A pandemic that has absolutely rocked 2020 has led to the largest quarantine in human history. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world are infected, thousands have died. We are facing one of the most difficult and unprecedented challenges in human history. The 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic is an ongoing viral pandemic that has created a sense of danger and hopelessness among people of all nationalities. The pandemic’s impact on health, both physical and mental, business, travel and daily life has been beyond comprehension. With federal governments, health organizations and volunteers trying to reach out and help, we yet have to develop an effective plan to provide support for the most vulnerable communities.
With around 264 million people suffering from some form of mental disorder, the current coronavirus outbreak deepens the existing challenges. The impact of this novel pandemic on our lives is troubling and confusing.
During this time when there is so much focus on our physical health, it is important to not forget about mental health. Now more than ever, we need to focus on our mental health and stay in good condition.
The pandemic is affecting both people with or without a history of a mental health condition. Whereas patients with a prior history of anxiety or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder have found their symptoms exacerbated by the news of COVID-19. People without such an experience are also suddenly having trouble sleeping, concentrating and getting on with their normal day-to-day lives. Many health professionals suggest that uncertainty and feeling of lack of control are the underpinning causes of people’s anxiety. It is like we are waiting for something to happen -something very bad- which feeds further anxiety.
We have compiled here some of the ways to help you in coping with mental health issues during this difficult situation.
- First of all, you need to realize that there is a role for healthy escapism without impacting your mental health. You can occupy yourself with a meaningful engagement such as yoga, reading, and penning down your emotions. You can put technology for good use during this tough time. Face time your family and loved ones, talk to them over the phone. You can even write letters.
- Open your windows and let the fresh air into your room. Air certainly does not carry the virus. Practice deep breathing.
- Patients with a preexisting mental health condition should continue with their treatment and keep an open eye for new symptoms.
- We all are anxious and want to keep ourselves updated with the latest news on the outbreak. However, we need to understand that consuming information via an unauthentic source can lead to an increased level of fear and anxiety. Conflicting or confusing information will exacerbate panic that refrains our health care system from providing treatment for acute respiratory distress and other life-threatening conditions in a dangerous predicament. While on the one hand it is important to consume transparent, science-based communication, it is equally important to limit watching excessive news updates. Hearing about the pandemic on repeat can be upsetting. You can also stay informed without getting overwhelmed.
- Make time to unwind. Take a step back and give yourself some time to process your feelings.
- Think positive- above all, keep reminding yourself that most people who get COVID-19 develop mild symptoms and have a very high recovery rate.
Exercise, stretch and get plenty of sleep as these will relax your mind and body. You have to understand that you can still stay healthy within the confines of your home. You just have to be smart about your practices and change your attitude.