The Coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep across the globe. It is causing a lot of stress, fear, and uncertainty to people, especially to the care providers, older adults, and those who are already living with underlying health conditions. The global lockdown has greatly affected routines, activities, and livelihoods, leading to a surge in the number of people feeling lonely, anxious, depressed, and suicidal. To escape this distress, some are also resorting to excessive consumption of alcohol and other intoxicants.
Therefore, this is the time to be mindful of one’s mental health and take steps to ensure that one thrives through this stressful time. Some of the steps that all of us can take to keep our mental health on track are listed hereunder:
- Develop a routine — Get up at your usual time, take a shower, get dressed in your office attire, create a to-do list of all the things you plan to accomplish as this will create a sense of productivity and normalcy
- Split your day wisely — Break your day into several parts dedicated to office work, household chores, family time, me time, etc., so that the monotony doesn’t set it
- Indulge in self-care— Get up on time and if possible, a little early to squeeze some workout and meditation in your routine. Try to eat healthier, drink lots of water and get plenty of rest. Do something every day that you enjoy. It could be reading, painting, singing, etc., to keep your spirits high
- Foster meaningful connections — Make the most of the digital platforms and stay in touch with co-workers, friends, and family via texts, calls, social media and video conferencing.
- Limit media intake — In this time of information overload, it is natural to feel overwhelmed. Therefore, one must reach out for only reliable sources of information and limit their news and social media consumption to avoid feeling disoriented
- Get into upskilling — Work from home saves a lot of time on commuting which can be used for upskilling. This can greatly help an individual and their organization to grow
- Avoid burnout — Work from home often leads to the blurring of boundaries which can easily cause a burnout. Therefore, it is indispensable to set strict limits to your work to avoid getting overstressed.
- Focus on the positives — The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainty and panic. However, constantly thinking negatively will only cause a downward spiral. Lookup stories of healthcare workers, people working in essential services, grocery stores, etc., who continue to show up at work. These are the heroes. Their stories are very uplifting and give a lot of hope. Try volunteering online for a cause, help your housemaid and people who used to work for you but are in distress due to the prolonged lockdown
- Take one day at a time — Focus on just this present day. The future is uncertain and that holds for everyone. Make the most of your present-day
- Seek professional support – Sometimes, despite trying self-help techniques and engaging with friends and family, our mental health might not improve. In such a scenario, one must seek help from the professional resources that are available online and work on improving their symptoms.
Panic and anxiety about COVID-19 can be overpowering and cause disturbing emotions in individuals. Dealing with this distress will make you, your loved ones, and your community stronger.