The COVID-19 pandemic has immensely impacted our lives. Many of us are confronted with difficulties that may be unpleasant, upsetting, and elicit powerful emotions in both adults and youngsters. While public health measures such as social distance are required to halt the spread of COVID-19, they may exacerbate feelings of isolation and loneliness, as well as stress and worry. Learning to manage stress in a healthy manner can increase your resilience, the people you care about, and those around you. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is reasonable to experience tension, anxiety, sadness, and worry.
The following may happen as a result of stress:
- Fear, rage, despair, anxiety, numbness, or frustration
- Appetite, energy, desires, and interests fluctuate
- Concentration and decision-making difficulties
- Sleeping difficulties or nightmares
- Physical manifestations include headaches, bodily aches, stomach discomfort, and skin rashes.
- Chronic health conditions deteriorate
- The deterioration of mental health problems
Below are some ways to take care of your mental health during the pandemic:
Consult a trustworthy individual.
Communicating with someone you trust, whether a friend, family member or coworker, may be beneficial. You may feel better if you are able to share frankly with someone who cares about you what you are going through. If you reside in a region where face-to-face communication is restricted, you may still communicate with your loved ones by video call, phone call, or messaging app.
Remain informed through reputable sources.
It is natural to feel despondent while going through the news. Thus, it is critical to remember that a great deal of incorrect information is circulating concerning COVID-19. Practice extreme caution and skepticism while reading material, particularly on discussion boards and social media. Understanding the facts about COVID-19 and what you can do to keep safe and healthy may help alleviate anxiety by giving you a sense of control over your situation. Additionally, it is critical to remain current on recent developments, new standards, and prospective limits.
Take care of your physical health.
Taking care of one’s physical health contributes to the improvement of one’s mental health and well-being. You may not feel like exercising at the moment, but give it a go. Physical exercise boosts your mood and general health while lowering your stress and anxiety levels. Gyms might be closed, but there are plenty of workout videos on YouTube for people of various fitness levels. You may also perhaps take a stroll. Take at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day, whether jogging, walking, yoga, dancing, cycling, or even gardening. Also, consume a balanced and nutritious diet, and ensure that you get adequate sleep. Sleep, as we all know, enhances our mood and health. Each day, attempt to go to bed and wake up around the same hour. Avoid using your phone or watching television in bed to aid with sleep. If anything is bothering you and preventing you from sleeping, try writing it down.
Participate in things that you like.
Continue to engage in important and pleasant activities, such as cooking for yourself or your loved ones, playing with your pet, strolling in a park, reading a book, or watching a film or television series. Maintaining a consistent schedule filled with things that make you joyful can assist you in maintaining excellent mental health.
Keep a safe distance from dangerous chemicals.
Avoid dangerous substances such as drugs, kava, alcohol, or cigarettes in order to deal with your emotions. While they may seem to improve your mood in the short term, they might make you feel worse in the long run. Additionally, these chemicals are hazardous, putting you and others around you at risk of sickness or injury.
Establish boundaries and schedule time away from all technology.
Spending hours upon hours on your gadgets is detrimental to your health. If you are having difficulty putting down your phone, you may schedule an electronics break into your day; you may remind yourself by setting the alarm. Additionally, although it is essential to be aware, establish boundaries for yourself. After your time is up, attempt to redirect your attention to anything else.
Plan your days and make an effort to have fun.
The days may pass in a blur, particularly if you are not working. Establishing a daily to-do list or timetable will provide you with a feeling of direction and control. Make your lists and timetables realistic and attainable. Make an effort to engage in things you usually love or develop new interests if feasible. Take a walk outdoors to get some fresh air, read a book, or bake. Also, allow yourself to laugh. It quickly improves the appearance of everything. Additionally, laughter alleviates tension and anxiety.
Conduct activities to cultivate awareness.
If you have never practiced mindfulness before, now is a perfect moment to do so. Mindfulness helps alleviate worry and stress while also improving one’s health. All you need is a quiet area and ten minutes of your time to get started with various mindfulness applications you can find online.
Make an effort to think optimistically.
Negative thoughts might contribute to the development of worry and stress. Self-defeating, negative ideas may be so powerful that they convince you that they are real. You may feel as if there is nothing good in your life, but if you take a moment to reflect, you can almost certainly find something, no matter how little it seems. Therapists in mental health advocate maintaining a gratitude notebook for a reason. It alleviates stress, boosts self-esteem, and develops resilience.
Seek professional assistance.
If you believe you cannot manage the stress you are experiencing, get professional assistance by contacting your local mental health hotline or speaking with your counselor or doctor. A consultation with a psychiatrist in Manila or with a psychiatrist in Cebu would be a great help. Bear in mind that you are not alone, and you can protect and improve your mental health.
Self-care may better enable you to care for others. It is important to maintain contact with friends and family during social isolation. By assisting others in coping with stress through phone conversations or video chats, you and your family members might feel less lonely or alone. If you are having difficulty coping, several resources are available to you. Also, if stress interferes with your everyday activities for multiple days in a row, contact your healthcare professional.