While the Covid-19 fatalities are declining for the time being, health practitioners and researchers around the globe predict the second wave of the virus during the cold months. The current situation has exposed more people to a variety of challenges, leading to mental health issues. Some people have lost their loved ones while others have closed their businesses as a measure to contain the virus. To assist you to cope up with mental problems associated with Covid-19, here are a few helpful tips:
1. Nourish Your Body with Good Nutrition
People who are depressed or under stress may eat too little or too much, according to the American Dietetic Association. Overeating during the stay-at-home period can lead to weight gain while little food may make your situation more severe. During stressful situations, more people prefer fast food, which contains compounds that contribute to mood disorders.
The brain works 24/7. It controls your heartbeat, movement, senses and breathing. For the brain to work well, you should supply it with premium ‘fuel’ all day long. This fuel comes from the food we eat. Try to eat food rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants because they keep the brain healthy and protect it from oxidative stress.
2. Perform Simple and Light Exercises
You can’t attend yoga classes or go to the gym, which are the most effective options for healing your stress and depression due to social distancing requirements. However, there are myriad of simple exercises you can perform indoors or outdoors, and improve your blood circulation to the brain. Not only exercise helpful to individuals with severe mental illness, but they improve the overall human health such as stamina, weight loss, low cholesterol level, interest in sex and cardio fitness.
The best physical activities to engage in during the current pandemic are aerobic exercises, which include jogging, swimming, gardening, cycling and dancing. Studies have proved that these simple exercises can reduce depression and anxiety by increasing the flow of blood to the brain. If you want to reap the benefits of regular workouts, start with 30-minutes sessions and progress to more hours after a few weeks.
3. Talk to Your Friends and Family
The current situation is hitting everyone around the globe, so avoid thinking that you are experiencing this issue alone. Seeking social support from friends, colleagues and family can be a healing therapy during stressful moments. To get support from significant others, you need to stay connected with them either by texting, emailing or phone calls. With the help of modern tech, you can easily do video calls and see how your friends and relatives are progressing with their lives.
Ideally, staying in touch with others is an ingredient for coping with stress, improving confidence, preventing loneliness as well as increasing a sense of belonging. According to one study published by PsycNet, being with your close friends reduces the body’s ability to release cortisol, a hormone that triggers stress levels. This means that you should make sure your friends are present when you are in tough situations.
4. Always Stay Hydrated
Even if drinking water all day long will not wash away your financial problems, marital issues, and family challenges, taking a glass of water can be a proactive approach of unwinding from your stressful situation. Whether you are struggling to increase your water intake or water doesn’t taste better for you, try to add some natural flavors such as lemon, cucumber and mint. You can also stay hydrated by drinking smoothies, juice, tea and milk.
More studies have documented the link between water and stress reduction. When you are hydrated, all your body’s vital organs are running well, including the brain. However, dehydration can lead to the production of the stress hormone, cortisol. As you stay-at-home during this stressful time, lower your anxiety level by drinking plenty of H20 or other healthy liquids.
5. Limit Exposure to Misinformation
There is plenty of fear and anxiety-inducing content on the web, media and across social networks. The more you read or hear Covid-19 news on TVs, radio and newspapers, the more you become anxious. While it’s essential to stay informed during these tough times, try as much as possible to keep off from misleading information about the virus.
If you want to learn how to stay safe, healthy and to protect your loved ones from the virus, get help from your local health department, CDC and WHO. Avoid relying on information from your local news as this may worsen the stress you are experiencing right now. There’s also a lot of rumors circulating on social media about coronavirus that can make you panic. To escape the effect of these tales, log out all your social media accounts or avoid reading posts related to Covid-19.
6. Stop Behaviors That Triggers Anxiety
You may feel infected and start observing your body’s physical changes. However, when some actions performed more often, they may lead to panic and anxiety. Stop focusing on bodily symptoms and consulting ‘Dr. Google’ when you begin developing flu-like signs as this behavior may fuel the development of phobia and anxious thought, too.
If you’re depressed as a result of these behaviors, talking with a therapist, connecting with your friends, understanding the effects of these behaviors and replacing these feelings with coping techniques can yield extraordinary benefits towards restoring your mental health. Don’t worry when you see some bodily symptoms, and of course, if you feel they are strange you can consult your doctor.
7. Get Enough Sleep
A good night’s sleep is a powerful stress alleviator. When you have adequate sleep, your brain recharges and the body rests. However, your body doesn’t get the benefits of sleep (such as memory consolidation, strengthening the immune system, repairing damaged cells and muscles) when you are sleep deficient. According to one study published by the American Psychological Association, more people in America would be happier, healthier and safer if they get extra 60-90 minutes of sleep each night.
Getting a better sleep during the coronavirus outbreak is the surest way to enhance your mood, making it easy for you to confront the pandemic. If you’ve trouble sleeping, here are some tips to make your nighttime a success:
- Avoid daytime sleep or nap
- Make your bedroom conducive environment for better sleep
- Turn off your phone, computer and TV 1hour before bedtime
- Eat food that promotes good sleep
- Stay active during the day
You don’t have to worry even if you struggle to sleep as this might turn into more stress. By following the tips listed above, you can improve your sleep. For the best outcome, make sure you get to the bed on time, close all the curtains, switch off the lights, turn off the music and make sure the environment is dark.
The beginning of the new decade has been tricky and the way things are going, more people might develop a range of mental health problems if they aren’t careful. The good news is that you can use these tips to keep all your stress at bay during these difficult times. Ultimately, know that you are not facing this situation alone and when you feel some sort of panic, do not hesitate to call your friends, family members, colleagues and religious leaders.