Contributed by – Healthians team
While we struggle and scramble to protect ourselves from this global epidemic that has assumed unexpected proportions, by staying at home, this locked at home phase could actually take a toll on our mental health and well being. Add to that the fear and anxiety around the dreaded virus. Older people with chronic conditions, children, teens, people with preexisting mental health issues and those who are helping with the response to COVID-19 are very prone to anxiety and stress. At this time, helping each other cope with the stress is extremely important. Here’s how you can help yourself and others get through this time.
Maintain a healthy perspective
Although the government has imposed nationwide lockdown and those who are violating it are being strictly punished, remember that these actions have been taken to contain the virus. It’s not to lock you down but to keep you safe. Hence it’s important to be mindful and be responsible towards ensuring healthy and hygienic habits that help in preventing the spread of the virus.
Look up to a reputable source of information
Media is extensively covering the coronavirus outbreak. Amidst these news stories, rumors are also doing rounds on social media. While it’s important to stay informed during these times, make sure that the information you’re consuming is 100% true. Get all your information from credible sources like:
- Indian Government
- World Health Organisation
- Google COVID-19 map
Maintain your ties with friends and family
Stay in touch with your family and friends regularly, especially with those who are living alone. Make sure that they are doing ok and are not having any problems. If you are sharing content with them, make sure that it’s correct and will not become the cause of stress for them.
When you laugh your anxiety levels go down automatically. Watch videos or read content that make you laugh. It will not just lighten your load mentally, it will actually induce physical changes in your body. In the long term, laughter can also help improve your immune system and mood.
Start a new hobby
Hobbies are often thought of as activities for people who lead quiet, relaxed lives, but during these times of lockdown at home, starting a new hobby can relieve you of stress. Indulging in a hobby can bring pleasure with a purpose that can lift your mood. So maintaining hobbies or pursuing some interest can be good for your overall sense of joy not only during these days but otherwise also.
It’s ok to feel vulnerable
It’s natural to feel vulnerable and overwhelmed as you read news and hear stories of those in suffering, especially when you have a chronic condition or pre-existing mental health issues. Acknowledge your feelings and tell others about them. Talking and discussing always helps. Moreover, eat healthy and make a workout routine. Indulge in activities that relax you.
Talk to your children
Parents influence their children and teens the most. If you’re visibly stressed, they’ll be stressed and if you’re calm and composed, they’ll feel the same. It’s important that you talk to your children about the virus and tell them the news and facts but do so without causing alarm. Consider their age and temperament. Also, do not ignore their questions. Clear all their doubts and provide reassurance.
Don’t make assumptions
Don’t judge people and make conclusions about who is responsible for the spread of the virus. Remember that the virus can affect anyone, irrespective of their nationality or ethnicity. Only with the sense of community wellbeing we can fight the virus and come out stronger.
Extend support to those experiencing hardship
As the spread of coronavirus continues to affect the global economy, many people are losing their jobs. With no means of income, their livelihoods are strongly affected. If you know about any such person, extend your support to them. You can also contribute to the cause by donating to the government.
If you’re a health care worker
If you’re a health care worker and are working extra hours, you may feel extra stressed. It’s a normal response to such a situation. The whole world appreciates your efforts. However, be practical in your approach to your work. Make sure that you’re getting enough rest, are eating healthy and are continuously in touch with your family and friends. If you feel exhausted, don’t hesitate to ask for help.
It’s in the worst of times that we can try to be the best for ourselves and others. We are all in this together and every act of support that you can extend to someone will help this time be a little less challenging
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