Coronavirus is something that doesn’t even need an introduction anymore. Life seems like something out of a movie script, and not one of those ‘funny, comedic take on an apocalypse’ movies. There is a pandemic looming over us, while all we can do is sit at home and watch it affect individuals, families, countries, the economy, the world. In short, COVID-19 has wreaked havoc, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. This understandably is a very stressful time for people, especially those with pre-existing mental health conditions. And yet, people have to function in this environment which can be quite challenging. As trying as it is to be calm, we owe it to ourselves and to our community to look at what we can do about getting a handle on ourselves, especially when the world is gripped by fear to the degree it is.
What Can You Do To Keep Calm?
1. Don’t distract yourself
Don’t ignore your anxiety. Accepting the fact that you feel anxious is the first step to getting better. As awful as anxiety feels, it is important for you to go through it and get it out of your system. Ignoring the anxiety will not help you in the long run. It is okay to be afraid. Just don’t suppress it. And while it’s essential to feel your feelings, do not wallow in them. This is just to help you feel lighter, to help you let it go. Breathe. Things are rough RIGHT NOW, but that doesn’t mean that they will be rough forever.
2. Get your facts straight
With so much information about the virus, it’s hard to understand what you can trust and what you can’t. This uncertainty is a big cause for anxiety. Always get your facts from trusted sources. Do NOT believe that uncle on Whatsapp who forwards “news” about COVID-19 telling you that it is just like the common cold. It isn’t, and that is okay. Do your own research. Follow trusted sources like the World Health Organization or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is important to be educated about the threat. Ignorance leads to uncertainty, which in turn leads to anxiety. It is also imperative that you do not underestimate OR overestimate the threat. This is only possible if you educate yourself using trusted sources.
3. Step away from the smartphone
No, your parents haven’t written this blog. Research has shown that limiting your usage of phones and social media genuinely tends to improve your mental health. This is why social media detoxing is important. This one tiny step helps in improving your mental health by a lot. Limiting the intake of regular media also helps. Our brain isn’t designed to be subjected to constant stimulation and bombardment of depressing news 24/7. Looking at the news all day tends to increase one’s anxiety, and after a while, doesn’t serve any other purpose. Try focusing on existing hobbies or pick up a new hobby instead. What better time to try new things than when you are literally forced to stay home and have nothing to do?
4. Spend time with loved ones
Self-isolation is always hard, especially in these trying times, but it is necessary. Loneliness settles in and anxiety follows soon after. Reach out to your friends or family. Chances are that they feel the same way too. Spend as much virtual time with them as possible. Go hang out with your pet. They probably miss you when you aren’t home and would love the company. If you’re overwhelmed, call someone. Do not give yourself a haircut or do something impulsive. That is just a temporary fix to a more serious issue.
5. The Holy Trinity
This is probably the most important step, and the most overlooked one. Eat healthy, hydrate yourself (and no, coffee doesn’t count as hydration) and get enough sleep. Not following through with these three is often the biggest cause of anxiety. Your physical health has a huge impact on your mental health, so it’s important to give your body what it needs.
We hope this quarantine, these little tips will help you feel better. Don’t let that anxiety get to you. Feeling depressed and anxious at this point is just human, and you’re not alone. If you continue to feel anxious for an extended period of time, we do provide online counseling. Feel free to reach out to us at +91 96078 88833 or email us at [email protected] for expert help.