Opinion: Jane Hetherington – Context is everything

A guide to coping with the restrictions

Jane Hetherington is a town councillor and a mental health specialist who lives in Ramsgate.

During challenging times and periods of uncertainty it can be difficult to know how to approach everyday activities and whether we should be doing things differently.

In order to maintain our own well-being so we can continue to care for others we need to consider a few things:

Firstly, it can be scary hearing about COVID-19 developments in the news. As we know fake news is something that is everywhere, it can make the situation and our own feelings and reactions to it worse.

When it comes to fake news you can follow these steps to help protect yourself falling for it:

Big events of any kind can knock us out of our known and familiar lives. This can lead us to be uncomfortable, confused and uncertain. With COVID-19, it is not just doing this but also limiting our way of life and how we are used to living it.

Our daily expectations have had to change. The way we view the world has been forcibly moved into a place we can predict less easily. Humans are in most part creatures of habit. Habit brings comfort and we have spent a lot of time building the world into one we can predict as much as possible.

Being faced with COVID-19, where events are moving fast, has left people in a state where by our routines and habits are having to change rapidly but we are not sure how to adapt and that can lead to us feeling anxious and worried. This is natural.

It is important to be aware that anxiety can feel like a self-perpetuating cycle of increasing fear but there are some things we can do to interrupt this uncertainty. Trying to keep to as much of a routine as possible will help us all fight these feelings; it won’t get rid of them completely but it is a good start. It will help keep us all going while things continue to develop.

Stay connected with people even if it has to be remotely, get some good sleep, rest where you can, eat well and try to get out and exercise.

This too shall pass and the more you can maintain your normal routines the better you will come through this.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for this.
    When it all began, I was quite depressed, not an emotion I’m familiar with. Oddly enough, it wasn’t C19 so much as the behaviour of my fellow men and women that I found so distressing. The panic buying of 100s of loo rolls, people staggering up the road with hundredweight bags of potatoes and so on. People fighting in shops. I could imagine the breakdown of society.
    But things have settled. Gradually people have adapted to a new pace of life. I could not have imagined, just a few weeks ago, standing in a queue to get into the supermarket, exchanging chit-chat (at a safe distance, of course) with other queuers. A new routine has been established, and we’re settling into it.
    One comfort I have is to contact (and be contacted by) various friends and relations, using Zoom, WhatsApp, phone and so on.
    Stay safe.

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