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The coronavirus outbreak has not only affected us physically but mentally too. It's a frightening time as the whole world is under the pandemic, with some countries entirely shutting down affecting the economy and lives of people.
Everyone is in fear. In highly affected areas, people are living with the fear of coronavirus while in slightly affected areas, people are fearing for the worst to come. These fears are causing a lot of impact on mental health leading to stress, anxiety and panic among people.
We know this is a difficult time for us as we still don't know how bad things might become. However, it's also a time to stay strong and fight. Just by stressing out, we can make the situation even hard to handle. There are many things an individual can do during this time to manage their fears and anxiety.
Seeing the mental health problems among people, the Ministry Of Health And Family Welfare (MoHFW) has come up with several guidelines on how to handle it. Have a look at these guidelines.
Reason Behind The Lockdown
The best way not to stress out during the lockdown is by understanding the reason behind it. Stress during the pandemic can be due to the change in sleeping pattern, change in eating pattern, fear of own's health and health of others, difficulty in concentrating, increased use of alcohol or smoking, and worsening of health in case of chronic disease.
Lockdown is among the best of all ways to control the spread of the virus and protect humans. As the virus spreads mainly through human-to-human transmission, restricting any kind of people gathering is the only way to prevent its spread. If people stay at homes, human interactions stop limiting the spread of COVID-19. So, go out only to buy essentialsor to seek medical help. Restrict outside trips, visiting family members or other gatherings.
How To Stay Positive And Handle Social Isolation?
1. Keep yourself busy in one or the other activities.
2. Prepare a regular schedule and work accordingly.
3. Consider doing some household chores. It will be the best way to help your parents.
4. Engage in your favourite hobbies such as dancing, painting, sewing or gardening. You can also discover a new hobby during the time.
5. Exercise or meditate every morning as it will keep you physically and mentally fit.
6. Don't miss out on fluids.
7. Donate food or other essentials to help others cope with the lockdown.
8. Isolation during old age can be dangerous. Connect with your grandparents through electronic media and make them feel comfortable.
9. Encourage your children to acquire a new skill.
10. Educate others via phone or video calls if they need any advice on COVID-19.
How To Handle Emotional Issues?
- Think positive and stay away from people who make you anxious.
- Practice slow breathing exercises during anxiety or stress.
- Distract your mind whenever you feel irritated or anguished. Counting 10-1 is a simple and easy way to do so.
- If you feel scared by the situation, deal with it in a positive way. Think about how you have managed stress in the past or such things that make you feel positive.
- Stay connected to family or friends through virtual means. Talk to them about your new hobby, your favourite music or exchange some cooking tips.
- If you have tried all the means and still feel stressed out or lonely, call a mental health professional (080-46110007) and seek help.
Stay Away From Rumours
- Stay well- informed and believe information only from reliable sources.
- Stay away from social media posts or news channels that may affect your mental health.
- Avoid believing in unverified news and sharing them to others.
- Watch out for advice by the government and maintain good hand hygiene and physical distance. Don't sneeze, cough or spit in the public.
- Try see the positive aspect by reading about people who have recovered.
- Remember, that every common cold symptom is not necessarily COVID-19. Check the conditions for COVID-19 symptoms and then react to the situation.
- Even if you have mild symptoms and doubt you may have coronavirus, consult a medical expert overcall and don't directly rush in to the hospital.
What Should You Avoid
- Avoid alcohol or drugs to cope with your mental conditions. This may reduce your immunity and can worsen your physical health.
- Seek professional help in case you already have substance-related problems.
- If you suspect someone has COVID-19, just don't shun or ignore them. Tell them about precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus and how to seek medical help.
- If you get infected, don't panic and think that you will die. Remember, that 80 per cent of the infected individuals have already recovered. So, all you need is proper medication and advice to deal with your condition.
Emotional Problems After Recovery
- Even after the recovery, you may fear of spreading the infection to others.
- Certain people may avoid you which can stress you out and make you feel isolated.
- Since you have been in self-isolation or was admitted in hospital for long, you may feel guilty for not taking care of your loved ones. In fact, you should be happy that by distancing yourself from others, you have saved them from the infection.
- To deal with the above situations, you should follow the aforementioned ways. Meanwhile, you can also share your story so that people can learn from you.
Mental health issues during this time are common. However, one should learn to accept and find ways to deal with them. Government and private institutions have provided many support facilities to help you deal with the situation. This is the time to keep a good mental status as it will help you to win the battle soon.
All the information mentioned above is as per the Ministry Of Health And Family Welfare (MoHFW) and is for general guidance.