Coping Up With Mental Health During a Pandemic

Coping with mental health during pandemic
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The rapid spread of coronavirus pandemic has instilled  various mental health problems, considerable degree of fear, sad, concern, confused, angry, scared or anxiety among us all. The increasing number of cases, absence of a vaccine, and furthermore, lock downs have created a panicky situation. This outbreak is overwhelming for certain groups especially people with underlying medical or psychiatric conditions, elders, and healthcare providers. 

With lock downs and curfews imposed worldwide, people are staying in social isolation. They do not step out until they need necessities such as food or medical supplies. Working professionals, too, are working from home to prevent the spread of infection. This monotonous and restricting routine can have a toll on the mental health of individuals.

Those with a life-threatening disease are not only battling with the pre-existing medical condition but also, the risk of getting infected. This brings them into a stressful situation, which can worsen their health.

As the number of cases of COVID-19 increases, so does the associated anxiety among people with psychological problems. As new measures and impacts are introduced – especially quarantine and its effects on many people’s usual activities, routines, or livelihoods – levels of loneliness, depression, harmful alcohol, and drug use, and self-harm or suicidal behavior are also expected to rise.

Also, the healthcare providers who are continuously working fear contracting infection themselves and spreading it to their family members. These corona-warriors are at an increased risk of adverse psycho social outcomes.

Improving immunity, taking precautions and maintaining physical health is the utmost priority of all. However, there is now a need to prioritize mental health and well-being as well. To cope with stress, anxiety, and panic, individuals should work towards or take help according to the extent of vulnerability. 

With the lock downs being lifted now, and markets opened, new cases are coming up. Staying updated throughout pandemic is essential. However, the news can be upsetting worrisome at times. In such a situation, take breaks from the distressing content. Be kind to your mind. Avoid situations that can have a toll on your physical health:

 
  • Do not follow or share any sensational news or post which may impact your mental state.
  • Avoid the use of alcohol, drugs and other substances. These tend to reduce immunity and have a negative impact on your mental state.
  • Avoid unhealthy habits of eating fast-food and irregular sleeping patterns. 
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Also, creating a positive environment around is very essential. A healthy and engaging lifestyle routine can help one keep negative thoughts at bay. For instance, at home, people should keep themselves busy:

 
  • Be it household chores, rediscovering hobbies, or taking care of those around, negative emotions should be kept at bay. 
  • Indoor exercise and meditation can contribute to physical and emotional well-being. 
  • Practice a healthy lifestyle – including a balanced diet, sleep and social contacts. 
  • Gather the right information through verified sources to stay updated.
  • Help those in need- elders, people suffering from health conditions, including those affected by coronavirus. Staying in touch with them or bringing them necessary supplies can be quite supportive. 
 

When in Distress:

It is normal to feel anxious with a lot of unfortunate events happening around. But, if such a situation persists for a longer period, affecting the daily routine, it becomes significant to seek help.

  • Staying connected with friends and family members is essential. Communication helps in getting rid of negative feelings of loneliness, panic, and anxiousness. 
  • If feelings of helplessness or hopelessness persist for a longer period, despite your trying to get out of it, seek professional help. 
  • Health helplines can provide support, in addition to the regular taking of prescribed medication, a regular daily routine, keeping engaged and positive. 

All these measures can help one get rid of negative emotions and maintain a calm mindset through this difficult phase. By supporting and helping one another, we can battle this tumultuous period. After all, a positive mind can help weather the worst storms.

 

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