By Dr. Ronald Chase Psychiatrist
The COVID-19 pandemic exemplifies the unpredictability of life and the uncertainties about the future.
We are faced with unfamiliar stressors and circumstances and it is important we apply healthy coping strategies. The popular remedy for stress in today’s society is to drink some alcohol, smoke some weed and breeze. It is encouraged in a lot of our music, advertisements on television and social media.
The important question is after we have used these substances are our problems solved or any better? The answer is no, but we have spent money we can ill afford to spend at this time. Can we think of rational and realistic solutions to our problems intoxicated? The more we practice using these substances to relax and de-stress the faster we create a habit that we can not control.
We need to think about our relatives who must share the same space with us. When we become intoxicated, we can offer no help to them, and they are forced to put up with our drunken behaviour. We will say our family and friends should accept us for who we are and what we do as what we do. But what if they do accept you for who you are but they see that the things you are doing are destroying you.
Do you want them to smile and reassure you as you walk off the edge of a cliff to your death? Is that how you define family and friendship? Or do you prefer a friend or relative love you enough that they encourage you to be the best you that you can be?
The things or activities that we enjoy and that can de-stress us are varied and highly specific to the individual. Activities such as running, cycling, swimming, playing road tennis, gardening, walking our pets all healthy forms of de-stressing exercise.
Others may be artistic and they may enjoy painting, drawing, photography, listening to music, songwriting, poetry, or dance. Simple family activities such as board games, watching a movie at home with the family, playing with the children are inexpensive, fun and builds healthy family relationships. We are Bajans, we are strong and most of us commonly say “God is a Bajan” because He has spared us so much destruction and He continues to watch over us. We must stay calm, levelheaded, do healthy things we enjoy as regularly as we can. We should rationally think about our circumstances and solutions for the way forward for us as individuals.
The circumstances from the COVID 19 pandemic will not break us but make us stronger.