Our lives have been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result of the pandemic, an unprecedented number of people suffer from tension, anxiety, fear, despair, and loneliness. As a result of social isolation, we feel lonely, and the overdose of information, gossip, and disinformation can make one feel as if their life is spinning out of control. Mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, have worsened during these trying times, as observed.
The current Covid-19 pandemic is a global threat that has caused significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. The general public and health professionals are all concerned about mental health difficulties, which are now discussed in great detail. The diagnosis of specific disorders necessitates a defined time frame, i.e., many survivors may suffer from mental illnesses months after being cured, making the situation difficult to identify, which is a stumbling block in identifying mental health difficulties.
To cope with their anxieties, some people have increased their consumption of narcotics. If people with addiction problems develop Covid-19, it may prove fatal for them. People with chronic illnesses such as heart and lung diseases are more likely to experience major side effects from the medicine.
For all of these reasons, learning about self-care and getting the help we need is critical to become more resilient and manage stress healthily. To better understand our mental health and coping skills, let us take a closer look and do our part to keep ourselves safe and sound during these tough times.
Why Is Mental Health Important?
Mental health is a state of well-being in which individuals recognize their abilities, cope with daily life stresses, work productively, and contribute to society as a whole. It is essential at all stages of life, from childhood through adolescence to adulthood, as it impacts how an individual thinks, feels, and acts. Mental health also influences how people deal with stress, interact with others, and make decisions.
Mental health promotion, protection, and restoration can be regarded as a critical concern of individuals, communities, and societies worldwide as our collective and individual ability to think, feel, interact with one another, and earn a living is dependent on our mental health.
What Are Coping Strategies?
According to research, Coping is defined as the process of detecting, evaluating, dealing with, and learning from stressful situations. Coping strategies are the behavioral and psychological techniques people use to master, tolerate, lessen, or limit stressful situations. It can buffer the consequences of stress on mental and physical health and functioning.
Individual characteristics, experiences, and stressful situations determine the benefit of one type of strategy over another. Problem-focused Coping is commonly employed to deal with situations within one's control, and the methods are attempts to ease stressful situations. In contrast, emotion-focused coping strategies involve attempting to control the emotional effects of traumatic situations. People employ both these techniques accordingly to deal with stressful situations.
What Harm Can Stress Cause You?
During the Covid-19 pandemic, it is natural to experience tension, anxiety, grief, and worry, which can cause changes in appetite, energy, desires, and interests. People suffering from chronic stress may experience fear, rage, sadness, concern, numbness, or frustration. They may also have difficulties concentrating on their daily life tasks, making decisions, and sleeping, leading to nightmares and worsening of chronic health problems.
Headaches, bodily pains, gastrointestinal difficulties, and rashes can all be signs of developing PTSD, i.e., Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which can increase the use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs. But the silver lining is that there are ways one can deal with stress and bring about some lifestyle changes to help oneself, others, and the whole community cope with stress.
Healthy Ways To Cope With Pandemic Stress
Watching the world gasping for breath during the pandemic could prove to be utterly stressful for any human. To cope with it, one could follow a few steps and maintain their mental health.
Consider restricting your news consumption and take a break from your phone, television, and computer screens for a bit. Avoid news articles, particularly those on social media. Avoid excessive alcohol, tobacco, and substance use and include nutritious, well-balanced meals in your diet. Additionally, exercise regularly, stretch, and take deep breaths. On top of all this, make sure you get enough rest.
Take care of your body and talk to someone you can trust about your worries and feelings. During times of social distancing, stay in touch with your friends and family and try some other hobbies you enjoy, such as yoga or swimming.
Making use of voice or video chats to help others or seek help with stress might make you and your loved ones feel less lonely and isolated. Lastly, take care of yourself so that you may better care for others.
Self-care practices can help you take control of your life and improve your emotional and physical health. To improve your mental health, take care of your body and mind, and don't forget to connect with people around you. The following are a few self-care strategies that are indispensable in keeping you mentally healthy during Covid-19.
1. Get Good Sleep
Sleep and health are interconnected; insomnia increases the risk of illness, and illness makes it more difficult to sleep. One of the earliest indicators of distress can be sleep disruptions. Sleep disorders sometimes accompany mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. It's critical to treat any health concern to alleviate physical symptoms and address any worries keeping you up.
Improving the quality of sleep can benefit all of us. For many, improving our sleep may be as simple as making easy lifestyle or attitude changes. Good sleep can impact our mood, energy, and focus levels, as well as our capacity to stay awake and work during the day.
2. Maintain Your Routine
Maintaining a consistent routine is necessary for your mental health. Maintain a stable timing for meals, bathing, dressing, work, study, and exercise, in addition to a predictable nighttime regimen. Make time for hobbies and interests as well. This regularity might give you a sense of power.
Regular physical activity is recommended as exercising regularly can assist in alleviating anxiety and enhance mood. Find a movement-inducing activity, such as dancing or jogging. Get outside to a place where you can be all by yourself, such as your backyard, and enjoy some time in the natural air.
3. Connect with Fellow Humans
Find meaning in helping those around you, especially the elderly or those who cannot leave their homes. If you work from home, ask your coworkers how they're doing and offer coping strategies. Check up on friends, family members, or neighbors, and keep in touch with them. If you know someone unable to leave their home, see if there is anything you can do to help, such as picking up groceries for them.
Help a family member or acquaintance who is secluded for safety reasons. People can make a difference in someone else's day by sending a message that brightens it. This could be accomplished by using electronic gadgets, making a call, or sending an e-mail. Send a note to brighten the day of your close friends and enjoy virtual mingling.
4. Relax and Recharge
Make time for yourself, as even a few minutes of silence can rejuvenate, calm your mind, and lessen tension. Deep breathing, yoga, and meditation are all techniques that proved to be beneficial for many. Relax by taking a bubble bath, listening to music, or reading or listening to a book—whatever does it for you!
Choose a technique that works for you and put it into practice regularly. Take good care of your mind and concentrate on pleasant thoughts. Consider beginning each day by making a list of things you are grateful for. Maintain a positive attitude and work to accept changes as they come.
Self-care is an important everyday activity to engage in. When the Covid-19 pandemic is over, you can expect your present overwhelming emotions to subside, but stress might continue to exist in your life. Continue to exercise self-care to protect your mental health and improve your ability to deal with life's challenges, as while today might be a difficult day to go through; the show must go on! This will result in improved overall health and wellness as well as more balance across your wellness dimensions.
Authored By: Bhavishya Pahwa
About the Author : Bhavishya Pahwa is a budding writer who has always confided in a pen. He believes that art is a cure-all and that introspection followed by writing can add to the sanity of the world.