The second wave of COVID-19 has evoked a sense of fear and devastation in many minds. The pandemic-related lockdowns, health issues of self and loved ones, financial crisis, and inability to meet near and dear ones- all have contributed towards a stressful environment. Fear and uncertainty are dominating our minds.
Social distancing never meant emotional distancing
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on our lives. Many of us are facing challenges that can be stressful and overwhelming. There is no denying that social distancing is necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but some people have to go through the feeling of loneliness. Human interaction is important and lack of it has become one of the most important causes of pandemic-related stress. Remember, social distancing means physical distancing and not emotional distancing! Stay connected to your friends and family via virtual modes.
Here are 7 Tips to boost your mental health
1. Take breaks from sensational news stories:
It is good to be informed, but if we know that those things are putting us under stress, then we can stop it for some time. Keep yourself away from overtly negative news, especially if you have COVID-19 or have been caring for a loved one at home. Do not check upon daily numbers as it can fuel anxiety. Remember every medium counts from the T.V to the newspaper. Be careful about the balance of watching important news and the news that could cause you to feel depressed and disrupt your mental health.
2. Connect with others:
While social distancing measures are in place, try to connect with your friends and family through social media, by phone or mail etc. It is said that by opening up about your problems, you are getting an extra hand to solve them and you can be relieved to a great extent. Avoid feeling or making others feel negative, which increases your anxiety. Stay in touch with each other. Share your problems with your family and friends. And keep asking them too.
3. Make routine calls to your friend:
It helps to manage your anxiety, and will help to adapt to the present situation. The first thing you have to do in this is to separate your working hours and non-working hours. Do not mix them at all. Try to balance professional and personal lives.
4. Proactively manage your sleep:
Good sleep can prevent many health problems. Being sleepless can increase stress levels. Vice versa, when we are under stress, it directly affects our sleep.
Now the question is, how do we sleep well? If you want to have a good sleep, then you have to take care of a few things.
- Protect yourself from blue light like mobiles and tablets, at least 1 hour before bedtime.
- Maintain a proper routine around your sleep and wake times
- Read books that relieve you of stress
- Do not see anything that stresses you before you go to sleep.
- Exercise every day.
5. Start “something” that makes you happy:
Include a few habits in your routine that help you to make yourself happy. Learn singing, dance, paint, play indoor games, read books or write stories- feed your hobbies in your free time. Make time and do not always blame your busy schedule. Try to do something creative in your non-work hours that engages your mind, makes you happy, and helps you to reduce your stress.
6. Exercise as a depression medicine:
Clinical studies suggest that regular exercise produces chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin, which are as effective as antidepressants or psychotherapy for treating mild depressions. Most people will not have access to the gym, so it is necessary to create a daily exercise routine at home. Doctors recommend exercising between 30-40 minutes for 5 days a week. So, make a small start with a 10-minute walk, then add a few minutes daily. Practice meditation on a routine basis.
7. Eat food that helps you overcome stress:
This means eat everything healthy! A well-nourished body is better at dealing with stress. Increase your intake of whole grains, vegetables i.e., especially green vegetables, seeds, olive oil, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts.
Feel free to talk about mental health. Never feel hesitant when talking about mental health, that is utterly wrong. People should be encouraged to talk about their feelings. It is not necessary that you talk to the family. You can also talk to someone who understands you and gives you the right advice. Take help from various support helplines. Do not give up! We are in this together and will come out stronger and tougher!