Mental Health and Covid-19

As we were nearing the end of 2019, little did we know about what the next year holds for us. It was indeed a feeling of mixed emotions after the news of a virus outbreak, the COVID-19. And now since the past 8-9 months, a lot has been changed in most of our lives due to the outbreak. Certain habits  and terms have also become part of our lifestyle, such as masks, gloves and yes to maintain social distancing. Initially, it was challenging to incorporate into our routine, but later had no other choice rather than to be. And of course, the daily increase in COVID-19 cases is still a distressing issue to hear. Most importantly, the extent to which the pandemic has impacted our lives, in terms of education, work, financially, social events and a lot more. A most prominent aspect that got affected due to the pandemic, and many has recognized was mental health.

People were directly or indirectly affected by the pandemic crisis or by the laws established during the outbreak. Mental health issues such as stress, relationship issues, depression, anxiety, financial strain, suicidal thoughts and many more are the current matters, especially during this crisis. It is important to note that some of them might be already experiencing specific mental health issues, but the bitter truth is that it just got worsen or acknowledged due to the pandemic and its quarantine rules. And it is also quite evident in the number of suicide cases that have increased over the past few months. Besides that, people get stressed over the daily news coverage on television and newspaper regarding COVID-19 and the economic affairs of the country, which has mentally distressed a lot of individuals. And it’s normal to feel anxious and stressed during these uncertain times. 

However, these stressful emotions can make one less productive and might not make the day a purposeful one. A conversation with your loved one about your feelings can make you feel less burdened about the stressful thoughts. And, it would be a great idea to set a time limit for watching the news on television or reading newspaper to receive updates on COVID-19, as regularly looking for updates can make one excessively stressed. Another critical issue is concerning those individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the time they realize they have to stay in isolation. Indeed not an easy task to avoid all the social interactions all at once. Possibly what one could do, is to still maintain that communication through different virtual platform and let them be engaged and free of any stressful thoughts. Those at home quarantine or at isolation, it would be great to occupy and motivate oneself to do any casual activities or learning a new skill that would make one feel positive towards the end of the day.

A useful technique that has been advised by WHO during this pandemic crisis, that can be practised when you want to have better control of yourself is the grounding technique. The process of the technique; firstly, to be conscious of yourself or be aware of your present feelings. After you acknowledge yourself, to take control of your body slowly by breathing techniques or any type of meditation of your preference. And lastly to regain your focus with the environment around you using your sense of smell, touch, or vision. When certain situations are not in favour of us, try to see if anything could be changed to make it better or if not, accept that it is okay if you can’t have any influence. Despite these difficult times, being able to find your purpose in life and still aiming for it is indeed a significant step ahead. Along with keeping oneself physically safe and healthy, it is equally important to acknowledge and address one’s mental health issues rightly.