Everyone is under tremendous stress while combating the novel coronavirus. Uncertainty and fear about the disease are affecting our wellbeing. We are going through an unprecedented crisis, and everyone is struggling to cope with the situations in their ways by following the health advisories of governments and local authorities. While navigating the uncharted waters is a huge challenge, it is equally challenging to take care of our overall wellness and wellbeing that is only possible when we can stay safe, healthy, and happy, observes Eric Dalius.
It is perhaps easier to maintain your physical health despite the odds. However, since your wellness is a combination of your physical and mental health, managing the latter is often more challenging. Major disruptions in lifestyle are causing enormous mental stress as the sense of losing the freedom to move around freely is heavily weighing down on everyone. At every step, the fear of the virus attack coupled with the odds stacked against us in maintaining a free-flowing lifestyle is making us feel as if held in captivity, observes Eric J Dalius. The anguish and agony of staying confined at home for a prolonged period, isolated from regular social mixing, are only building more mental stress and making things more challenging to stay healthy.
Factors that are worsening our mental health
Indeed, the threat of the novel coronavirus is making people scared, but most of the mental stress originates from facing stressful life challenges. Large scale loss of jobs, layoffs, and furloughs has caused severe economic distress, proliferating as no one knows how and when the economy would revive. The inability to mix with people has been another reason for stress as the new normal of maintaining physical distance is making us feel isolated and depressed. The concern about how your loved ones staying far away and how they are doing increases the anxiety. With gloomy surroundings and a slew of restrictions to fight the virus, people feel completely helpless, and the uncertain economic future is driving them to despair.
Look after yourself
In your struggle to cope with the new normal, there are high chances of doing many wrong things as you suddenly lose direction in life. Suddenly, you find that you have too much time on your side without knowing how to make good use of it. It might instigate you to develop unhealthy habits like spending all day in your pajamas, sitting for long hours in front of the television, eating junk food, and sleeping late. All these can add more misery to an already battered life.
It is when you must be aware of the pitfalls that can affect your health and avoid it by knowing how to look after your mental health, which begins by taking good care of yourself. Live in a well- ventilated room, follow a routine that ensures you have some goals to meet every day, eat healthy, sleep well and abstain from alcohol and tobacco.
Having a daily routine will help your body clock quickly adjust to the new normal, which will prevent stress build up as you know what you are doing and how it will help to carve out a good life by overcoming the obstacles.
Focus on staying active
Maintaining an active lifestyle will keep you mentally strong as you will be confident about facing the odds with courage. However, how to stay active when you spend a long time at home might pose problems. The easiest way to stay active is to start exercising daily by making it a part of your routine. Regardless of your age, abilities, and space available at home, there are numerous exercises that you can do without using any or minimal resources. Take help from various online resources and put in place an exercise regimen comprising calisthenics and aerobics. Make the sessions more enjoyable and motivating to continue with them. Whether you will do walking, Yoga, or cardio workouts, know your choice by considering your abilities and what attracts you the most.
Being innovative will help you find new ways to keep up with your walking habit while staying at home. You can walk several rounds crisscrossing the house without stepping out and fulfill your fitness goal.
Stay in touch with people
To add a feel-good factor to your life, spend some time in the company of people you love to be with besides your family. Create some buddy groups and regularly check with them through videos, online chats, and phone. You can share your feelings and experience and even learn a few things from others about coping with the situations more effectively. The sense of staying connected to some group or community will not only do a lot of good for your mental health but also help someone who might be struggling. The network will inspire you to stay mentally active and save you from the disappointment of suffering alone.
It is vital to keep yourself busy with various mental and physical engagements so that your mind does not always feel the pressure of the situations developed due to the pandemic. To reduce your mental stress, vent out your thoughts and feelings by writing down your fears and concerns. Pursue any hobby, especially something like gardening, which allows you to stay active both physically and mentally and motivate you to look at life from a fresh perspective during the pandemic. Take to cooking, baking, or painting or learn some new skills that give a sense of fulfillment.
Be kind to yourself and look after your needs well by knowing the times when the stress crosses the threshold level so that you can take a break. Stay relaxed with a positive bent of mind because what you are passing through now is only a passing phase, and the thought of good days ahead will keep you refreshed and recharged.