With the raft of changes occurring around us due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are anxious and worried about the future.
You have been pushed to conduct more business online and you still have fears about the security of those transactions. Your children’s education has been thwarted and you are concerned about the security of your job.
Dr Joy Sue, a consultant psychiatrist, says those fears and concerns about the rapid changes occasioned by the pandemic are normal.
Accepting that you have no control over the future is key and Dr Sue’s advice is to seek to be flexible about your expectations.
“As much as we would like to think that we are in control of all aspects of our lives, the truth is that even before COVID-19, we were not,” she told COVID Weekly.
She added: “Persons who are more flexible in their personalities and persons who will accept change more readily, are the ones who will be more resilient, and who can deal with these changes.
“If you have a rigid idea in your head that a particular thing must happen by a particular time, when it does not occur, you are more likely to experience anxiety. If you are more flexible and say to yourself, ‘I would like it to happen, but I know that things may happen that might delay it’, you can plan for that too.”
The psychiatrist lives by the maxim that as long as there is life, there is hope.
“People should maintain a hopeful outlook. I know things might look gloomy now. But there are always positives that you can find in any situation, if you are looking for them.
“Also, it is a matter of perception – how you choose to look at things. Some may see doom and gloom and others may see opportunities.”
When it comes to the deluge of information on the COVID-19 pandemic on news feeds, social media, television and radio, Dr Sue’s advice is to take a break sometimes.
Furthermore, she urges people to get their information from reliable sources and not rely solely on postings from YouTube and Facebook, that are often not verified, and some are highly questionable.
This article appears in the March 8 edition of COVID Weekly. Read the full publication here.