Seven Steps to Manage Stress During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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As the world struggles to come to terms with the COVID-19 pandemic, countries have resorted to instituting drastic measures including nation-wide shutdowns in order to curb the spread of the virus. In effect, many have found themselves experiencing higher levels of stress due to the ongoing state of affairs. Edward Bantu, a Professor of Counseling and Psychology at Kampala International University and Vice President of the World Council for Psychology in Africa has offered advice for anyone who is struggling with stress during these challenging times:

1. Isolate yourself from news about the virus.

2. Don’t look for additional information on the Internet, as it would weaken your mental state and could cause somatization.

3. If possible, listen to songs at home at a pleasant volume. Those with young children & grandchildren should look for board games to entertain them, and tell stories and discuss future plans.

4. Maintain discipline in the home by washing your hands, putting up a sign or alarm for everyone in the house.

5. Your positive mood will help protect your immune system, while negative thoughts have been shown to depress your immune system and make it weak against viruses.

6. Most importantly, firmly believe that this will pass and that the universe and a higher being called God is a universe of love and not punishment.

7. Avoid sending chains and fatalistic messages. Some people don’t have the same mental strength as you (Instead of helping, you could activate pathologies such as depression).

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