Dr Nimota Buhari, Department of Behavioural Sciences, University of Ilorin (Unilorin), has cautioned people to beware of online exposure risks, from going online more to deal with stay at home directives.
Buhari, who gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Ilorin explained that people might be vulnerable to online exploitation.
According to the expert, the time spent by children and youths online may worsen and lead to social media addiction.
She also warned that some youths could resort to substance abuse as a coping strategy especially among risked groups.
The don, who taught in the Faculty of Clinical Science of Unilorin, also observed that people might experience depressive symptoms such as helplessness, hopelessness, pathological guilt, selective abstraction and catastrophic thinking.
Others, she said, included sleep changes, disruption of exercise and unable to go the gym, anxiety and fear of uncertainties due to loneliness or unable to visit counsellors and therapists face to face.
The expert in human behaviour pointed out that it was normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared and angry during crisis.
She however advised people to talk to loved ones, contact friends and family members, and also maintain healthy lifestyles such as proper diet, sleep, exercise and social contacts with loved ones through emails and phones.
Buhari however warned against using smoking, alcohol or other drugs to deal with emotions at this trying times of COVID- 19 pandemic, adding that if you feel overwhelmed, talk to health workers or counsellors.
She also observed that parents needed to be sensitive to their children at this time by responding to their children reactions in a supportive way.
“Listen to the children’s concerns and give them extra love and attention as children need adults love and attention during trying times,” she said.
Besides, the expert advised parents to create opportunities for children to play and relax, while also providing facts of what was happening and give them clear information and how to reduce their risks of contacting COVID- 19.
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