MAINTAINING MENTAL HEALTH DURING CORONA RELATED SELF-ISOLATION

Dr. Hira Tanveer

3 min read

mental-health-during-corona

Coronavirus pandemic has put the entire world into a frenzy. Not only is this virus endangering the physical health, but human mental health during corona has also been suffering because of the overall high-risk environment.

The situation was already stressful, to begin with, but the subsequent precautions that have been taken up like self-isolation have further aggravated the situation. However, we must remain steadfast in the fight against the virus. 

Yes, cabin fever can be bad, but nothing is worth the risk of COVID-19. You might get sick of your house and miss going out dearly. This constant stress coupled with staying in your house can endanger your mental well-being. Therefore, the following are a list of things that can be done to fortify your mental health during corona. 

Exercising 

Stress is really bad for both mental and physical health. It compromises immunity and increases risk factors for many other illnesses. However, exercise helps lower stress hormone levels. Therefore, take up any form of exercise that you like. It doesn’t have to be a boring routine, you can mix it up with different fun forms like Zumba, dance, aerobics etc. 

Exercise, therefore, will not only help take care of your mental health, but it will also boost your immunity and equip you to fight the disease better. 

Connect with people

In this day and age, we are lucky to be blessed with sophisticated forms of communication. You don’t need to be physically present with your friends and family to talk to them, you can simply call or message them. Keep your social contact in the virtual world. 

Get your loved ones on a video call and stay updated with each other. This will not only help take care of your mental health but will also give solace to others as well. 

Start reading 

Many people have stopped reading due lack of time or perhaps interest. This is the perfect time to start a book. Not only will it help you distract yourself but reading occupies a person for a longer time, and this is a good sideline. 

It’s better to try out a lighter book to uplift your mood. Thrillers can keep you on your toes and won’t let your mind wander to the depressing news. Bottom line; read to keep yourself distracted and entertained, at the same time. 

Laugh it off

‘Laughter is the best medicine’ might be a cliché saying, but it is true, nonetheless. Laughing helps to destress and protects you from the side effects of stress as well. It helps release the good hormones that uplift your mood. 

Therefore, take up things that make you laugh. Watch some comedy shows, put on a sit-com, read comics, play funny games. Whatever keeps you giggling, just do it. Many people think it’s crass to laugh in times of such a global tragedy. However, please do not impose such a mindset on yourself; it will not help you at all and instead worsen your mental health. 

Moderate news time

At the time of crisis, it gets hard to differentiate between reality and fabrication. Unfortunately, many people start spreading fake news that leads to mass hysteria. Therefore, do not spend too much of your time reading online news that has not been validated. Watch channels that provide correct information. 

Also, moderate your overall news time as well. Taking too much stress about a situation that is beyond your control is counterintuitive. Do your part and practice social distancing. That is all which is expected of you. Don’t throw yourself into a panic by saturating yourself with COVID-19 news. 

Maintain a routine

Abandoning a proper routine just because you are on your own and have no outside obligations can be detrimental to your mental health. Hence, do not fall into the trap of laziness and maintain a proper routine. 

Wake up at a fixed time, exercise, take up some healthy activities like doing crafts and sleep at a fixed time. This will also help you from wasting your time over non-productive things. Also, having a fixed sleep routine will also ensure that you get sufficient sleep, which is really important to maintain physical and mental health during coronavirus.

Eat well

It is important to eat a well-balanced and healthy meal. Mental conditions like stress increase the chances of diseases like CHD. Therefore, eating junk food whilst lounging on the sofa is detrimental to your wellbeing, so cut on these unhealthy snacks. 

Moreover, certain foods help counter stress. Try your good, healthy comfort food when feeling overwhelmed. Wholegrain bread, citrus fruits, spinach, black tea, etc. are some of the foods that help lower stress levels. Incorporate these in your diet to ensure your mental health during corona.

Practice mindful breathing 

Stress has adverse effects on the breathing pattern. It is not uncommon to have palpitations during stressful situations. This change is not good for your health. Hence, taking up breathing exercises to help your restore normal breathing, and therefore counter stress. 

When feeling stressed out, just take a deep slow breath, hold for 3 seconds and slowly release. Do this a few times and you can feel your heart rate drop to a normal level. These exercises are very beneficial in these extremely straining times. You can also practice yoga as it too helps practice mindful breathing. 

Connect with nature

Practicing social distance does not mean boycotting nature. As long as you are in the vicinity of your house, stepping out is safe. Even a window view would do. Sunlight helps prevent stress so try soaking up on it some. 

Try to step out in the sun, stand on the dewy grass between your feet, and just breathe; it’s magical really. Nature has a calming, healing nature and can be the balm you need to preserve your mental health during corona. 

Channel positivity

Think positively despite this catastrophe. Do not fall into the abyss of anxiety and depression by dwelling on stressful thoughts. Your pessimism will not only be counterproductive but also endanger your health. 

It is very important to stay mentally healthy during coronavirus, however difficult it might be. If you are still feeling overwhelmed and stressed out during this pandemic, get yourself professional help right away before it gets worse.  you can find and book an appointment with a top Psychiatrist in Rawalpindi, Karachi, and Multan through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your Mental Health concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Hira Tanveer Dr. Hira Tanveer is an MBBS doctor and currently serving at CMH Lahore. Writing is her favorite hobby as she loves to share professional advice on trendy healthcare issues, general well-being, a healthy diet, and lifestyle.