By now we’re all feeling the very real threat of coronavirus, with the numbers of cases climbing every day. Perhaps you know someone who’s contracted COVID-19 or even lost a loved one to this pandemic. It may seem like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. STOP!

Whilst it might not feel like it right now, there are worse things than coronavirus and living your life paralysed by fear and despair is one of them. Stress and anxiety kill more people every day than coronavirus ever will.

It’s vitally important to deal with your feelings of despair appropriately and do everything you can to manage them. Here’s how to ease the emotional and psychological burden of living in times of great uncertainty.

Be Realistic

One way to stop the spiral of fear you’re experiencing right now is to focus on the facts. It’s a fact that the number of infections in South Africa is rising every day. It’s also a fact that the recovery rate is rising too. Try to look at the positive numbers once in a while.

Many countries, like Italy and Brazil, have been and are going through far worse.

You can’t control what happens to other people, but you can take charge of your own safety. Take a deep breath, wash your hands, and stay as far away from other people as you can.

Stick to Positive Messages

Social media and news networks thrive on sensationalism and while there will be bad news every now and again, you don’t need to fill your head with it. Limit your news consumption and social media to responsible and substantiated channels.

Rather focus on your immediate surroundings and what you can do to keep yourself safe.

Focus on Your Health

Your body still has the same needs it did before the pandemic struck. Try to eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep, and drink plenty of water.

Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and sugar.

Be the Voice of Reason

Stay in touch with loved ones and friends but avoid mulling over the problems of the world when you talk to them.

Don’t be the voice of doom, rather focus on general topics. You’ll be doing yourself and them a favour.

If you experience overwhelming thoughts of helplessness and despair, get in touch with a religious minister or social worker or call Lifeline on 0861 322 322. Don’t become another statistic. Now more than ever you need to guard your mental as well as physical health.