‘’Stuck indoors, worried about an uncertain future, concerned for your family or friends”…The global pandemic has become a stressful situation for almost everyone out there. Many advisories on precautionary measures are being offered right now about how to keep yourself physically healthy during the coronavirus pandemic,such as washing your hands, and practicing social distancing.
However, managing mental health at this juncture is also equally important to your overall well-being. Therefore, in this ongoing unprecedented time, taking steps to address your psychological well-being is very important. If you’re not proactive about taking care of your mind and emotions during this time, you may notice a decline in mental health.
Before getting onto the ways to cope up with the mental health, first let us understand how and why coronavirus is impacting your mental health.
Fear of catching the virus is the first reason for mental stress during the outbreak. Other big reason is thinking about how to manage the bills and dealing with variety of practical problems from figuring out childcare issues to determining how to keep your small business afloat, all these things will certainly put you under stress.
2. DISTURBED ROUTINES
We had a perfect routine every day before this lockdown. But as the outbreak has forced us to change the schedule and structure of our daily life, we have been put under much stress. No matter where you live, your routine has been disrupted in some way or the other.
3. LACK OF SOCIAL CONTACT
The most important preventive step that is mandatory to follow is ‘social distancing’ to avoid the virus attack. While some are separated from family members and co-workers. Others live alone and aren’t able to see anyone which can cause lonliness. Since social interaction is vital for good mental health, less contact can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety.
4. CABIN FEVER AND ANXIETY
As everyone are staying inside amid lockdown, it can cause you to feel a bit restless. For some people it causes anxiety. For others staying indoors causes boredom. If you don’t focus on these emotions, they can lead to a decline in mental health.
5. DECREASED PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
To support social distancing, all gyms across the world have been shut down. For many of us, working out was one of the way for staying fit and healthy. And now as the physical activity is reduced, it may lead more depression and anxiety.
Some warning signs that might indicate a decline in your mental health are changes in mood, changes in sleep cycles, changes in appetite or weight and difficulty in concentrating.
Ways to Manage Your Mental Health:
1. Maintain Social Connections
Even when you can’t physically be around people, you can still remain connected to your loved one’s. You may find solace in connecting with your friends, family and even strangers.
2. Get Physically Active
Though the gyms are closed, you can find plenty of at-home workout programs that will help you stay active. There are many free apps, videos, and fitness communities that can help you exercise if you don’t have any equipment. Incooperate the workout session for atleast an hour in your daily routine will help you to stay physically as well as mentally fit.
3. Be Positive
These are just uncertain times, they will fade away. Although things may feel really stressful right now, the pandemic won’t last forever. So try to keep the big picture in mind.
4. Proper Media Consumption
It is ofcourse important to stay informed about the present scenario of coronavirus. But consuming the content constantly can lead you to distress. The media continuously reports on new cases of the virus and talks about death tolls which can greatly affect your psychological well-being. So, try to watch the decent media channels and only once or twice in day.
5. Practice Healthy Coping Skills
Though you dont have access to many of the coping techniques that typically help you handle stress like going to the gym or having coffee with a friend, you can choose other options. You can explore new skills like painting, writing or cooking. These types of strategies can give you solace and help you in killing the quarantine time.
Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone who is also a mental health activist recently announced that she will be teaming up with Dr Tedros, director-general of World Health Organization (WHO) to discuss the importance of mental health amidst the Coronavirus crises. She will be going live with Dr Tedros on April 23rd at 7 pm IST.
CONCLUSION: Always make your mental health your first priority times of high stress and uncertainty!