TE24 Life Style Desk:
When Bao Anduon moved from Hong Kong to his native Vietnam in June 2021 (during the Covid-19 pandemic), he didn’t expect his life there to be put on hold. As his isolation spread, he began to suffer psychologically.
“The four-month blockade was extreme,” said Duong, 42, a sportswear industry executive who has lived in Hong Kong for 12 years.
“I couldn’t even leave the house [in Ho Chi Minh City] to buy groceries and groceries. I was always anxious, but my anxiety got worse during the siege. As the epidemic spread, I was worried that I might be going out. Food , and I didn’t know if the sanctions would be more severe.
“To make matters worse, I couldn’t see my family and friends alone. I was stranded and didn’t know when to go home or travel. Life in Vietnam is almost normal now, but Duon says he still has “constant anxiety.”
“I don’t know what’s going to happen next. In the last few years, he’s taught me that life can change in a heartbeat. I’m a little worried about that uncertainty.”
Companies are recovering and countries are not uncommon in such sentiments as employers prepare to welcome international travelers, employers scrap telecommuting policies and prepare to bring employees back to the office.
We may worry about a variety of things (Covid-19 resurgence, future pandemics, returning to work, returning to crowded places) but most of us adapt to our lives. No doubt you can’t wait to use it in the post-pandemic world.
“Anxiety is the fear we feel before doing what we fear, and what many are experiencing now,” says Minal Mahtani, a
Psychologist and CEO and founder of OCD and Anxiety Support Hong Kong.
“The last two years have been painful for everyone. We were all scared when the pandemic started. Little was known about the virus, it was highly contagious and could be deadly. We learned to protect ourselves, and most of us had to. Dramatic lifestyles to avoid getting sick. Change. Will continue to appear. So it’s no wonder that many of us are afraid to lose our vigilance and re-enter society.
Also, I don’t know if this “new normal” involves developing coping skills to help deal with blockages and restrictions. Some of us had to cope with these changes, unemployment and loss of loved ones.
“But now we’re afraid to let go of the process that helped us deal with difficult emotions, because we don’t know what will happen.”
People with anticipatory anxiety are the worst. Imagine a scenario, says Mahtani. You tend to make negative predictions and worry excessively about events, situations or people that need to be addressed in the future.
Everyone can experience anticipatory anxiety, but people with anxiety disorders are more likely to have it.
It is important to address and control anxiety in advance. A Hong Kong-based doctor of psychology says failure to do so can escalate and cause bigger problems. Adrian Lowe.
“Some people may overuse alcohol or drugs because they think they help them manage their emotions, but alcohol or drugs can actually increase anxiety. . . .
“Excessive anxiety can prevent you from rejoining society and interacting with others again, which can lead to loneliness, isolation and even depression.” Ro said.
“In addition, long-term chronic anxiety is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease such as coronary artery disease and stroke and can be expected if you have some form of OCD such as obsessive-compulsive disorder. Anxiety can make your condition worse.”
How can you adapt to life in a new world after an epidemic? Better understand the risks involved before adjusting your behavior. It is not possible to predict what will happen in the coming months, but knowing the facts will help you understand irrational fears.
Next, take a small step to overcome this fear. If you are afraid to attend a social event, try meeting some friends outside. However, take all necessary precautions to protect yourself from Covid-19.
“The worst thing you can do is avoid safe or relatively safe situations, because it reinforces your conditioned belief that something bad will happen. The more you avoid, the more you overcome. It’s harder,” he explains.
When searching for information, stick to a reliable and trustworthy news source. Avoid reading sensational reports on social media. Social media often contains false information that can increase anxiety. Changing this view of current reality helps alleviate anticipatory anxiety.
“Think of it as the end of one era and the beginning of another,” says Sonia Samtani, a Hong Kong clinical hypnotherapist and founder of All About You.
“Who would have thought that we would have to give up our normal lives and adapt to something new? But change is the only constant, and we must accept that life may never be the same again.
“Something to let go of your life before covid-19, you need to know what to replace it with. Accept the changes that are happening and set goals and objectives for the future.
“When setting goals, think about aspects of your life that you can control, such as health, work, and relationships. You will feel optimistic and easier to move forward.”
Everyone at the same time or at the same pace. Be patient with yourself and others and don’t be afraid to set boundaries, as you can’t move forward, Low adds. If it helps relieve anxiety, ask your friends how they plan to adapt.
Duong has become stronger in the last 12 months and adopted a dog. If she had to endure another blockade, she would be better prepared.
“Daily breathwork, meditation and journaling help keep my anxiety under control. I know that the future is uncertain but I’ve spent the last year working through some difficult emotions and I’m hopeful that I’m resilient enough to deal with whatever challenges lie ahead,” she says.