As Singapore enters the Circuit Breaker period gets extended to June 1 and news of economic downturn floods the mainstream media, anxiety remains high among Singaporeans.
Recent reports have shown that more people have been calling into mental health organisations and counsellors to express their concern about their health, the economic fallout and their general anxiety regarding job security during the COVID-19.
It’s OK to be anxious. However, in this time of uncertainty, taking care of your mental health is one of the most important things you can do for yourself right now. To help you, here are some things you can do if you’re experiencing anxiety and concern with regards to some common fears.
If You’re Anxious About… Your Job Security
In his interview with CNBC, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan shared that he believes the economic impact of the virus will last for at least a year. What’s more, news agencies in Singapore have reported on businesses and employees being affected by the COVID-19 outbreak so it’s unsurprising that more and more people are growing nervous about keeping their jobs.
If you’re one of those people, here are a couple of things you can do:
A. Start Saving
If you’re still employed and are receiving your monthly pay, consider saving a bit more in the next few months. Ideally, you’ll want to have enough reserves to last you for at least three months, but any amount of savings is better than none.
B. Cut Out Unnecessary Spending
Right now is a great time to reevaluate your spending habits. Find out how much you’re spending on unnecessary items and see how you can save a few bucks.
C. Find Out If You Qualify For Help
As part of their COVID-19 relief plan, the government has issued the Solidarity Budget to help support workers and protect the livelihoods of many. There are several financial assistance schemes that cater to those who have recently been retrenched, who need temporary relief and even help for freelancers. Read more about it here.
D. Polish Your Resume
We know it’s hard to get a job right now and a lot of companies might currently be on a hiring freeze but, updating your resume and polishing it with a new look could make you feel better about your accomplishments thus far. You’ll also be able to send out resumes immediately should you get retrenched or are looking for a new job.
If You’re Anxious About… Contracting The Virus Or A Loved One Contracting The Virus
In April, The Straits Times reported that a 55-year-old housewife barely left the house and was so fearful of contracting the virus that she made her three children stand a few metres away from her even in their home.
If you’re dealing with the anxiety of possibility contracting the virus, here are some things you can to help ease your mind:
A. Focus On Your Personal Hygiene
To help ease your anxiety, try and focus on things you can control. Follow safe-distancing rules and abide by the policies issued by the government when you’re out buying groceries or food. Remember to wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds and maintain a general sense of good hygiene. Understand that you are doing all you can to take precaution and responsibility for yourself and your loved ones living with you.
B. Set A Time To Read The News
Thanks to the prevalence of social media, we’re constantly bombarded with news about the progression of COVID-19 around the world and how it has affected millions. Even if you’re not on social media, we’re certain you’re in some sort of family group chat where a family member is a serial text forwarder with no filter.
To ease your worries, set a time to read the news and stay away from it once you’re done. Alternatively, opt to read news sites and feeds that make you feel great. We love The Dodo for incredibly aww-inspiring content about animals and The Good News Network for feel-good headliners from around the world.
C. Talk About Other Things With People You’re Isolating With
We know the virus is all everyone can talk about these days. Seriously, all types of small talk these days revolve around the virus. If you want to avoid feeling anxious, consider talking about other topics with the people you live with and spread that sense of positivity with each other.
D. Call Your Friends And Family
If you’re self-isolating or are far away from family and friends, call them. Apps like Houseparty level up the video-calling experience with built-in games so you really have no excuse not to stay connected. Plus, we reckon it’ll make you feel better to see familiar faces!
If You’re Anxious About… Your Lifestyle Now And The Changes In The Future
While we might be creatures of habit, we’re also highly adaptable. With the safe-distancing and work from home measures put in place, we’ve all been made to come up with new routines to work most effectively. That said, we’re all aware of the importance of routine and that feeling of familiarity, so come up with one with the people you live with so you still have that sense of normalcy.
If You’re Anxious About… Not Being Productive During The Quarantine Period
Everywhere you look on social media these days, people are cooking, trying to learn something new or are trying to achieve something during the quarantine period. While that’s a great way to make use of your time, understand that it’s not necessary to compete with other people you see on social media to feel productive while in quarantine. And if you find your productivity dipping when you work from home, even when your colleagues have no problems hitting targets, that’s fine too. Not everyone is wired to deal with stress the same way. Talk to your boss about your performance.