Why This Phase Of The Pandemic Is Still Affecting You Emotionally

By Sarah Hannan

Why This Phase Of The Pandemic Is Still Affecting You Emotionally

October 14th, 2021 at 9:12 am

Malaysia’s Health Authorities have fully vaccinated 90% of its adult population against Covid-19 and has relaxed movement control orders for fully vaccinated people – giving them the opportunity for outbound international and interstate travel. This allows us to look forward to returning to some semblance of normalcy.


While people are optimistic about returning to normalcy, this seems to make us feel more anxious.  We have begun to question what would happen next. Would the movement control orders be imposed again? Would a more virulent variant of Covid-19 get introduced to the country? Would I feel overwhelmed when I start socialising?


Many had been very optimistic when the vaccination rollout for Covid-19 reached a record number of persons in the population, presuming that the world could return to some form of normalcy soon after most were vaccinated. Yet when the world faced the impact of the Delta variant, this sentiment soon changed. Many reported experiencing a spike in anxiety and depression that triggered their yearning to change something about their lives.


According to Social Psychologist, author and faculty member of Harvard Business School executive education program, Amy Cuddy and author JillEllyn Riley, people are experiencing what they refer to as ‘pandemic flux syndrome’.


With the fluctuating status of the pandemic and having no sight of a timeframe that the pandemic would end; the emotions that people are cycling through, need to be closely examined. Centre for Human Development Director and Clinician Katelyn Merz said that when examining these emotions, many factors were to be considered and renewing the sense of hope and motivation among people was important.


Adding that, although many of us feel as if we are getting back to some form of normalcy, it is not going to feel that way. When the public healthcare guidelines keep changing to adapt preventive measures as the pandemic fluctuates, that uncertainty and instability can drive anxiety and depression in a person.


Merz suggest the following tips to navigate pandemic flux syndrome:

Set boundaries – As your life and comfort zones shift, it is important to have a good understanding of your boundaries as well. Do not overcomplicate or overwhelm yourself over what situations you are getting exposed to. Do what makes you feel comfortable.

Take control of your wellness – With adapting to working from home or virtual learning, we often tend to overlook our physical and mental well-being. To maintain the overall personal well-being, one has to make sure to get an adequate amount of sleep and maintain a balanced diet.

Refrain from making impulsive decisions – Pandemic flux can push you to make drastic changes in your life. While change is considered to be positive, it is also better to take a step back and reconsider your decisions.

Seek support – You are not the only person who is feeling this way. Reach out to your support system; friends and family. Discuss with them what you are going through. You must realise others feel the same.

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