How to protect your mental health during the pandemic

mental health

COVID-19 has not only made the world pause to a large extent on health grounds and social aspects but it has equally hit the global economy, so much so that we now find ourselves in a recession. From a  lack of proper health care, to a shortage of resources, daily essentials to pay cuts and  job cuts — the situation has gone from bad to worse for almost everyone throughout the world. Every business sector has seen a setback in some way or another. All of these conditions in the context of health, social and financial insecurities have have had a cascading effect on so many individuals across the globe. The anxiety, nervousness, panic, uncertainty as well as socialising during lock down for most communities all over the world has caused a huge setback in mental well being for a number of people.

What do studies say

As per the latest report in one of the UK’s leading news portals, The Guardian – the number of adults in Britain with depression has doubled during the coronavirus pandemic, official data shows, prompting calls for an urgent national plan to prevent a “looming mental health crisis”. Almost one in five (19.2%) of people experienced depression in June 2019, almost double the 9.7% with symptoms in the nine months to March 2020, according to a survey of 3,500 participants by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Another study carried out in Australia states that rates of elevated psychological distress, including depression and anxiety symptoms, were found among adults during the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak. The acute and long-term mental health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic are largely unknown. Taking a look at the global scenario, mental wellness is certainly jeopardised and it is high time to take measures in rectifying this situation.

How to take the charge of your mental wellness

Yes, the published figures are very negative and worrying but it is essential that we bounce back with some positivity.  Every individual has got an inner strength to fight against the odds and take this time as a battle that you have to fight — remember you are not alone in this.

Here are a few quick pointers that may assist with you getting back on track:

  • Learn a new skill: Do not give yourself time to get disoriented — instead pick up some new learning. Be it an online course that hones your skill as a professional or a hobby interest in arts or cooking for example, that will engage you.
  • Work on your strengths, shun out your weaknesses: So what if you have lost a job or missed out on a big opportunity in these tough times — its never too late to sharpen your strengths and utilise the time to work on your “pros” and be a champion for upcoming opportunities!
  • Keep in constant touch with your family and friends: Family and friends — they are your inner circle and core strength. If you are facing loneliness or negative thoughts, talk it through with them. Stay in touch with them whether it is over phone calls or video calls or even try meeting them, if possible. It will keep you positive.
  • Take a control of your diet: Depression or anxiety open the doors for unhealthy eating habits. Do not let that happen. Take control of your daily food intake and try to stick to a balanced diet. We do agree that once in a while you can give into those sweet cravings or junk food but, make sure it is not regular or frequent.
  • Sweat out that negativity: Working out is the best way to beat the negativity blues! Ensure that you dedicate 30 minutes to one hour of your daily routine towards engaging in a fitness activity. Be it yoga,taking a jog in a park,or taking up a Zumba class online — it will help you stay physically and mentally fit.
  • Control alcohol and cigarette consumption: If you are feeling low, make sure that you limit the intake of alcohol and avoid smoking. Both these habits have a bad impact on mental health in the long run.
  • Laughter is the best therapy: We have heard it so many times but, laughter is the best way to keep positive. Some handy tips are to attend some live events; perhaps your favourite stand-up comic, or simply just being with a group of your friends – chatting and sharing jokes, –  it will cheer you up instantly.

Continuing on the Mental Health topic – why not head over to our You Tube channel here and catch the session with Dr. Esslin Terrighena. – click here.

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