MENTAL HEALTH DURING SOCIAL ISOLATION

by cadabamshospital

22 April,2020 | 1 month read

Amidst the vast and quick spread of Novel COVID-19, communities around the world have come under a lockdown. It is imperative for us as a global community to work towards reducing the burden of this disease by abiding by our Government Directives and the unanimous advice of all health professionals. 

Most commonly, we are all advised to “SOCIALLY ISOLATE” or “SOCIALLY DISTANCE” ourselves from others in our community to decrease the spread of COVID-19.

But what does social distancing entail? It stops us from carrying forward our daily activities in a way that we are accustomed to. We are required to stay at home, stay away from friends and family as far as possible, work from home, only make our way to the nearest grocery store for the bare necessities. This has posed a challenge for us as we are social beings.

We inherently have the need to interact with others like us. Social distancing, in this global scenario, can therefore negatively impact our mental health. How can we then improve our mental health and stay happy? The challenges are many but here are some tips to help you get through these trying times.

MENTAL HEALTH TIPS

  1. Scheduling: Home isolation is a breeding ground for laziness. If you are finding it hard to motivate yourself, build a schedule and stick to it! This will help keep your mind and body active.
  2. Physical Exercise: Exercise is a great way to release those endorphins and instantly uplift your mood. Follow at-home workouts and stick to it. A great way to achieve this is by setting the same time every day to keep you physically active!
  3. Mindfulness: Mindfulness is “being present in the present!” It involves focusing your attention in the present moment without judgment. Meditation and focusing on your breathing for a few minutes in a day will help center your thoughts and help you appreciate yourself in the present moment.
  4. Grounding: Grounding techniques can help you manage challenging negative emotions, anxieties, and many other mental health problems. Grounding entails refocusing your energy and attention on the present using your five senses.
    1. Pick up items near you and spend time observing them with your eyes and your hands
    2. Savour food and drink
    3. Savor a scent
    4. Listen to your surroundings
  5. Reaching out to loved ones through online platforms: We can consider ourselves fortunate to be able to reach out to our near and dear ones on different online platforms. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call your friend to talk to them about your personal victories and challenges during this time.
  6. Don’t over-do the “Netflix and Chill”: Although we are lucky to have various entertainment platforms, it is necessary to regulate our time binge-watching our favorite shows. Don’t let this be an excuse to put off your regular activities.
  7. Immerse yourself in new and old hobbies: Social isolation gives you the chance to get back to that book you haven’t read that you keep meaning to, to learn that knitting that you promised yourself you were going to start. Remember to use this time to reinvent yourself and explore the things that you can’t seem to find time for in your usually busy schedules.
  8. Stay positive: Remind yourself that this is a temporary period and you will overcome it. You are not in this alone. Cherish the things you get to learn about yourself and the time you get to spend with your nearest ones.
  9. Switch off or Switch over!: One thing that negatively fuels our mood is constantly browsing the web for updates on the latest news about this pandemic. Don’t drown yourself in stats about COVID-19. Avoid news and social media if you find it particularly distressing or switch over to reading something else.

Remember, if you feel over-burdened or overwhelmed, mental
health professionals are always available for you to reach out to. In case of
any emergencies, do not hesitate to contact your nearest mental health
professional. In case you need someone to talk to, reach out and speak to them
over the audio or video calls!

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