Dealing with the impact of Covid-19

  • Time to chill: yoga classes can help you cope with stress (File photograph)

There is not one of us who will escape the impact of the coronavirus — whether it is mentally, physically, emotionally or financially.

Businesses are closing, people are working from home, schools are closing, banks are offering economic relief. In light of all of the stress that Covid-19 is causing, we must remember to practise good self-care.

Overindulgence in food and alcohol is so easy to do during times such as this. Let’s face it, we are all looking for a way of escape from the unpleasant reality that has been forced upon us. However, we can’t let Covid-19 win — directly or indirectly — by indulging in self-destructive behaviours.

So, I am encouraging you to do the following:

• Social media is both a blessing and a curse. Give yourself a break from it. Saturating yourself with true and untrue statements about the pandemic are upsetting

• Your body is your temple, so take care of it. Go for a walk. Eat healthy, balanced meals. Get plenty of sleep. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. If you can, avoid overindulgence in alcohol and drugs

• Unwind in a way that feels good to you. Participate in activities you enjoy while maintaining social-distancing

• Use technology in a positive way. Now is the time to connect with friends and family. Share your concerns and your feelings with people you trust and feel safe with

• There are all kinds of free yoga and exercise classes online. Take advantage of them. Get children involved

• Journal. Even amid all of this, write down one thing a day that you are grateful for. You would be surprised at the good that you do have

The spread of the coronavirus is something we cannot stop. But we can get through these challenging times by understanding that it is temporary, and while we go through this test, we have to take care of ourselves.

• Ben Smith is the Shadow Minister of Youth, Sport and Social Development, and the Opposition MP for Southampton West Central (Constituency 31)