Table of Contents
The unprecedented human loss and the uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, are testing the psychological resilience of people and pushing many into deeper folds of anxiety, stress and fear across the world, India included. On July 2, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) called upon countries in the south-east Asian region, to pay a greater attention to mental health and suicide prevention.
“Hitting lives and livelihoods, the pandemic is causing fear, anxiety, depression and stress among people. Social distancing, isolation and coping with perpetually evolving and changing information about the virus, has triggered and aggravated existing and pre-existing mental health conditions that call for urgent attention,” said Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO, south-east Asia region.
In such an environment, it is important to guard your mental health, so that your emotional responses to the extreme conditions around you do not cause any imbalance. Small alterations in our daily lives, at a time when most of us are forced to stay at home, can help in achieving this. Listed below are some tips, to maintain mental harmony and dos and don’ts to steer clear of negative emotions.
Avoid long telephone calls
As many of us are working from home, we get plenty of time to stay in touch with our dear ones. This often results in long telephonic calls to family members, friends and relatives. Also, with several work-related calls each day, a long time is spent talking over the phone. This certainly has an adverse impact on our mental and physical health. It may cause headaches, decreased attention, short-temperedness, sleep disorders and depression, mostly among teenagers.
While it is important to be updated on the latest COVID-19 news, minute by minute updates about the virus and its effects, can leave you dejected. It is in your best interest to devote as little time as possible on information collection. Being aware is good but over-consuming negative content is not healthy.
Do not obsess about getting exposed to the virus
While utmost care must be taken to ensure that you are not exposed to the virus, do not become obsessed. Even if you are erring while attempting caution, be calm. Any extreme behavior, including over-cleaning, would only add to the stress level at this time of uncertainty.
Avoid excessive sharing of negative information
Technology has ensured easy access to every detail about the pandemic. We learn what is wrong with the world and then, we often share our feelings with others. This oversharing has a cascading effect. We talk to five people about how terrible we feel and those five people talk to five people each. This is certainly not an effective way to deal with your fears. You are only spreading negative energies all around you.
Help with household chores
There are two reasons why you must help with the daily chores in the house, irrespective of the increase in office work. Not only does this exercise lower the burden of other family members, it also gives you time to bond with them. More importantly, acts like doing the dishes or cleaning the house, are proven to have a calming effect on the human mind. It has been reported that two of the world’s richest people, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, do the dishes every night, precisely for this reason.
Since there is not much physical activity when one is restricted to the house, it is important to maintain an exercise routine, especially if one does not want to put on weight and also to build greater immunity against the virus. Depending on how your body responds, pick a workout regime. This could be weight training, cross-fit, yoga, pilates, aerobics or anything else. Also, do not overdo it.
Watch what you eat
The long lockdown has helped many of us nurture culinary skills. People posting pictures of new delicacies that they prepare on social media, are on the rise. While cooking is certainly a great stress-buster, over-eating or unhealthy eating, will have side effects on your body. To create a balance, try only those recipes that are healthy.
How has the Coronavirus pandemic affected mental health?
According to the WHO, COVID-10 is causing anxiety, fear and depression, as it affects the lives and livelihoods of people.
Where can I check information about COVID-19?
You can check the World Health Organization site at https://covid19.who.int/
How can I stay mentally fit during the lockdown?
Exercise regularly, eat healthy foods and maintain a positive outlook, to stay healthy during the Coronavirus pandemic.