to increase anxiety and worry. Remember that children are especially affected by what they hear and see on television.
• Look to credible sources for information on the infectious disease outbreak
Health care providers and health authorities should provide information on the disease, its diagnosis, and treatment.
• Do not be afraid to ask questions clear communication with a health care provider may help reduce any distress associated with social distancing, quarantine, or isolation.
USE PRACTICAL WAYS TO COPE AND RELAX
• Relax your body often by doing things that work for you-take deep breaths, stretch, meditate or pray, or engage in activities you enjoy.
• Pace yourself between stressful activities, and do something fun after a hard task.
• Talk about your experiences and feelings to loved ones and friends, if you find it helpful.
• Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking; consider keeping a journal where
you write down things you are grateful for or that are going well.
CONNECT WITH OTHERS
Reaching out to people you trust is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety, depression, loneliness, and boredom during social distancing, quarantine, and isolation. You can:
• Use the telephone, email, text messaging, and social media to connect with friends, family, and others.
• Talk “face to face” with friends and loved ones using Skype or FaceTime.
• Use the Internet, radio, and television to keep up with local, national, and world
If you need to connect with someone because of an ongoing psychological problem, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org