In this tough and testing time, mental illness has grown ten times more. Mental health is still considered as a taboo even though 1 out of 4 people is suffering from mental disorders, which means, in one’s own family there is at least one person suffering from mental illness. However, the impact of the lockdown is the heaviest on those who are alone, poor or already struggling with mental illness. Even though this pandemic has given us plenty of free time, this free time can be a burden on one’s mental illness. Empty space in time is a devil’s playground, our mind invites overthinking which eventually leads to anxiety. During the pre-corona times, we would put the extra time in hand to better use by opting for gym sessions or catching up with old friends. However, now we are all stuck in one place. Manisha Chopra, Nutritionist, Dietician and Fitness Expert says that "a healthy mind is not easily achieved but taking up fun activities like painting, writing, exercising etc not only brings a sense of accomplishment but keeps our mind occupied so that overthinking does not slip in." Here are a few tips by her which can help you out.
Try to stay connected with your loved ones! It minimises the chances of being lonely. Play with your pet. Studies have shown that playing with your pet can make the brain produce oxytocin, which is known as “cuddle chemical.” Oxytocin increases feelings of relaxation which further reduces stress and anxiety, and one experiences the same feeling while you are with a loved one.
One should avoid multitasking, as a lot of pressure on your mind to do multiple things can cause stress and this can be extremely overwhelming, it is important to take it easy during this pandemic. Put on some music and dance, even though it may sound silly, but it reduces the majority of the stress. It is important to release serotonin and oxytocin.
Movies & Shows To Cheer You Up
Watch a funny movie or catch up on your favourite television show, anything that puts a smile on your face and keeps you home from going out amid Covid-19.
As a walk in the park is considered dangerous now, walk around the house. This is the time for you to do anything you want to do or anything you wanted to do from your time away from work.
Avoid social media, even though this may be hard, social media brings out a majority of negative feelings in us and reduces self-esteem.
People losing their jobs or students not being able to study should avoid taking any stress. Stress can cause prolonged physical issues such as Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks, and stroke and mental illness such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders.
WHO estimated that in India, the burden of mental health problems "is of the tune of 2,443 DALYs per 100,000 population, and the age-adjusted suicide rate per 100,000 population is 21.1."
People who are fighting COVID-19 and people who lost their loved ones because of COVID-19 are prone to depressive disorder, anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder which will require therapy.
Therapist/ Professional Help
A healthy mind can only be achieved with constant care of oneself, even though time may seem to be hard. It is okay to ask for help, talk to your loved ones, or a therapist. There is nothing wrong in seeking professional help. In fact, they don't judge you like family members or a friend would.
A healthy mind is a healthy body. Stay safe; stay well.
Stay tuned to Herzindagi for more tips on dealing with mental stress.