COVID Anxiety: Taking Care of Yourself as Hong Kong Reopens

COVID-19 Anxiety: How to Take Care of Yourself as Hong Kong Reopens

After two years, the government has finally announced that they’re reopening the borders to non-residents starting May 1. This seems like good news for the economy, but some of us may still not be ready to mingle with more people on the streets.

We’ve all been fearing for our lives on a constant basis since the COVID-19 pandemic started. It’s tiring, but it shouldn’t paralyse us any further. The longer we close our borders, the more businesses are considering to exit the city entirely and do business elsewhere. That’s something we wouldn’t want to happen because Hong Kong is one of the most significant financial hubs in Asia.

The decisions of the government are something we can’t control, but we can manage how we’ll live our lives from now on once the border opens internationally.

Avoid crowds and common leisure spots.

Now thanks to the pandemic, we’ve developed mixed emotions about going out in public. It’s scary to be out there, but at the same time we’re concerned how long we can last just staying at home.

Experts call this re-entry anxiety or that uneasy feeling we have to deal with as we readjust to the new normal. It stems from our desire to control uncertainty — in this case, the people who will enter and roam around the city. Our lives would’ve been easier if we can detect COVID-19 with its known symptoms, but unfortunately, there are people who are asymptomatic and they’re equally scary.

As the border reopens, non-locals will most likely go to the usual tourist spots such as Disneyland, Ocean Park, Victoria Peak, Victoria Harbour, and Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade. Avoid these areas and other places where large crowds might gather. Find a new place to spend your days off. You’re the local, you know where to go better than the people who just arrived.

Hong Kong streets, night market

Set where and when you’ll get your news.

The mere mention of COVID-19 cases can already cause anxiety to some, especially when it’s near their place or when the numbers reach 200 and above. It’s important to stay informed, but limit where you get your information and stick to trustworthy sources.

Hearsays will only cause unnecessary stress. Bookmark the COVID-19 news category of and other government websites like or follow their official social media. For worldwide news, stick to the World Health Organization (WHO) and their COVID-19 dashboard.

Schedule when you think you’re mentally ready to read the news. A lot of us watch or read the news in the morning, but if you think any kind of COVID-19 news will ruin your appetite, you can check updates at a later time. If your anxiety causes you to have sleeping problems, avoid reading COVID-19-related news at night. Set a relaxing routine and make your sleeping area as comfortable as possible.

using laptop on bed

Don’t stop finding ways to cope.

People have different ways to cope. While there’s no guarantee they’re going to be permanent, they can help you keep going even just for a day or week. You’ve survived up to this point, you’ll continue to survive and get through this situation so don’t stop finding ways to cope. Get started on that fitness goal, watch that Netflix drama series, buy those stationery and start a journal — whatever it is, go for it and don’t stress about what others will say. Most importantly, don’t compare yourself.

If browsing social media like Twitter is one of your ways to cope, start muting hashtags, keywords, and phrases so they don’t appear on your timeline. You can also mute accounts of people you follow (don’t worry, they won’t know!) if you think their posts are starting to have a negative effect on you.

smartphone social media apps

Reopening borders and easing strict COVID-19 restrictions are only some of the ways to help our economy bounce back. Don’t overly obsess on the details and stick to what worked for you. As long as you follow health protocols and nobody’s breaking it, tell yourself that you’ll be fine.

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