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Everyone seems to be talking about the same thing right now, the pandemic of COVID -19. It is understandable that with all the media coverage this is getting, people are on high alert. Some of our loved ones might be going through a tough time because of this, with anxiety levels reaching their peak. Everyone’s reaction to a stressful situation of this kind is different, and not everyone can manage to keep themselves calm. 

People who may already be struggling with mental health issues, or have some debilitating physical condition, may have a stronger negative response to the crisis (“Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)”, 2020). Seeing our loved ones so worried and struggling to cope at this time can start to worry us as well. But there are ways that we can make it easier for them.

What if your partner is feeling overwhelmed and is finding it hard to cope?  Your partner may be worrying about any of their loved ones possibly getting infected, or that they might lose their job because of the crisis, struggle financially or even have to face the death of someone they know and love. All this includes also the fear that they themselves might get infected with the virus if they aren’t careful.

If your partner is struggling with anxiety during this stressful time of uncertainty, here are a few things that you can do to ease their worries and help them feel reassured:

–  Make sure that both of you are taking the correct precautionary measures to stay safe, such as washing your hands regularly , using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and coughing and sneezing into your elbows or a tissue (Rational use of personal protective equipment for coronavirus disease 2019, 2020).

– Practice social distancing as a couple. This means that you limit your exposure to places where there tends to be a lot of people in a small space such as public transport, parties etc. (“Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)”, 2020).

– Try to encourage your partner to limit their exposure to the media at this time, be it TV, social networks and the radio. This is not to mean you should not stay informed, but limiting exposure can help to calm the mind and limit the amount of negative news one hears on a daily basis (“Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)”, 2020).

– Spend time together doing something you both love to relieve stress and keep your partner’s mind off what is going on. You can cook a meal together, go for a walk in an open-area, watch a comedy to lighten the mood, and many other activities you can do as a couple.



– Remind your partner of the importance of self-care, both physically and mentally. Exercising, eating well, and getting enough sleep are all important aspects of self-care that should be maintained throughout the present situation, even if one finds themselves in quarantine.

– Be there to support your partner and allow them to open up to you about their concerns and worry. Be a listening ear and make sure that they feel they are not alone in this.

References:

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Retrieved 13 March 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/coping.html.

World Health Organization. (2020). Rational use of personal protective equipment for coronavirus disease 2019 [Ebook] (p. 1). Retrieved 13 March 2020, from https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/infection-prevention-and-control.

Becky Faenza is one of the Triage Officers that form part of the Triage Team with Willingness. She is a University graduate, with a B.A Degree in Philosophy and Psychology, and also a Higher Diploma in Psychology (H.DIP).