The spread of the Novel Coronavirus has left the entire world in a state of self-quarantine. As a way to flatten the curve of the virus infections, the WHO has requested people to practice the habit of social distancing and isolation. And that’s why we are sure that you are reading this while you are working from your home. However, this outbreak has resulted in a rise in the stress and anxiety levels of people all around the world. The recent surge in the google search volume for “therapy” and “therapists” just goes on to prove the above. Let’s understand the impact of this pandemic on your mental health.
Effect of stress on your mental health
Humans are social animals and this new threat seems to affect their emotional stability. Due to our process of evolution, we are known to feel safest in groups. This is the main reason why many of us see isolation as a big challenge. As social connection became an ingrained trait, in a scenario like this, where there is a void formed due to its absence, we start to feel stressed. This leads to a direct impact on our mental health.
51% of adults who felt stressed reported feeling depressed, of which, 16% had self- harmed and 32% said they had had suicidal thoughts and feelings.
Our mental health is one of the biggest challenges we have to face during this period of isolation. However, there are ample methods that can help you maintain your mental health. Here are six things that can help to ensure your mental well-being during this quarantine period.
1.Ensure a well-planned WFH schedule:
While many of us are working from home, a lack of proper schedule can leave us oscillating between loneliness and too much work. In order to avoid this, the first and foremost thing to do is to plan your day. Make sure to set clear priorities and dedicated time slots for work while making time for short breaks. This will help you function efficiently and in an optimised manner.
2. Reduce your screen time:
Considering the severity of the situation, it is very probable for us to panic easily. Make sure to only rely on information from trusted sources such as W.H.O, CDC, etc. Reduce the overuse of social media. Studies have proven that scrolling endlessly through your feed can actually make you feel more left out. Hence, decrease your overall screen time and only use it as a means to connect socially with your friends and family. This will help you relax and feel at rest.
3.Focus on yourself:
With more time on your hand, thanks to WFH, take efforts to focus on your physical well- being. Follow a healthy morning routine, start exercising at your home or even start that yoga session which you always wanted to. Now is the right time for you to try these new habits which will definitely help you de-stress and stay positive.
4. Choose a new hobby:
Try your hand at a new hobby such as painting or sketching. Use your time productively and teach yourself something new. Devote your time to learn a new skill or engage in a simple activity such as making your own breakfast every day so that you can divert yourself and shift your mental space from the scenario. Cognitive behavioural therapy suggests practising an activity that uplifts your mood.
5. Connect with your loved ones:
The fast-paced lifestyle that we are a part of usually leaves us with no time to interact and talk with our family and friends. Now is the right time, use this situation to talk more with them. Catching up with your school and college buddies is no less than therapy. Make it a practice to talk to them regularly. Talking to them will help you feel comfortable, strong and less lonely. Remember, we’re all in this together!
6. Online Therapy
These testing times might leave you emotionally overwhelmed and mentally exhausted. It is absolutely okay for you to not be productive 24X7. After all, we are living through a pandemic. If you feel low and anxious because of the current turbulent conditions then you must speak to a therapist. If you’re unable to find or reach out to a therapist then you can also call on the toll-free helpline by the govt of Maharashtra to speak to a mental health professional.
In a nut-shell – Stop stressing
Following these six methods not only helps you stay positive during such a pandemic but it also aids in keeping your mental health intact. Do your best to stay calm in this scenario and cope up with your stress. Take a break from your usual schedule of hustle and bustle and try to enjoy this new experience. After all, every day is a new experience, isn’t it? Read more about the importance of expressing your emotions in our blog. Check it out.