Covid-19 has jolted the entire planet, bringing it to a halt. This is probably the biggest disruption we have witnessed in centuries. The outbreak of COVID-19 has not only caused a massive health crisis but it has also brought a big economic blow.
The contagion is spreading like wildfire. Death tolls are reaching the sky. Economic blow is stalling lives. Jobs are sacked, offices are shut and shops are locked. As such, its not only the physical casualties that we a re fighting. But the battle is much larger!
Each one of us is going through mental turbulence of variable severities.
The cry of mental health crisis amidst the COVID pandemic
Being concerned about coronavirus pandemic is not a mental health issue. In fact, experts say that it is good to be concerned or anxious to a certain extent. As this encourages people to follow the rules and stay in the house.
But for those who are experiencing extreme emotions, it can be a red alarm.
People stuck in faraway lands away from friends and family tend to get homesick. Homesickness can cause depression, anxiety, and fear can be overwhelming. Some may even get suicidal thoughts because of loneliness and hopelessness.
People who are dealing with issues of OCD may find it really hard to cope with COVID. OCD patients are advised to avoid triggers like washing their hands multiple times. But the guidelines for fighting COVID contradicts their treatment.
Patients who were already dealing with anxiety, depression or panic attacks would also have a hard time dealing with the Pandemic. With all the support systems locked in their houses, patients are forced to fight the mental demons all by themselves.
It won’t be wrong to say that the circulation of money is stalled to a large extent. Businesses are blown, jobs are sacked and finances are in ruin. As such, the financial burden of the pandemic can push one over the edge.
Even the number of child abuse and domestic violence reported during the lockdown has seen a massive increase.
Last but not the least, even the frontline fighters are susceptible to a mental breakdown. The exhaustive work hours and constant fear are like to cause trauma.
Another side of the coronavirus crisis that no one talks about
Suicide rates have reached their peak in the lockdown. It is alarming among the addicts who no longer have access to their substance. Suicides are also rising among the farmers and laborers. Even the rich and affluent are whipped by the same fate.
Different reasons but one result – death!
- Thomas Schaefer, the German finance minister committed suicide over coronavirus crisis.
- Almost seven suicide cases were reported during the first 100 hours of the lockdown in Kerala.
- More than 40 people have died because of no access to alcohol.
- Over 39 people have committed suicide because of the fear of coronavirus infection.
- Migrant workers are dying on their way back home. Reports say that at least 35 migrants were accidentally run over.
Of course, the real numbers are much scarier than these!
Hence, addressing the mental health issues at this time is as important as treating the pandemic!
Here are 7 mental health expert tips to help you cope with covid-19 pandemic.
7 mental health expert tips to cope with covid-19 pandemic
Times are tough!
And you need to stay strong more than ever.
Holding on to the edge, just hang on until the storm passes. Because, sooner or later the storm shall pass.
Till then here are some practices advised by mental health experts that you can practice to keep your calm:
- Meditation and Yoga
A Harvard study recommended meditation and yoga to cope with coronavirus anxiety.
Yoga and meditation are proven to be effective tools against anxiety and depression. They are calming and helps one stay positive!
Controlled breathing exercises are a quick relief for anxiety or panic attack. Practicing pranayama regularly will help in keeping the mind calm and heart healthy.
- Switch off the TV
Keeping a constant tab on the coronavirus updates can take a negative toll on your mental peace. So, switch off the TV and your phone. Also, beware of the fake news. Just check one authentic source at a particular time of the day to keep abreast.
- Connect and bond over the phone
Thank god for technology! Call your close ones and talk regularly. Share your feelings and know that they are there on the other side of the line.
Just make sure to stay away from negative people. Even a 5-minute chat with them can disturb your mental state.
- Heal your wounds with writing therapy
Research published in Harvard university stamps the efficacy of writing therapy in healing experience. It says that writing therapy can bring ease to stress and trauma. It is very helpful for people who are experiencing an emotional fallout.
- Don’t slip your sleep time
It can be very tempting at such times to stretch your sleep time. Disrupting your sleep routine is the last thing your body wants now. You need to maintain a disciplined sleep routine for strong immunity and good mood.
- Read to Live
Have you heard those stories where convicts come out of jail as an entirely new person with profound energy? They read books! The best way to survive this quarantine is to read lots of books.
Wrapping it up
Mental health is a real thing!
And in times of such crisis it will be more prevalent than ever.
So, please don’t cloak your issues under the cover.
Talk to your friends or family. Or Reach out to an expert. (Here is a list of help-line numbers)