Tuesday, May 26 2020


Social distancing stress hits home

Update: April, 22/2020 - 11:00
A mother instructs her daughter to learn online at home in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tùng

HÀ NỘI — People across Việt Nam are in the midst of social distancing to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and with thousands of people cooped up at home, stress is building.

Nguyễn Tuấn V. 28, of Hà Nội said he felt very stressed with his whole family at home for a long time during social distancing.

“The bad mood has lasted for two weeks and I realised it's because everyone has stayed at home together for too long,” he said.

Staying at home all day made for a suffocating atmosphere, he said.

Nguyễn Thị Thanh T., of Hà Nội, said she had also felt social distancing-induced stress.

“Things are getting worse while I keep shouting at my kids. All people of three generations in my family suddenly have to stay at home together 24 hours a day in a tight space,” she said.

“All of us feel deadlocked,” she told Tiền Phong (Vanguard) online newspaper.

Her parents-in-law and husband often felt annoyed with each other and she even had to take sleeping pills at night, she added.

Nguyễn Nguyệt H., 32, of Hà Nội said she was fed up with cooking and washing dishes all day due to social distancing.

“The feeling that I can't go out to drink a cup of coffee or do yoga at the club, as usual, makes me tired,” she said.

Psychologist Nguyễn Mai Hoa said these were “normal feelings".

Anyone could feel stressed by sudden changes in life, Hoa said.

Prolonged social distancing and the change in daily routine were to blame for the stress, she added.

Unemployment or a loss of income were also factors, she said.


“The best way to control a bad feeling is to accept it. There is no need to resist it because the more we resist it, the stronger it attacks us,” Hoa said.

People suffering from unemployment or income reduction due to the pandemic should stop blaming themselves, she said.

“Anyone in the world could face the same situation, so, try to look on the bright side. Stop blaming yourself. We can get everything back as long as we are alive,” she said.

Associate Professor Nguyễn Phương Mai, a lecturer of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and a neuroscience student at King’s College London, suggested people do exercise at home.

“Exercise for 20 minutes daily at home,” she said.

We should release energy by doing physical activity, she said.

“Climbing stairs, turning the music up and having a dance, if you have the children at home, you should make a game for all the family to play,” she said.

Psychology student Quang Thục Hảo of the University of New South Wales said a thrifty lifestyle was also a solution.

It would help to reduce financial pressure during the pandemic, he said.

Psychologist Bùi Hồng Quân said people should avoid staying up too late and sleeping too much because it would not only affect your health but also your mood. — VNS



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