Quarantine affecting mental health
How does COVID-19 affect mental health?
Coronavirus has affected everyone in the world even though only a part of the world has been directly affected by the virus. This means that the COVID-19 pandemic is such a phase where every person in respect of age has been affected physically, mentally, or financially. Overwhelming news about the virus, recession and many lives lost have affected the human minds negatively.
Even a person with no prior mental health issue goes through a ton of emotions and stress during these times. There might be many reasons for your changes in mood during the pandemic.
Some of you might be grieving over the loss of a friend or a loved one, someone else might be stressed out about their job or lost their job. The greatest impact on the human mind has been created by the isolation or quarantine period that people need to abide by to control the contagion.
Humans, being social animals, need to communicate directly with one another to make us feel loved and wanted. Lack of communication, support, and love during this period has affected many of us negatively and also worsened the symptoms of depression in some people.
Are people more depressed during the COVID-19 pandemic?
According to a report from the CDC, in a survey conducted, around 40.9% of the people experienced adverse mental health issues during the COVID-19. Stay at home orders and quarantine period further added to the stress and anxiety attacks people experience.
What should people in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic do?
Taking care of yourself during quarantine is extremely important for good mental and physical health. Hence, follow some tips to take care of your body and mind.
1. Plan your schedule
Planning your daily activities will help you stay organized and leave little time for your mind to have negative thoughts. Do not plan a jam-packed schedule to only feel worried if you are not able to complete the tasks by end of the day. Instead, give enough time for you to relax and complete your tasks. In case you are working from home, you might want to finish your work at the right time instead of dragging it long and feel tired every day. Rest, sleep, and relaxation are all as important as your work too.
2. Healthy Eating
The chances to eat often and big meals are high if you are working from home. Staying at home without having any work to do will also tempt us to keep eating while away our time. This is a dangerous practice since it can lead to obesity, unhealthy eating habits, and other diseases. Limit your salt, sugar, and fat intake and up your fiber and water intake to stay fresh and hydrated. Carbs and sugar just give an instant boost and you will feel lethargic if you have foods high in carbohydrates and sugar. Also, take care to eat less portions. You need to stay at home enduring your quarantine period, hence very heavy exercises may not be possible for everyone. Taking care of your portion size will help you stay fit and healthy. Prefer home-cooked meals rather than take-out.
Exercise is good for the body and mind. You release the “feel good” hormones after you exercise which refreshes your body and mind. Exercising while staying at home may not be possible for everyone. You might not have the proper equipment to complete a workout. But there are options like yoga, aerobics, or dance to keep you on your toes. Any form of physical activity is considered exercise. Aim for 30 minutes to 1 hour of exercise every day without fail.
4. Screen time
Too much screen time is harmful to adults as well. They interfere in our sleeping and eating habits. Make sure you are away from your phone or TV while having your meals and 30 minutes before you go to bed.
Self-care keeps you happy, wanted, and loved. Keep doing what you love. It could be reading, painting, cooking or any little thing that makes you happy.
6. Avoid alcohol
Avoid overuse of alcohol. Alcohol affects your state of mind and our aim is to stay healthy during this quarantine period.
7. Stay in touch
Reach out to your friends, relatives, or loved ones in case you need help. Ask your neighbor, friends and dear ones if they need help and help them if you could. Though meeting them might not be possible, there are ways like video call where you could see and talk to them and share your feelings. Do not cut off the world from you. Try to understand that this is just a phase and soon we will all be back to our normal lives.
How to get help with mental health during COVID-19
People with existing mental health illnesses need to keep a watch out for your symptoms and feeling that you experience. Any sudden changes in your symptoms or worsening of your symptoms should be discussed with your doctor. Most of the hospitals and clinics are offering telehealth services. Connect to your doctor regularly and keep a track of your medications. Everyone reacts to stress differently and hence the mental health issues and treatment will also be different. If you experience suicidal or violent thoughts, please call for immediate help. Anxiety and stress are more common now among people when compared to the pre covid period. Taking care of yourself and the ones around you will keep you strong and moving forward.