As India is under more than 70 days lockdown to combat the spread of COVID – 19, many people are experiencing feelings of uncertainty, restlessness, and loneliness. Because of the ongoing crises, India reports a 40% increase in mental health problems, and counseling firms like therapists have seen a spike in client’s appointments from 30 to 40 percent.
Since working from home, social distancing, and self-isolation is the new routine, many of us are deeply unmoored. It ranges from sleepless nights to suicidal thoughts. We are struggling because we are alone, or staying with toxic parents or partners and some because we’re away from our loved ones. There’s nothing to distract ourselves, except our work, stress-eating, or binge-watching.
In these unpredictable times, everyone tends to react in different ways. For some, uncertain pandemic news is triggered psychologically with worry, frustration, anxiety, and in extreme cases, panic attacks. On the other hand, the fear of life, career, and extension of lockdown is leading to stress, depression, eating disorder, loneliness, paranoia, and more. In short, lockdown is taking a huge toll on our mental health. Therefore, The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also shown the global concern over the mental and psychological well-being of everyone in the outbreak.
In all this mental chaos, there’s a way to care for your mental health and get through difficult times in easy ways.
- Distance yourself from media and social media: Restrict yourself from media, social media, and Whatsapp forwards to prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed with negative news. There’s nothing wrong in staying updated, just don’t obsess over it.
- Acknowledge your feelings: If you feel like crying without any reason, just cry! If you feel like talking to someone about your feelings, just speak it out! Acknowledging your feelings right away, helps you to keep yourself calm at the earliest. To do that, look up in the sky, listen to chirping birds, and connect with nature. It basically helps you to feel normal and energized.
- Find things that will keep you busy: It can be anything constructive or creative. Cooking, painting, sketching, doing dishes, listening to music, or decluttering your home can be extremely therapeutic, and personally I find drawing and doing dishes oddly relaxing. Keeping yourself busy is very important right now.
- Connect with your friends: Stay connected with your friends and loved ones via technology as much as you can. It will make them and you feel better. Look forward to banter and reminiscing about the fun memories with your closed ones. You can share about your low moments with them and it’s okay to say “I’m not fine” this time, as everyone is fighting pandemic together.
- Self- care is what you need: Indulging in self-care and self-love helps you to get through uneasy times. You can start with DIY face masks or scrubs, hot water bath, maintaining a journal, dressing up and clicking selfies, etc. A little me-time doesn’t harm anyone.
- Meditate and Exercise: Meditation and exercise are also a part of a self-care routine. Maintaining a daily routine with meditation and exercise can help you to cope up with stress, clear away toxins and anxiety. Honestly, most of the days I feel very lethargic to move my body, but sometimes just doing skippings or some yoga puts an extremely positive impact on my mental and physical health! You know, endorphins rush is all you need! Practice soothing meditation that can keep you connected with your inner self. According to studies, 30-35 minutes of exercise may help you to beat depression and anxiety.
- Contact therapist: If there are any extreme psychological triggers and things are going out of hand contact your therapist or any counseling firms. There are many online therapies you can enroll in. If you’re on medication, remember to take it as prescribed.
Try and help people who suffer from mental health by providing appropriate support.
Whether you are helping someone or need help yourself, here are some organizations that can give you online assistance with mental health in time like these.
There are many more.
Remember, the best way we can get through this is by helping each other and staying home safe. You are not alone. We’re in this together!