At the beginning of 2020, none of us had the slightest of an idea that the entire world will shut down, and there will be a life-threatening virus out there. The fear of the new disease, the anxiety about its intensity, and the overwhelming number of infections rising every day put people through a colossal emotional turmoil. All these points towards the rising need for awareness about mental health and a powerful coping mechanism. While taking care of your physical health, it is equally important to take care of your mental health during COVID-19.
During this pandemic, you may experience the following:
- Fear of the virus and the unavailability of the corresponding medication
- Fear of losing loved ones
- Stress and unreadiness for upcoming financial losses and crises
- The guilt of being unproductive
- Irritation because of changed routine and disturbed sleep.
Firstly it is crucial to understand that it is normal to experience these emotions. The visible strain on the health-care system and the possible shortage of facilities can instigate stress and anxiety. Furthermore, the loss of jobs and the depreciating economy can increase the pressure on oneself. But amidst this, you can try new things, experiment with your skill, and you might find your novel strengths to cope with the same.
Also, some people are more vulnerable than others. They include the financially weaker ones, the one with chronic health problems, one already going through a mental issue, or the one directly exposed to the infection. These groups need to be the prime focus of psychological and psychosocial efforts. The support of loved ones and the community altogether can help them deal with the mental strain in a much effective way.
Being locked-down in the house, being away from our loved ones, unable to do things you enjoy doing outside, the lack of new ideas, inspiration, and motivation, etc. is responsible for stress, anxiety, confusion, and even depression. One might feel helpless, unheard, and useless. While in such thoughts, it is one’s responsibility to address them and not ignore them. After all, acceptance is the first step in dealing with mental disorders.
What can you do for your mental health during COVID-19
1. Have a routine
Make a schedule for yourself. It will give you a sense of self-compliance and responsibility. It will increase your productivity and also improve your health.
2. Do some indoor exercise
Exercise is found to reduce anxiety, depression, and negative mood by improving self-esteem. It reduces stress and increases mental alertness. Breathing exercises bring calmness and also improves lung functioning.
3. Practice self-care
Do meditation for a few minutes per day. It helps in coping with symptoms associated with mental disorders like anxiety and depression. Also, writing down what you feel helps to reduce the traffic of thoughts.
4. Get a hobby
Learning something new will make you productive and alert. Doing something your love will keep the negative thoughts out of your head and allow you to focus on the positive side.
5. Don’t let social media fool you
While social media is a great platform to connect with people or raise awareness on important issues, they can be manipulative. They can make you feel insecure about your life and achievements. If you are alone it the lockdown and you see someone on social media enjoying with their family, you might feel lonely or left out. Remember that you are not alone and are worthy.
6. Keep communication
Keep in contact with your loved ones. Call or message your friends once in a while. Keep in touch with your community. It will keep you engaged and aware of what is going on.
7. Seek professional help
The best way to deal with mental disorders in seeking professional help. If you ever question whether it’s worth living or have even acute suicidal thoughts, reach out to a professional.
8. Be a helping hand
Privilege gives you the power to help the people in need. Help someone poor or weaker. Try to help the medical caregivers abiding the rules of social distancing.
In the end, remember you are a human too. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Reach out to people even if it’s hard. Take care of your mental health during COVID-19 Remember that this too shall pass.