Self-Care tips – COVID-19 & Mental Health

At the start of this year, the outbreak of a virus; COVID 19/Corona Virus, which causes acute respiratory dysfunction spread like wildfire and managed to leave the entire world at a stand-still. The repercussions of this continued event have left us all in a state of complete helplessness, dismay and uncertainty. To reduce the spread of the virus countries have adopted precautionary and preventive measures which involved use of disinfectant, social distancing, clean and hygienic practices, and what has affected the mental health of the population the most, government induced lockdown. The lockdown has essentially shut all of the country down, forcing us to adapt ourselves to a new, more indoor and a virtual lifestyle.
What does the lockdown entail? This included everyone mandated to stay home and sheltered imposing restrictions on going out for work or leisure. Only emergencies and basic necessities like groceries and dairy shopping were allowed within limits. Crowding places were strictly not allowed. Social distancing and hygiene measures like covering nose and mouth with a mask, constant sanitization and washing of hands were encouraged so as to control the pandemic spread. However, due to multivariate reasons the lockdown kept extending and it, now seems like an endless battle that humanity continues to face. The pandemic not only has affected people’s physical health but has also caused a lot of changes in lifestyle, lot of anxiety and other mental health compromising situations.
In, what seems like an everlasting grapple filled with crippling anxiety, a plethora of unpredictability and uncertainty, and abundant fear, there lies a comforting prospect like the silver lining to every cloud. Rather than, focusing on all the obvious negatives, we strive forward everyday with the hope that We are going to survive this and when we do it’s a different world that’s waiting for us. Without us constantly running around to many different places nature is beginning to return to homeostasis and balance. The hassle and pace of everyday is now reduced leaving us a lot of time to get to do things we didn’t have time before. We are all working on adopting a healthier and a more hygiene filled lifestyle. However, this time of crisis can feel overwhelming due to the unpredictability, long work hours, and caring for your family and yourself. It’s important to pause for a moment and collect your thoughts, as it can be taxing. Remaining calm can help. It is normal to feel stressed or overwhelmed during uncertain times. It is very important as to how we deal with the situation and handle ourselves best.

Here are a few ways that will ensure self-mental health care:
• Make sure you plan your day and utilize your time to the best of your abilities
• Set and maintain a routine at home.
• Use technology to maintain social connections with your loved ones. Do not isolate yourself
• Focus your thoughts on the present and things to be grateful for today, focus on what you have a control over.
• Listen to music or read books that you’ve always wanted to.
• Consume reliable news sources that report facts and avoid media that sensationalizes emotions. Limit your exposure or take a break from news and social media if you find that it makes you anxious, don’t get consumed by the virtual world.
• Lean on your personal beliefs and faith for support, most importantly, prioritize yourself.
• Look for ways to help your community, it can be as simple as talking to someone. You never know who might need an ear.
• Acknowledge and appreciate what others are doing to help you and your community, acknowledge and appreciate your efforts in the time of crisis.
• Fuel your body by eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of water.
• Aim to get good, continuous seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
• Exercise every day, try to get some fresh air, away from screens.
• Avoid risky or destructive behaviors, such as abusing alcohol or drugs, excessive gambling or excessive internet and computer usage, or even excessive eating. Regulate your activities and your time.
• Regularize your routine and build consistency.
• Learn a new language or develop a new hobby! Trust me, it’ll be fun.
• Make sure you spend a part of your day being productive. It is very important to keep up productivity.
• Slow down, take your time and enjoy the moment. Don’t be overpowered by the past or the future.
• Seek help if you need it, it’s okay, reach out to a friend or a loved one or even professional help! It really is okay!

Written by Tejaswini R K

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