Pandemics can be stressful and there’s no doubt in it. Changes in the entire living style, social distancing, unemployment, fear, and anxiety of losing your loved one can cause severe mental health problems.
By keeping your mental health stable you can play your part in building a healthy and stronger community.
Mental health is important for overall well-being. It affects how we spend our routine life, how we think, how we react in an emergency, and how we make choices. The way we cope up with mental stress is also related to mental health.
Public emergencies and pandemics are rare, but they may affect both individuals and society badly. From confusion and stigma to economic loss and inadequate health services, there’s a long list that can translate these effects to a range of emotional reactions.
Medical emergencies, pandemics, and other traumas hit everyone differently. Some people are resilient and they find new strengths. But others may encounter depression, stress, anxiety, and other mental health-related issues.
People with prior psychotic issues, healthcare providers, and people who contract the disease are more vulnerable to psychosocial outcomes.
Since every individual reacts on worries and troublesome things differently. Similarly, everyone approaches different strategies to cope up with their mental stress. We observe many people surrounding us increase the number of drugs and tobacco to get relief. That affects their health in another way.
It’s normal to be worried when you have a pandemic hit. It’s normal to worry if you lose your job. And it’s totally normal to worry when someone you love encounters the disease.
Though we know, getting worried and stressed over things is in human nature, yet we can’t help ourselves getting conscious about the recent situation.
Mental health experts recommend some tips and strategies one should follow while staying at home to remain mentally stable.
Know the Facts
Knowing the facts about the pandemic can make the outbreak less stressful. Get the facts from reliable and authorized sources only. Stay away from rumors and false potential treatments of the new coronavirus.
If you or anyone you know contracts the virus, consult the registered healthcare practitioners online, and follow the instructions.
Know Where and How to Get Treatment
Note down all the emergency numbers on sticky notes and paste them at some easily noticeable place. Gather contact information of the hospitals, support services, and counseling or therapy services, in person, or via telehealth services.
Make a Routine
You should maintain your daily routine even if you must stay at home.
Wake up and go to bed at the same time daily. Take your meals on time and don’t skip any of your meals.
Set flexible hours of working if you are working from home. Take small breaks and little stretches during work.
Limit the News Feeds
Getting informed and being overly concerned about something are two opposite things. Give yourself a break from watching the news feed over and over. Try to limit the times you seek information, once or twice a day.
Also, keep yourself away from the news that makes you feel anxious or disturbs you.
Take Care of your Physical Health
To remain mentally and physically fit, it’s far more than important to take care of your health. As discussed above, make a routine and don’t skip meals. Apart from these, learn simple and easy exercises that you can do at home.
Eat healthy food and maintain your hygiene. Avoid junk, canned, processed, or unhealthy food. Take plenty of sleep.
Take Care of your Mental Health
It’s natural to feel grief, sorrow, anxiety, and stress. Know and accept your feelings. Plus, notice the changes in your feelings. Discuss your feeling with some of your close friends or family members. Sharing your fear will help you to get stable mental health.
Self-care during the pandemic will help you to think clearly and to react to any emergency accordingly. Taking care of your mental health will help your long term healing.
If you have preexisting mental health conditions, you should continue your treatment. Call your health care provider immediately if you feel any new or worsen symptoms.
While social distancing is the need of the hour, stay connected with friends, and community through online channels. Use online platforms, telephone, or mail to stay connected.
Share and promote healthy content. If you see any inappropriate news or rumor about the pandemic on social media correct the rumor in a gentle way without arguing.
Do Activities that de-stress you
Take out some time to unwind. Do some healthy activities with your family members or individually. Try to find things of common interest.
Play, draw, dance, sing, cook, or bake. Do whatever that de-stress you and relax you.
Try to involve your adults and kids too, to create a healthy quarantine time.
At times like this, when everything becomes uncertain, try to do little act of kindness. Be productive and kind towards society.
Know if there’s an elderly person or some needy family who needs your assistance. Notice if someone near you is having mental health problems or if someone gets recently unemployed. Be friends with them, help them out.
Respect the affected patients, healthcare providers, and all the front-liners. Cooperate with the officials and listen and follow the instructions.
When to Seek Professional Help?
- Upsetting thoughts, images
- Nightmare or difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
- Changes in appetite
- Feeling anger, short temper, disbelief, fear or anxiety
- Physical health declines such as headaches, body pain, stomachs, and skin problems.
If you feel unable to carry your routine life or feel above symptoms for several days in a row, seek professional help immediately.