“Hitting lives and livelihoods, the pandemic is causing fear, anxiety, depression, and stress among people. Social distancing, isolation, and coping with perpetually evolving and changing information about the virus has both triggered and aggravated existing and pre-existing mental health conditions that need urgent attention,” Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region, said.
With the Covid-19 pandemic still accelerating in India and hugely impacting people in various ways, mental health is one of the most rampant victims of our disrupted lives. The effect of the pandemic is not stopping at economic damages only; our impaired family, social, and professional lives are increasing sadness and depression among many youthful minds.
In such an environment, it is important to protect your mental health, so that your emotional responses to the extreme conditions around you do not cause any serious imbalance. Let’s understand that feeling sad sometimes is very normal but we must make a conscious attempt to avoid sadness and depression for an extended period.
Small alterations in our daily lives, at a time when most of us are forced to stay at home, can help in achieving this.
Nurture a Hobby
Getting absorbed in a hobby can be a great stress-buster and at the same time, keep negative thoughts at bay. A productive hobby such as learning a new language, singing, dancing, creative writing, gardening can occupy your mind with positive thoughts and propel you towards getting better at it every day. You won’t have much time to dwell on the difficulties of life if you nurture an active hobby.
Learn a New Skill
Covid-19 pandemic is expected to massively change our world and the demands of our professions will be very different in the post-Covid world. The old way of working will no longer exist and it will be hugely profitable to develop a new skill in this period to get ahead in the post-Covid world.
It is a great opportunity to learn a new skill from home as we are now mostly working from home and saving a lot of travel time. There are many courses available online, some of them free, and you can start learning them from your home.
Work out Vigorously Every Day
Covid-19 has greatly restricted our movement and the gyms are mostly closed. The fear of catching the contagion from crowded gyms is real and you are right to give them a pass.
However, it doesn’t mean you will avoid working out altogether. In fact, vigorous exercise secrets a chemical called serotonin in our brain which helps us to overcome depressive feelings. Depending on how your body responds, pick a workout regime. This could be weight training, cross-fit, yoga, pilates, aerobics, or anything else. You can also download any fitness app on your phone/wearable and find tracking your fitness regime quite easy.
Avoid Excessive Covid-19 Based Information
It is surely important to be updated about the latest information on the pandemic but an information overload may make you dejected. Similarly, regular long telephone conversations on the same subject of Covid-19 will only imbibe your mind with more and more negativity.
Sharing negativity about how bad you feel is only going to affect others and soon there will be viral messages of negative feelings in your circle. Share positive stories of human struggle and victory of difficulties and this will help everyone to remain upbeat. There is no dearth of such inspiring stories on the internet.
In fact, it is better to think about the world beyond Covid-19 and prepare for it.
Join the Housework
Joining the household chores gives you a chance of better bonding with your family and also acts as a stress-buster. It has a calming effect on the mind.
Because of these reasons, two of the richest men in this world, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates clean dishes at home.
Besides the above, watch what you eat at home as sedentary lives can lure you into binging on unhealthy snacks.
Let’s understand that Covid-19 isn’t the end of the world. We must keep a positive attitude to bounce back once the pandemic is over.