COVID-19 has negatively impacted different aspects of our lives. However, a key area that’s often ignored is the pandemic’s toll on mental health. From contributing to increasing work stress and anxiety to affecting sleep quality and resulting in loss of motivation. Here’s looking at the negative impact of the pandemic on mental well-being, and what you can do to fix it.
Guide to fix the pandemic’s toll on mental health
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a ‘new normal’ that we were forced to accept. However, this acceptance also extracted a heavy price. In the form of the negative toll of the pandemic on our well-being. While we brace ourselves to cope with the challenges this change brings, Dr Kedar Tilwe, consultant psychiatrist, Fortis Hospital Mulund and Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi also shares a few tips that can help you cope better.
Tips to take care of your mental well-being
We have to continue living our lives despite the pandemic, and here’s how we can go about it.
- Embrace the uncertainty
Multiple symptoms associated with COVID-19, continuously changing guidelines and response protocol, as well as treatment regimens, has led to a constant sense of uncertainty. This often leads to repetitive thoughts, and unnecessary worries. A person may find it difficult to control but we have to accept it and make our peace with it.
- Get help to deal with anxiety
Fear of contracting the illness and unintentionally spreading it to your loved ones can lead to precipitation of panic attacks and Anxiety spectrum disorders in some. So, you may need professional help. Practice tackling one day’s concern at a time. Focus on daily tasks. It will help reduce the apprehension and worries.
- Accept that loss of motivation is real
Decreased interest in previously pleasurable activities, low mood and lack of motivation are frequent concerns affecting individuals. This could also result in a lack of motivation in their day-to-day activities.
- Filter news and information
The constant barrage of unduly sensationalised negative news from unreliable and untrustworthy sources has been responsible for creating a sense of gloom and panic. So, limit the news feed to reliable, trustworthy, and verified sources, and that too for not more than two hours a day
- Monitor sleep quality
Implement regular sleep hygiene practices such as a fixed bedtime. Avoid the use of gadgets in bed and limit your coffee/tea intake to 7 pm.
- Do meditation to relax your mind
Following daily mindfulness practices or doing meditation and relaxation exercises will help reduce stress levels.
- Bond with your tribe
Connect with relatives, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances on a regular basis. If you feel overwhelmed or overburdened, reach out to a mental health helpline or a mental health professional.