Do you remember the first ever news you’ve heard or saw regarding COVID-19? Okay, maybe you don’t remember anymore. What about when the news about more people testing positive, a lot more being quarantined, potential lockdown and people panic buying broke out? Did you panic? Did you hoard goods at the grocery? Well, when all the world is talking about it and is affected by it, who wouldn’t? With almost every nation and everyone in “panic mode”, should you freak out and harbour anxiety too or should you just keep calm, stay home and be sane?
Anxiety or Sanity
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In the presence of danger, not everybody reacts the same way. Some go into panic mode while some remain calm and level-headed about it (but are probably freaking out on the inside too). What’s the difference? Being in panic mode means a person is having an emotional response to an unexpected life event which often causes us to make poorly-planned decisions, according to Trent Hamm from thesimpledollar.com. While those who freak out deep inside but stay calm and level-headed instead, react in more logical and safer ways.
When we go into panic mode we just end up following what our fight-or-flight response (stress response mechanism of the body) tells us. Such reactions include panic buying (normally called hoarding), extreme behavioural shifts, even anxiety attacks and a lot more knee-jerk reactions you see people doing recently. But, did you know that being in panic mode may be causing more harm to your body? You probably didn’t but yes, it’s quite harmful because it’s stressful and when we’re stressed a lot of mental and physical conditions follow after. Examples are not being able to sleep and eat right, headaches, anxiety, depression, and even accelerated ageing. Those things seem as alarming as the virus itself. That is why, ask yourself if you’re trying to be safe and sane or are you already losing your sanity because of anxiety?
How to Keep Calm and Stay Sane
It’s natural to start panicking because we’re scared but we can always choose how to respond to it. We can continue scaring the hell out of ourselves, be a slave to panic, harbour stress and get whatever comes after stress. Or, we can also calm down, think, respond accordingly and be safer. How then do we avoid being in panic mode?
#1 Freak out it you must but don’t overthink
Are you freaking out? Don’t worry, feeling that way is valid. What may be invalid is overthinking the situation. Continuously thinking about what’s going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and so many what ifs puts us in so much stress. That said, you can think about what’s going and what could happen but you should probably be thinking of what you can do to really be safe.
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#2 Be quick to respond and not to panic
Instead of panicking, which might push us to make hasty decisions and actions, choose to think logically and respond quickly. Responding means you’ve already given it some thought and that you’re acting based on logic, not panic. Think about what you need, where you should go, what you have to do and who to contact in case of an emergency. Once you have answers to those questions, then go ahead and do something.
#3 Focus on what you really need
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You might have thought things through and created a plan but left your self-control and manners as you go hoarding stuff at the supermarket or the pharmacy, umm, you’re still in panic mode. Logically responding to the current situation means also estimating the resources you might be needing to survive the period of enhanced community quarantine. And this clearly doesn’t mean you have to hoard goods or supplies. Buy only what you need to stay full and healthy for a month or two. Always remember that if you need something, someone else might need it too. It’s okay to think about yourself and your safety but be kind enough to also think about other people even in this survival situation.
#4 Listen to the news but don’t drown yourself in it
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Listening to the news or reading it up online is essential to keep you updated. But you don’t have to do that all day. Trust me, it’s not gonna help. It’s probably adding extra stress on your plate. So, watch, listen or read up for a few minutes to an hour then divert your attention to something else after. Go do your work (if your working-from-home), do some chores, learn something new, read a book, binge watch on Netflix, etc. There are so many better things to do than drown yourself with bad news.
#5 Being obedient is being safe
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Since we are in an enhanced community quarantine and lockdown in some places, the government released special rules and regulations involving safety. Yet you still see some people not following instructions. Think about it, the more that we go out, the chances of us really catching the virus increases. So, in this situation, the best thing we can do to be safe and to be of any help to ourselves, other people, the front-liners, the government and the country is to obey and to stay home.
#6 Have faith
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COVID-19, we can’t see it but we feel it even it we’re not infected. It seems like we have little to no control of it meaning there’s probably little to nothing we can do about it too. If we can remind ourselves to wash our hands as often as possible maybe we can also remember to put our hands together and pray. Let’s have a little more faith that this too shall pass and that we have a God who’s doing something to help us get through all of this. It might sound cliché but we won’t lose anything if we pray, right?
Keep Calm and We Will Survive
Image by Karissa Gonzales
Honestly, this pandemic is scary. It is enough to freak us out but we have to remember that being in panic mode will not do us any good. Our best weapon and best chance against COVID-19 is developing a strong mindset in order to stay sane, safe and healthy. Instead of panicking, let’s believe that one day this will all be over and we’ll be able to step out of our homes without worrying if we could catch a disease or be it’s carrier. One day we’ll all be able to go back to school, work, see and be with each other again. But in the meantime, let’s all just keep calm, stay home, and be healthy.