I think you’ll agree with me when I say:
COVID 19 has changed the world as we knew it and perhaps changed it forever.
Coronavirus has inflicted fear and more uncertainty for humanity. Public health measures such as social distancing, lockdowns, curfews, and quarantine, has made people feel lonely and isolated.
This has increased stress and anxiety. We however need these measures to reduce the rapid spread of the disease.
COVID 19 has brought the world into a standstill, and the constant news of the growing number of cases and deaths worldwide can be overwhelming.
Loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease is likely to lead to mental health problems
Domestic violence is also on the rise. According to Gender-Based Violence researchers, (GBV) domestic violence increases whenever families spend a long time together. Women and girls have been forced to spend time with potential abusers by the current lockdowns, quarantine, and cessations of movement.
This can cause a terrible toll on their mental health
Children have not been exempted from the pandemic as well. Kids have witnessed their parent’s struggle with government regularities that prevent them from earning a living.
They may lose a parent or an adult caregiver to the disease. Schools are closed; they cannot play with their peers, and home quarantine. All these add up to the negative effects on children’s emotions, social and psychological well being
COVID 19 has caused psychological effects, including stress, anxiety, depression, confusion, fear, anger, and even drug abuse
So how can we improve our mental health during this stormy period?
- Maintain a healthy diet.
A healthy diet can include:
- Lots of fruits and vegetables
- Pulses and beans
- Olive oil
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Very little red meat
In addition to eating a healthy diet, it’s important to avoid drinking alcohol, smoking, or use of drugs when you are dealing with your emotions
Whenever you are overwhelmed, speak to a health worker, a counselor, or your spiritual leader.
2. Physical exercise
Physical exercise is important in improving both physical and mental health. By exercising, you’re helping to control weight gain-Obesity is among the underlying conditions that can worsen the effects of COVID 19.
Start small with one session of exercise a week, to three sessions a week, to a session every day
Exercises such as breathing can help the lungs work more efficiently. According to the National Institute for health and care excellence, Exercises such as pursed-lip breathing can help manage breathlessness caused by COVID 19.
Some of the exercises that you can do for your mental health include:
- Biking and cycling
- Resting as you meditate
- Taking a walk
3. Adequate sleep
Sleep plays an important role in good physical and mental health. Poor sleep can harm your mental health.
We need to sleep at least 7-8 hours a day but many people have sleep problems
The following are some of the ways you can improve your sleep
- Try to sleep and wake at regular times consistently
- Take small amounts of liquids in the evening to reduce chances of waking up at night to empty your bladder
- Use your preferred lighting and noise-music
- Reduce the intake of caffeine and alcohol mostly in the evenings
- Exercise daily
4. Find new ways to connect with family and friends
Engaging in socialization with family and friends decreases feelings of isolation and anxiety.
With COVID 19 measures of social distancing and staying at home, we need to find new ways to socialize. This may include the use of social media, phone calls, texting and so much more. Use that which works better for you.
5. Limit the time you and your family spend on social Media with conflicting news. Instead, find a credible source you can trust such as the WHO website or your local health ministry updates.
You can then gather the information that’ll help you stay risk-free and take reasonable precautions
COVID 19 has affected a majority of us globally. It has subjected people to fear, anxiety, and stress. The daily updates of spreading cases and deaths are overwhelming.
Most people have lost their jobs; others have gone through marital problems and divorce. Children are not left out either.
All this combined can cause a terrible toll on one’s mental health. To protect our mental health, we need to ensure that we take a healthy diet, exercise daily, socialize with family and friends, and get enough sleep.
So, how do you improve your mental health during this trying time? Let us know from the comments below