How to manage your mental health during a lockdown
TOPICS : Health
COVID-19 had many people struggling with various mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and loneliness among others. Who, or rather what is the culprit? What is a lockdown?Lockdown is an emergency protocol adopted by governments across the world that forbids people from entering or leaving a particular or a building. COVID-19: case in pointCOVID-19 or Corona Virus Disease 2019 was first identified in Wuhan, China in the closing months of 2019. The number of infected individuals and casualties were rising exponentially with every passing day. This forced China to declare a lockdown in Wuhan and other areas surrounding it. The first case of novel corona virus outside China was confirmed on 13th of January, 2020 in Thailand. It wasn’t long before the situation got worse as the virus outbreak overlooked borders and swept across the face of the earth. Italy was the first to implement lockdown strategy after China on 9th of March, 2020.Very soon, Spain, France, India and other countries followed the same path.
Lockdown and mental health concernsSince a lockdown restricts a person from doing outdoor activities and going outside, it can prove to be a concern for a lot of people. This concern was also addressed by Dr. Hans Henri P Kluge, Regional Director of Europe at WHO in press conference held on 26th of March, 2020. They discussed the various psychological or mental health issues that come with an event like lockdown. “It is absolutely natural for each of us to feel stress, anxiety, fear and loneliness during this time. At WHO, we consider the consequences of COVID-19 on our mental health and psychological well-being to be very important.” – Dr. Hans Kluge It’s only understandable that in the absence of schools, colleges, friends and work, some people may feel a little defeated by some mental health problems. A lot of people are feeling dejected and lonely because they can’t leave their homes. If you fall in this bracket, then here are some useful tips for you to preserve your mental health.
1. Use this time to get back in shapeAre you one of those who have been trying to tone down their body fat for so long but never really found the time? Now that you have plenty of time in your hands to do whatever you want, why not start working out. There are so many online resources that help you design your home workout regime. Some tutorials require you to have certain equipments like dumbbells, barbells, or some other tool to help you workout at home. But you shouldn’t feel left out even if you don’t have these resources at home. There are other methods of losing weight like Yoga, and Calisthenics.
2. Get rippedDo you often complain about not having enough time to go to the gym? Do you feel like being at a disadvantage because your friends live near the gym and can go their anytime? Well, guess what, you are all on the same boat now. It is all a matter of determination and utilisation of time to start working on those muscles. Start a challenge among your friends and see who can use this time in the best possible way to get the kind of looks they want.
3. Manage work from homeWhat’s better than being able to work from the comfort of your cozy home, right? Many of us dream about working from home during regular times. However, if you keep working the whole time, this might cause problems for you and people around you. This could turn out to be a real troublemaker if you cannot keep a healthy work-life balance. Some might even find it difficult to manage their efficiency levels with their family or friends causing distractions all day round. This can be avoided by isolating a space and keeping it strictly for work purpose. Same thing can be done with time also by creating time windows that are kept strictly for work without social interference. It is important that you take a few breaks while doing your work. During these breaks, engage in a conversation with your family and friends. If they don’t live with you, give them an audio or a video call.
4. Understand ill-effects of anxiety and stressBeing able to accept stress and managing it to avoid anxiety can prove crucial for you. Did you know that mental health problems like anxiety, depression and stress have physiological ramifications too? Studies have shown that anxiety and stress can cause or worsen Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as acid reflux. This is not the end either. Researchers have linked anxiety with physical problems like headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches, restlessness, nausea, twitching, hot flashes and difficulty in swallowing among other. Similarly, studies show that stress may result in headaches, upset stomach, high blood pressure, chest pain, and trouble sleeping. How to tackle stress and anxiety? There are many ways to cope with the perils of anxiety and stress. You could try meditation, muscle relaxation techniques, and deep breathing exercises. There may be other techniques that you can use to ease your mind. You could also try our hands at a new hobby that you have been meaning to do for a while. Last but not the least, you should indulge yourself in your current hobbies. Sharing your experiences with your loved ones can also help in taking the edge off.
5. How to cope with loneliness?The scariest part of a lockdown is the loneliness that sets in. You could be living at a remote place away from your home and family. It could be because of an inability to go home before the lockdown was enforced. Loneliness could be there because of a lack of interaction among the family members, or maybe because you just miss your friends. Staying connected with your family and friends can help evade the problem at hand. This time is ideal to test the limits of social media to keep in touch with the near and dear ones. Video calls and voice calls can also prove to be crucial in squashing the loneliness bug. You could also try doing a video conference with a bunch of friends over apps like skype or zoom.
6. Maintain the routine and stay calmLast but not the least, it is imperative to practice your routine every day. Starting a new hobby or an activity is pointless unless you can make it a habit. Trying to follow the same routine as you would if you were going to office could go a long way in ensuring mental peace and calm. This would help you feel as if things haven’t change by that much. It is important to keep a proper sleep-wake cycle in order to feel fresh and energetic during the day. Doing these things will make sure that you preserve your mental health and keep negative thoughts out of your mind. This will be a huge step towards staying calm and avoiding panic.
Keywords : COVID-19 corona Coronavirus lockdown mental health coronalockdown loneliness health