Freeman Cebu Business

Taking care of our minds

BUSINESS AFTER BUSINESS - Romelinda Garces - The Freeman

The effects of COVID 19 have taken toll on everyone. Business has plummeted. People have lost jobs. Families have lost loved ones. Those who have survived the agony of the disease may have to deal with the trauma of a near-death experience and be in trepidation because the entry of the virus in the system does not guaranty immunity for life.

Others may have suffered discrimination on the onset of the disease in the country.  I recall in our neighborhood, when a case incurred, the poor affected family was bashed on facebook as if it were their choice. I understand that sometimes we react in such nefarious ways because we panic. Although there is no excuse for being rude when someone is actually suffering, the instinct to preserve one’s self  makes hackles rise sometimes when we feel threatened.

When you really think about it, a lot of the effects of COVID are psychological. When we hear that someone has tested positive in our environs, we begin to check ourselves and the hypochondriac in us takes over. We feel the symptoms, they manifest in our bodies, so we line up for the swab and when tested negative, that is the only time we heave a sigh of relief.

My doctor, Dr. Rey Mondejar, an immunologist and known advocate for the use of virgin coconut oil (VCO) for the treatment and prevention of COVID infection told me in our first meeting that most of the patients he has treated for the disease actually are not sick but are just anxious.  It is important to take care of our mental health. 

We often take the state of our mind for granted. Denying the need to give attention to keeping our minds healthy because we think that if we give worry, stress, anxiety and fear thought, then we are on the road to doom. Which is the entire opposite. We have to acknowledge our weakness and deal with it.

Many authors on mental health agree that we have to confront what worries us so that we do not overthink. Overthinking is a reaction of anxiety which leads to more anxiety.

In an article by Sara Lindberg on “9 Things to Do If You Feel Anxious” published in verywellmind.com, the very first thing to battle anxiety is to acknowledge it and accept the fact that some things are beyond our control. We have to put our fears into perspective and ask ourselves if what we are afraid of is real or imaginary. 

The effect of COVID has brought in more imaginary ailments rather than the real ones.  Our paranoia has risen to levels leading to depression. Because of the many restrictions and the flood of literature we read on the net, we feel we are confronted with a greater Goliath thank what David could slay.

When our imagination takes us to that dark road, we have to interrupt them. Negative thoughts breed negative feelings and they feed our bodies with toxins. We have to divert our minds and take a break from dwelling on what will add to our fears. 

When the load seems to get heavy at work, or at home, by that I mean when we move into the unnecessary worry zone, we have to take a break. We need to take care of our thoughts.  As Sara Linberg suggests, we do a “worry break”.

In our culture this may not be so difficult as we can easily call a friend for “laugh moments”, picking up on light topics and fun activities. Getting into hobbies that occupy us is also a good option as it is productive aside from relaxing.

Some go into yoga and breathing exercises. Others engage in physical workouts, hiking, biking and trekking. For those who work from home, taking short walks would be helpful to prevent cabin fever. 

It would be wonderful to do things we like to do and have often postponed. Writing, painting, singing, sewing, reading, whatever. We have to stir in the joy as we take care of our thoughts. Then, when we go back to where we were when we got anxious, we may find out it was nothing after all.

As the Bible says, “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God” Philippians 4:6. Take care everyone.

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