Australians are well versed in the symptoms of COVID-19, but it is less known to assess our mental well-being after weeks of confinement.
Dr. Jennifer Boddy, Griffith’s social work expert, is concerned that as the novelty of our new normal weakens despite relaxing restrictions, a wave of collective fever may arise in the cabin as we experience glimpses of life before the pandemic.
She said that cabin fever was a general term for the feelings we experienced after prolonged isolation.
“It can usually involve feeling bored, frustrated, lonely, anxious, depressed, angry, etc.”
According to Dr. Boddy, losing the ability to control our actions affects our sense of autonomy and increases the likelihood of experiencing cabin fever. Losing a job can also affect our sense of competence that comes from working.
“Decision making about our daily activities is reduced when we are forced to isolate ourselves socially.”
Dr. Boddy says that our cabin fever can be exacerbated by other stressors in our lives.
“If we are experiencing stress, and particularly financial stress as a result of being isolated, that may mean that we experience cabin fever worse than others.”
Lack of access to good quality information about what is happening can also exacerbate our feelings of isolation, but excessive use of social media is not the cure.
“It is really important to use social media wisely and make sure we don’t overdo it.” We must also be careful with the sources of information that we access ”.
He said that using social media to connect with friends and family helps reduce our feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Dr. Boddy says that the most important thing we can do to survive the demands of social distancing from the COVID-19 pandemic is to maintain a routine and practice self-care.
“Keep the structure in your day, if we continue working, it is easier to do, but even for people who are no longer employed, it is very important to maintain the structure and routine in their day.”
“Maintaining structure and routine in your day is very important.”
Tips for surviving the pandemic
- Maintain a routine
- Take a little sun
- Keep a diary
- Listen to music
- Focus on projects
- Connect and reflect with others
- Consider the challenges for others.
See the new normal with Dr. Jennifer Boddy