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Mental health and coping during COVID-19

Busie Mjimba - Tuesday, May 19, 2020

A pandemic of this magnitude is likely to lead to feelings of fear, anger, anxiety and confusion. But when we expect things to get better soon, we lose energy and hope when the situation doesn’t change quickly enough.

So how we keep our spirits up and stay motivated, even when there's no definite end in sight?

Author of #StagnationMustFall and motivational speaker, Siphiwe Moyo, recently sat down with the Sunday Sun to share his strategies for staying inspired, productive and hopeful during this time:

1. Face reality

In situations of hopelessness, the best way to cope is face reality head-on. It’s becoming clear now contrary to our initial thoughts, we’re in this for a long haul. I know it sounds a bit counter-intuitive but in difficult situations accepting reality and facing it head-on is a better way to endure hardships.

2. Anticipate obstacles and plan

Anticipate obstacles and plan for them in advance, instead of hoping for the better. You actually become hopeful when you anticipate obstacles. One of the best ways to survive a protracted period of crisis is to anticipate obstacles and plan multiple pathways to overcome them. What are some of the obstacles you are going to face as you try to take your business online or reopen your business? 

3. Improvise

Instead of throwing your hands in the air in despair, look around the house and try to use it to survive. What do you have in your hand? Use it. Do things that make your soul dance. Right now, I’m downloading Daliwonga’s new album and dancing myself happy. We are a resourceful people. We have the ability to maak n plan. Don’t accept your fate, improvise. 

Here are a few more tips to keep yourself sane during this time:

  • Focus on your faith.
  • Have some positive self-talk.
  • Speak to trusted friends.
  • Spend time with loved ones. You need all the happiness you can get in order not to sink into depression.
  • Talk to a mentor or get professional help if possible.
  • Continue to meditate on the mental picture of your goal.
  • Take a break. We don’t want you to get mentally stressed. If you already are, take a break so you don’t sink into depression.
  • When you feel psychologically stable enough, revisit your plans.
  • Engage in activities that make you happy. You need the positive energy.
People handle adversity differently. While some break down, others seek solutions at all costs to salvage or keep alive all that they have struggled to build so far. Remember, adversity forces innovation. Why sit there ‘til you die? Try something new. Risk a bit more. You have nothing to lose. Do it!

We will be hosting an online “Mental Health in the Workplace during Coronavirus Seminar” on 18 June 2020. This one-day online event will give you the opportunity to find out how Discovery, Sasol, ICAS, Momentum (and more) are managing employee mental health during COVID-19 - learn more here.





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