Please see some tips from ACAS Health Promotion Team

Tips for Stress Management
to manage stress and your mental health during self isolation:

 Accept that some anxiety and fear is normal
COVID-19 is a new virus and we are still learning about it. The uncertainty about the virus and the changes that are unfolding can make most people feel a bit anxious. Anxiety is normal and natural, it can help motivate us to take action to protect ourselves and others, and to learn more about the pandemic. Anxiety motivates us to assess the potential dangers to ourselves or loved ones and to take the necessary steps to assure safety.

Find a balance: Know what is going on, but know when to take a break
While staying informed is helpful, having information overload will not provide extra benefit. Limit checking sources to once per day or set a limit that is right for you. This includes reading or listening to news stories about COVID-19. Even though things are shifting rapidly, daily changes are not likely to affect how you should manage your risk.

How to deal with self isolation:
Being isolated can be very lonely. Remember though to continue to isolate from your friends and family, to ensure the virus does not spread to others.
People placed in quarantine or self-isolation may experience a wide range of feelings, including fear, anger, sadness, irritability, guilt or confusion. They may find it hard to sleep. Some people might feel relieved. Humans are social creatures and need connection to others to thrive, which can make isolation challenging. The following suggestions may help you through this challenging time:

Keep busy
Create and stick to a schedule for work, leisure, chores, meals, physical activity and sleep. It is important to maintain some sort of routine, however if you find yourself straying from a strict routine/schedule it is ok and understandable. When you have strayed away from your routine, be kind to yourself and re-adjust slowly to try to get back on track. Try to catch up on other tasks or projects at home. Do things that you normally love to do (e.g., crosswords, puzzles, knitting, reading, TV shows, listening to music, yoga). Things that you find relaxing and you enjoy.

Social interaction
Think of ways to stay connected to other people – by videoconference, phone, chat or text. Talking to others and sharing how you are feeling is important. So is asking for help when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Take advantage of on-line opportunities to participate in singing, chatting, game-playing, all usually free of charge or for a small donation. (eg. Choir! Choir! Choir!’s “Distan-cing-along” that takes place on Facebook and YouTube every Saturday at 3 p.m. which can be found here.

As much as is possible, prepare healthy meals and drink lots of water. If possible, stay physically active: go online to find exercises you can do at home with no equipment. Practise relaxation or meditation, deep meditative breathing can help greatly in managing stress. (Try “4-square breathing”: close your eyes and breathe in slowly over the count of 4, then hold the breath for a count of 4, and breathe out for a count of 4 (or more), then hold again for a count of 4; repeat for as long as it takes to feel calm and relaxed, or about 5 minutes minimum).

Prepare ahead
Stock up on groceries and supplies ahead of time if possible, including dried pasta, rice, canned foods, hygiene products, medications and toiletries. Plan ahead with family or friends to get additional food and supplies if you are quarantined. Use delivery services to order groceries. Your local grocery store may offer this service.  if they can deliver medications you need, or plan ahead to make sure you have enough medication to last through your quarantine. Keep a list of important numbers, including your doctor, public health, pharmacy and hospital.

Remember that you are resilient and be careful with asking the “What ifs”
Our stress and anxiety generally cause us to focus on negatives and trigger “What if” questions, such as “How will I cope if I get sick?” or “How will I get through this self-isolation?” They can also drive us to think about worst case scenarios.

In stressful situations, people often overestimate how bad the situation can get, but underestimate how well they will be able to cope. Our minds are primed to think of the worst-case scenario first, these thoughts can often overshadow positive ones during stressful times. However, people are resilient and have coping skills they use every day.  (For example,join our first Zoom Health talk with our very own Acupuntrist De. Connie Chung on May 08,and May 14 for our Medical Cannopies educational workshop with Dr. Kim Lam  which is a nice way to connect with your peers and gaining information in your comfortable home.   this kind of space can provide you with the support you need to be able to focus on the positive in a trying time
Think of difficult or challenging situations you have encountered that you were able to manage. Even if things weren’t perfect, what did you do to cope with the situation? Remind yourself that you can handle stress and that if you feel you need support, you can reach out to family, friends, colleagues or professionals.  This is the best time for you to pick up your phone to call your peers to check in with each others which in a long run we hope our ACAS community will be tighter and stronger.  Remember our collective societal efforts – from excellent health care and public health response systems to strong and resilient communities. Try to replace and reframe catastrophic thoughts with something like, “This is definitely a difficult time, but we will get through it together.” Don’t underestimate what you are able to do when faced with challenges.

Lastly I have 3 PPP for you …have patience, positivity and perseverance .

See you many of you at the Zoommmosphere in May.


In Warmth,

Kenneth Poon

Health Promotion Coordinator