The coronavirus pandemic has been spreading across the world and with it inducing fear, uncertainty, and anxiety amongst a large section of the population – notably, older people, healthcare providers, and people with underlying health conditions.
There is no playbook for how one can deal with a global pandemic – how one should isolate, how hospitals can be prepared, or what we expect when the normal routine resumes. Social distancing and quarantines have led to a feeling of isolation and loneliness amongst many, especially those who live alone or away from their families. Additionally, feelings of anxiety and stress are also quite common. The uncertainty of living through a pandemic has significantly impacted the mental health of the population.
Now, more than ever, effective self-care and mental wellbeing strategies are paramount to the pandemic response. It’s important to be proactive about our own mental wellbeing – so that we can care for our communities and our loved ones while still supporting our own mental health.
Having a self-care strategy in place can help you take care of your mental and physical health. Sticking to a routine can centre your mind and channel your focus into something productive without giving you anxiety.
A sedentary lifestyle can put you at risk for developing chronic conditions. Being physically active will help you be more focussed and calm.
-Get enough sleep
Sleep is the most important factor that contributes towards good mental and physical health. Stick to your daily bedtime routine as much as possible.
Even a workout of 15 minutes can do wonders for your health. Easy exercises such as stretches and walks can help keep you recharged and refreshed. The endorphins released during workouts can help you regulate your stress and anxiety.
-Maintain A Balanced Diet
The food you consume can play a big role in how you feel, mentally and physically. Avoid junk food and limit caffeine as it can aggravate stress.
–Take A Break
It’s important to set some time aside for yourself. Even a few minutes of quiet time can help you feel refreshed and recharged. If you’re working from home, then unplugging from your work for a few minutes is essential to avoid burnout.
Sticking to a routine helps maintain stability and focus. Self-care for mental health tends to be a bit more subjective; different things work for different people. However, during this time of collective uncertainty and isolation, certain actions can do the job just as well.
As new guidelines and policies for social distancing are released, it’s vital to enforce that we’re not emotionally alone. Reach out to your family and friends and come up with ways to stay connected. Video calling and virtual gaming are good stress-busters and can reduce the feeling of isolation and loneliness.
-Stick To A Routine
As much as possible, try to stick to the routine that you had before quarantine. This includes your daily schedule of sleeping, eating, and exercising. Maintaining a regular routine can help you focus on things that you can control.
-Limit Exposure To News
While it’s understandable to want to stay informed and aware about the latest updates on the pandemic, constant exposure to all types of media can heighten anxiety. Instead, consume news from reliable sources and avoid media that sensationalizes emotions.
-Prioritise Your Tasks
With people stuck at home and having a flexible schedule, there are many who are taking up new skills and hobbies. While these activities are recommended to keep yourself busy, don’t become overwhelmed with all you need to achieve. Set small goals everyday and work on achieving them. Rewarding yourself for every task you finish can also boost mental momentum.
Stress and anxiety are normal psychological responses to uncertainty and fear. Everyone reacts differently and it’s okay to feel overwhelmed and take some time to figure out how to deal with these conditions. However, if your anxiety is making your daily life difficult then it might be imperative to ask for help. Consult with a psychologist on TABIIB to seek help.