The COVID-19 pandemic continues to drag itself along as we move forward in 2021. Some countries such as India are facing devastating new waves which just shows how important it is to stick with the guidelines even if the numbers are going down. Some of these guidelines include social distancing and wearing masks, limited gatherings, limited indoor activities etc. Over a prolonged period, this can lead to isolation, anxiety, stress and depresion.
Due to the circumstances of this pandemic, it is natural to feel stress and anxiety. We should find ways in which we can cope with these symptoms. Some of the ways to cope with the mental health affects of the pandemic include:
1. Connect with people virtually:
While social distancing is still in place, connect with your community virtually via social media, phone and/or messages or even by mail. This would help you keep your social connections intact and is important for our mental health. We can still follow social distancing guidelines while staying connected to the world.
2. Take out time for yourself:
Take some time out for yourself to relax and do something that you enjoy. Maybe something like reading a book, cooking your favorite recipe, photography or any other hobby that you never previously had the time to follow. Keeping the brain occupied is a good way to keep the brain healthy.
3. Physical health:
Take care of your physical health by excersizing, eating a balnced diet and getting adequate amounts of sleep. Also dont stop your routine visits to your healthcare provider for routine vaccinations, screenings and other appointments. You should also get your COVID vaccination whenever it is availble to you.
4. Follow Authentic News:
Choose your news sources wisely. Only trust authentic sources for information regarding the pandemic. Stay updated onthe news once or maybe twice a day and then disconnect yourself fromt he news at other times. Constant negative news can also lead to depression, stress and anxiety.
If you are struggling to cope with the stress, call your healthcare provider immediately. There are ways to help you with the stess and if you know of a friend or family member who is struggling, advise them to seek help. There are many cofidential crisis resources that can help you get through these hard times.