How to Manage and Improve Your Mental Health During the Coronavirus Pandemic
An unexpected surge of the coronavirus pandemic has brought the entire world in a shamble as it has compelled people to stay within the walls of their houses. The living standards have turned upside-down, as a result of which some people have oriented themselves with the new changes and some are still struggling.
It has been more than a year since the first lockdown was imposed in the country and it has been very gratifying to see people keeping themselves physically healthy by sanitizing their hands and practicing social distancing.
But, do you know that taking good care of your mental health during this time is also important for your overall well-being? Well, if you have managed to maintain robust mental health so far, then you might be able to live through another year of lockdown, or more at home (if the pandemic continues to surge).
But not everyone stands on the same psychological platform, that is why many has not been able to take care of their psychological well-being during the pandemic phase. And, if you are one of them who is not proactive about taking care of his/her mind and emotions, then you will notice a decline in your mental health.
So, do not worry because we are here to help and guide you on how to keep a mental balance and boost your mental health in tough times like this. To remain mentally fit, a person needs to figure out the root cause of it and what created an impact on his/her mental health.
How Does Coronavirus Impact Your Mental Health?
If we deeply look into this matter, there are many ways and reasons the coronavirus pandemic may impact your mental health. Figuring out the root cause and factors associated with the impact of coronavirus that might affect your mental well-being can help you in combating these issues.
Being isolated and working from home doesn’t mean stress won’t knock on the doors of your mind. As the situation is getting worse day by day, almost every person is dwelling on fear of getting infected by the coronavirus and fretting about how they will pay the bills.
These are the two principal reasons for the stresses that have been witnessed many times during the pandemic period and can make it difficult for the brain to respond and function properly. Infection brings a lot of issues and a person should always be ready to deal with a variety of practical problems.
Dealing with problems can be referred to as figuring out the best for your family at a time like this and how to keep your business or work running during the lockdown period, as you are going to deal with numerous dilemmas.
- Cabin Fever
The human body is not meant to stay inside, it needs environmental exposure. But due to pandemic causes, we are under compulsion to stay indoors. And researches show that staying inside for a long period of time can make you restless.
For some people, it will lead to anxiety, and for others, it will give rise to boredom. If attention is not paid to these symptoms, then one’s mental health will get affected in no time. We need a proper solution to deal with this kind of problem too.
- Disrupted Routines
Staying indoors and working from home have turned our living standards upside-down. Working from home is not easy as one has to take care of his/her children all the time along with household work.
It doesn’t matter whether you live in a posh area or in the countryside, because your routine has been compromised and disrupted. We are uncertain how long this disrupted routine will last or how many days we will get to see the outside world because we are compelled to compromise our mental health like this.
- Reduced Physical Activity
Before the pandemic everything was on its track, the world was functioning normally, people were going to offices on foot, by bus, train, or personal vehicles. However, people were getting exposed to the outside world on daily basis and like that, they were doing some sort of physical activity.
But, according to your current working situation, you do not have to move out as you have been locked inside for a few days. Even, gyms and stadiums have been closed to effectively support social distancing. As of now, you are left with minimal workout options. These may have been one of your most accessible coping skills.
- Lack of Social Contact
Maintaining social distancing is the best we can do from our end to fight coronavirus. But some people are separated from their family members and co-workers or are living alone who cannot see anyone face-to-face.
At a time like this, the internet has been handy in uniting people over social platforms or video calls, and others are managing to get in touch over phone calls. Not everyone has people to reach out to in this way, and many people are still unaware of how to use technology.
That makes it worse for those who cannot get in touch with each other due to a lack of knowledge in technology. And since, social interaction is essential for superior mental health, the inability to interact socially will lead to loneliness, depression, and in some cases anxiety.
How Can You Manage and Improve Your Mental Health?
If the impacts of coronavirus have affected and disrupted your mental health, that doesn’t mean you cannot improve it back. You can effectively do it without compromising social distancing. There are certain steps that you need to follow to fulfill your emotional desires and needs.
- Get Physically Active
Researches have clearly shown that physical activities improve and boost mental health. But there is one condition that you have to take out time and be promising for good health. Everything in this world needs time to improve and become strong, and so does your body too.
You can do numerous activities or perform at your home as they will help you become active. You can easily find fitness apps, YouTube videos, and fitness communities that can lend you a hand if you are lacking any equipment.
You can even go out for a walk or hike through the woods if it is safe to do so and if the laws in your region give you permission to step out. Still, in terms of safety and precaution, you should perform all your workout activities in your home regardless of little or no equipment at all.
- Practice Healthy Coping Skills
You may not be a master of many coping skills or have never adopted one that will help you in handling your stress. It's okay if you didn’t adopt any earlier but now it is imperative to adopt at least one so that you will use it to escape whenever you will get trapped in the labyrinth of negative emotions like anxiety, loneliness, depression, etc.
There are thousands of coping techniques which you can learn to escape from a swamp of negative emotions and improve your mental health. Either you can start writing a journal or discover a meditation application for relaxation or relieving stress.
Do not adopt unhealthy coping skills which may give you comfort, like food or alcohol, as they might seem appropriate in the beginning but they will backfire on you and might bring serious consequences in your life.
- Maintain Social Connections
Who said you cannot be in touch with family and friends if cannot physically be around people? Technology has made our life easier and with the help of it we can achieve anything, so meeting our friends and family on social media or video calls isn’t a big deal.
There are plenty of ways to get in touch with our favorite people:
- Use social media platforms to stay connected with relatives and friends.
- Post supportive pictures, comments, and videos to spread positivity on social websites.
- Whenever you wish to have a face-time with your friends, family, or co-workers, schedule the timing accordingly
- Send gift cards and motivational quotes to your loved ones through emails.
- If you have never been friends with anyone, then this is the time to make online friends and fit into a community of your choice by joining online forums.
- You can also join spiritual online sessions that offer meditation classes to relax and calm yourself.
- Connect with strangers and spread positivity among them.
- Become a part of a group chat because it would be easy to keep an eye on everyone.
- Do Not Build Unnecessary Thoughts
Being trapped inside your house can lead you to become an overthinker. This is what you have to avoid at any cost because many people have become a victim of this during the lockdown period. It all starts with sitting idle most of the time.
The best way to cease such negative thoughts is to engage yourself in different activities or do something productive as you will be distracted all the time, though, won’t be sitting idle. People do not have the slightest idea of what will happen to them if they start overthinking.
Overthinking can lead to depression and losing confidence within oneself. That is why it is necessary to self-monitor every day and remind yourself to snap out of this unnecessary thinking pool.
- Always Keep the Big Picture in Mind
It might be true that you must be entangled in the mesh of lockdown and social distancing because of the coronavirus pandemic, but you have to always remember that the pandemic won’t last forever.
A day shall come soon when you will be again stepping out of your home and hanging around with your loved ones just like old times. So, it will be better if you start focusing on those days rather than scratching your head by thinking about unnecessary things that ultimately have to end one day along with the pandemic.
- Be Selective About Your Media Consumption
Do not waste too much time on social media as this platform was made for relaxation purposes only. But it seems that the stream started flowing in the opposite direction since the beginning of the lockdown. People have become reluctant to do any physical activity as they are dragging themselves into the swamp of social media.
It is always better to do something productive rather than being addicted to social media. Social media is not totally wrong. After all, it is up to you what kind of content you are interested in. Always pay attention to the time you are putting into it as it can greatly affect your mental health.
Social media has its advantages too. You can follow people who inspire you and teach you a life lesson so that you can also implement those things in your life to grow and bring more positivity. Concentrate on those contents that promote a healthy lifestyle rather than negative news or media.