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How to deal with lockdown stress

With stress and anxiety levels increasing due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, social workers from the Department of Social Development share some tips on how to cope.

I am starting to get cabin flu, what can I do?

This feeling can be expected, especially for those who would be active under normal circumstances.

Physical exercise can relieve boredom and keeps one healthy. You can also read or watch television programmes that are not related to COVID-19.

Researching and being knowledgeable about COVID-19 is also important. Try to understand the importance of the regulations and why adherence is key to flattening the curve.

I am a single mother and my children are starting to stress me out. How can I keep them entertained and myself sane?

It might be difficult to pay more attention to your kids, especially if their schoolwork was usually left to educators or tutors. However, this might be a fulfilling process for you as you will get direct feedback on how your kids might be improving.

Assign house chores to your kids to create a culture of responsibility; take your children outside the house, when it is safe to do so, to play in a yard.

Finding common ground could be the key.

I’m getting tired of all the house chores and it is creating a problem between my husband and I. How can I share the chores?

Improved communication is of great importance as there should be a mutual understanding between you and your husband.

Communicate the need for the family to work as a team - especially when both of you are at home.

I’ve noticed that my teenager is becoming more withdrawn. How do I get her to open up?

Your child's mental health is crucial at this point. It’s important to engage your child in the activities that she enjoys and encourage the culture of talking as a family.

You need to sit down with your teenager to find out what is bothering them and deal with their concerns positively.

Start a discussion about your perception of the lockdown and let your teenager know that you are there to listen. Assure them that you won’t judge her and won’t force them to discuss anything until their ready.

My partner has been abusive since the lockdown. What can I do?

Abuse comes in different forms, but no form of abuse should be tolerated as it can escalate.

It is critical to seek help immediately. This can be difficult in lockdown, as the perpetrator lives with you.

Remain calm in the presence of an abuser and refrain from alerting the perpetrator that you are seeking help. If you have access to a cellphone and are able to go alone to the shops to purchase essential goods, use the opportunity to contact the Gender-based Violence Command Centre (GBVCC).

Contact the GBVCC toll-free at 0800 428 428, SMS ‘Help’ to 31531, send a USSD (Please Call Me) to *120* 7867# or add ‘Helpme GBV’ to your Skype contacts. The Skype facility enables deaf clients communicate via sign language. You can also visit www.gbv.org.za.