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Saturday, August 08, 2020

Mental health coping strategies during a pandemic and after

Keep in touch with your family members and friends over the phone.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 16, 2020 9:25:19 pm
mental health coping strategies, coronavirus, pandemic, stress, sushant singh rajput dies, indianexpress.com, indianexpress, Pay close attention to your and your loved ones’ mental health. (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Coronavirus is a public health concern as it has hit many people in India and the world. It has been overwhelming for some people and has sparked anxiety, nervousness, paranoia, stress and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), besides panic attacks. Here’s a mental-wellbeing advice for your loved ones and you from Dr Santosh Bangar, consultant-psychiatrist, Global Hospital.

“The coronavirus can significantly affect the mental health of people as social distancing and self-isolation are recommended. The government has told us to stay at home and only go outside for food or health reasons, staying six feet away from people and washing hands properly is essential. This suggests that our social activities will no longer be available to us. That is the time when boredom may strike in, and one may also get bogged down mentally,” commented Dr Bangar.

How can staying home for long affect one mentally?

Loneliness

Social distancing can help curb the spread of coronavirus, but, do you know that it can lead to loneliness? It can also trigger a depressive episode.

Anxiety

There may be anxiety in people related to the pandemic. They may worry about someone in the family getting infected. Or wonder about what happens if the spread of coronavirus doesn’t end?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

One may continuously wash hands to get rid of the germs or may continuously clean the house. One may also worry that he/she is dirty. Being exposed to negative information can lead to paranoia. One may also feel overwhelmed and scared.

Follow these coping-strategies and enhance your mental well-being

*Exercising at home can help one de-stress. Further, eat fresh fruits and vegetables, avoid overeating, and stay hydrated. Avoid smoking and alcohol. And get a good night’s sleep.

*Keep in touch with your family members and friends over the phone. Also, spend quality time with your family (but don’t forget to maintain six feet distance). Also, clean your house from time to time.

*Play indoor games, listen to music or read books. Try relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga that can help in stress management.

*Don’t get distressed and keep yourself free from negativity. You must do your best and stop being negative and maintain good hygiene. Follow all the necessary precautions. Do not make any assumptions or jump to any conclusions. Avoid social media if you tend to find it distressing, explained Dr Bangar.

*Only believe the information from reliable sources. Try to limit your exposure to avoid disturbing posts.

*Rumours can set in panic attacks too. They rob your peace of mind. Perhaps decide on a specific time to check in with the news.

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, one must look out for signs of mental health issues in their near and dear ones. These include changes in sleep patterns, difficulty in sleeping and concentrating, besides worsening of health problems.

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