I’m writing this because I suffering a lot since last month. I’m from mainland China. I noticed the news about an unknown virus are spreading. I cannot shut down my internet to seek a moment peace. I began to experience nightmares. Every day I woke up, I worried about the food, water and even the air. I feel unsafe. I start to feel anxious. Then, comes the travel ban, followed with more anxious. The good things is, I’m getting better. I kept myself from the intense news. But I have strong uncertainty about the future, or I may say the real world. I feel unsafe.
Thank you for your question. The situation that you’re in right now is a very stressful one, particularly as there is a lot of uncertainty about what is happening and what will happen in the future.
When experiencing these distressing events, it’s normal for stress levels to continue for a while. Sometimes this includes a sense of being unsafe. Sleep is often affected, as well as the way we feel about the future. Too much exposure to distressing information in the news can also exacerbate the stress response, as this increases our sense of being in danger, even if we are actually safe.
When a stressful event is continuing for a long period of time, the symptoms of stress can often build up. It’s great news that you feel you’re getting better. Limiting exposure to the internet and news can be helpful, as it’s important to be able to have some breaks from receiving distressing information.
It may be helpful to remember that for most people, the effects of stress will continue to reduce with time, and there are some things that you can do that will help you manage this difficult time. Where possible, try to keep to a routine and communicate with supportive friends and family. Engage in activities that you find enjoyable or comforting. Click here to stay up to date on advice from the University on what support and options are available for students who are affected by the travel ban, and click here for some more information on managing stress associated with the Coronavirus (covid-19).