All about A Guide to Improving Mental Health During COVID-19 Pandemic »
By Deepak Chheepa
The covid 19 pandemic is undoubtedly one of the biggest threats that humanity has ever faced. Not only does it have an indelible impact on our physical health but our mental health has also deteriorated during this period. People have to undergo massive changes in a very short duration of time and many have had to face life-altering effects of the pandemic.
People were never prepared for a worldwide lockdown and the suddenness of the situation has taken a toll on everyone. People had to make huge sacrifices and many even lost their jobs. It was a tough journey, trying to get used to life at home. From starting new traditions of work from home and breaking years of habits to accommodate this sudden change, everyone has faced the negative effects of the pandemic.
Mental Health Impact During COVID-19 Pandemic
Getting accustomed to new changes can be difficult for everyone. However, under such life or death circumstances, the mental health of people has truly been challenged. Not only was there hopelessness and despair for those who have lost close ones to the pandemic but people had to also get adjusted to the rules of the pandemic. From sanitizing goods that arrived at the home to maintaining social distancing norms, humanity has never felt so isolated in years. There is a general sense of isolation because people can hardly meet their loved ones.
On the other hand for those who live in a closed family structure, it is difficult for each individual in the family to have their desired privacy, with everyone cooped up in the house in close vicinities 24X7. The pandemic led to higher levels of anxiety and frustration. Besides, there is a higher report of depression during the pandemic. Many relationships were lost and the divorce rate has also increased. The impact of the pandemic on one’s mental health is a serious issue and one that has to be taken seriously for our collective well-being.
Guide to Improving Mental Health During COVID-19 Pandemic
Using Proper Coping Strategies
No matter what you are going through during this pandemic, it is important to implement healthy coping strategies mindfully. So, coping strategies are of two kinds: emotion-focused and problem-focused. You may either choose to deal with a problem by changing your perception about it or actively making an effort to find a solution. No matter what you choose, it is important to make sure that you are taking time to de-stress yourself. You need to choose coping strategies that will help you to implement positive virtues, like, you can try a new hobby, for example cooking or drawing.
Reach out for Help
Although it is difficult sometimes to ask for help, now is not the time to shy away. If you are going through a tough time, you must understand that you are not alone. You should not be harsh on yourself and rather practice kindness. Open up to people who you feel are close to you or even build a bridge with those new ones. It is not the time to encourage toxic relationships. While it is a time for social distancing, it is not time for emotional distancing. Make sure to talk to your friends and family via video calls and keep the channel of communication open for one and all.
Be Kind to Yourself
This is one of the most important things that you must remember when dealing with this pandemic. You need to understand that this is a tough time that you are going through and you cannot be Harsh on yourself. You need to provide a nurturing environment to yourself and you must start by actively putting effort into being kind to yourself. If you feel like you cannot keep up with your work and studies like you used to, do not chide yourself for it. It is okay to feel a little inefficient and less than perfect at the moment. The world is going through a lot of changes and you must give yourself time to adapt to them.
Try Relaxing Activities Mindfully
What you find relaxing can be a personal choice. You must perform this activity mindfully. It may get very difficult to get rid of negative thoughts even when you are doing something relaxing. Try to feel every motion and emotion when you are doing such activity and this will help you to ride the curve. You can try your hands at something new such as baking or even try adult coloring books. These activities will help you to feel centered and a little less stressed. Take your time when trying to figure out what works for you and do not put a lot of pressure on yourself.
Take a Break from Negative News
It can be very difficult to process the negativity that is all around us. While it is important to keep up with news and the latest articles regarding the pandemic, you must take breaks from such negative news. Reading these articles or constantly watching the news can make you feel extremely stressed which can lead to even more deterioration of your mental health. Limit the amount of time you dedicate to watching the news so that there is no possibility of overexposure to negativity.
Don’t Lose Hope
The situation around us concerning the covid-19 pandemic seems quite bleak. For people who have lost jobs or close ones to the pandemic or even those who have lost sense of normalcy in life, it is becoming very difficult to cope with. There is no denying that the situation is not only hopeless but also makes you feel extremely helpless. No amount of positivity can indeed help you to feel most stable or adjusted to the present climate. However, do not lose hope. Even with what little resources you have, you will be able to cope with the present challenges and adapt to the new possibilities.
The pandemic has had a huge impact on the mental health of people. From kids to people in their old age have all been impacted by the suddenness and the constant threat that the pandemic imposes on us. It is important to adopt new ways of promoting your mental health and help yourself in this battle.
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