The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live, work, and communicate. And until a vaccine is developed and widely available, it will continue to affect aspects of our lives, which we usually take for granted.
It is encouraging to see that new infection rates are continuing to stay low across the country and restrictions being cautiously lifted as per the Three-Step Plan proposed by the Government. However, the social and financial instability caused by the pandemic in the past two months and the uncertainty over the effect of these changes in the foreseeable future, is taking a toll on our Mental Health in more ways than we could imagine.
Some of the general psychological impacts during this situation are increased fear, anxiety, confusion, anger, frustration, and boredom.
Anxiety usually stems from people feeling they don’t have control over their lives. Fear that we, or our loved ones might be infected, fear about our financial security due to reduction of working hours or salaries. While they are gradually opening, the closure of schools has also had a profound effect on the stress levels of parents trying to balance work and home schooling.
Signs to Look out for individuals and employers experiencing psychological distress.
- Excessive fear, worry, catastrophising, or obsessive thinking, even after the current relaxation of restrictions
- Racing heart, tightening of the chest, quick breathing, and restlessness, feeling tense, churning stomach, feeling wound up and edgy
- Avoidance of certain situations, even when not required by the COVID-19 restrictions
- Withdrawing from close family and friends
- Relying on alcohol and sedatives
- Not doing usual enjoyable activities
- Unable to concentrate
- Feeling overwhelmed, guilty, irritable, and frustrated
- Feeling tired all the time, even when you haven’t exerted yourself.
- Disturbed sleep
- Loss of, or change in, appetite
With our lives starting to get back to some levels of normalcy, let’s continue to be kind, stay connected and check in with each other. However, if you feel overwhelmed or stressed by the changes in your life during this time, talk to your friends/colleagues or employer immediately so that you can get professional help at the earliest.