Due to the ongoing crisis of covid – 19 throughout the world, nations are following lockdown and quarantine. This is to prevent the disease from spreading more among the citizens. As much as it is a great initiative to save the nation, it can be a bane to people suffering from any mental health issues. Going out with friends, day to day chores outside were the only way to distract them from what’s going on in their minds. It is very tough for them to stay home for so long and think of tasks to divert their minds. Condition might get worse for some people and some people can even develop a mental illness. You don’t know how much people are dealing with their inner demon and how they were coping because these day to day tasks, socializing kept their mind at rest and away from all those thoughts.
It is necessarily important to not take mental health for granted and take care of your inner self along with your physical well being. The reason being, it is comparatively easier to recover from diseases that affect you physically than issues affecting your mental health. All this will be over soon and people will be back to their normal old lives but what’s the point when people are not mentally healthy.
This is where it becomes really important to take care of your mind. Being internally happy is what should be the aim of your life and especially during this crucial period.
There are various factors that could cause disruption to you and negatively affect your mind. Some of them are :
Watching news channels for a long period of time
While it is good to have information about the outside world. It is also necessary to limit the intake of that information. Sitting in front of television and watching new channels all day would only result in increase in stress level and may cause anxiety to some people.
It is better to watch news for a limited fixed period of time and divert your mind with different activities you can do at home.
Because all of us are staying inside and are confined to our homes, chances of conflicts within the family members increases. This can be due to past underlying reasons which you weren’t able to resolve because of your busy lives or maybe some new issues come up when you’re trying to adjust to the quarantine life. This can contribute to increasing stress, anxiety and blood pressure.
It is important that a positive approach is adopted to resolve the issues and understand that you all are in this together. Try to come up with a system which is suitable to everyone in the family.
Urge to step out
Many people are extrovert by nature and like socializing with new people often. Some love travelling and to move from one place to another. This period can be hard for them as they need to fight the urge to socialize and step out of the house. It can get frustrating after some days and can cause severe anger issues and irritability among individuals.
Try connecting to people online and checking up on your loved ones through video calls and chats. This is a great way to socialize while practicing social distancing.
Balancing work and household chores
Most of us are working from home, trying to focus to be as productive at home while working as we were at office. This can be hard when you have a family, children are home schooling because of the pandemic, spouses are working from home too. Balancing both work and home can take a toll on your mental health. The environment can get stressful juggling between the both.
Delegate task between the members of the family, ask kids to contribute in household chores too. This way, the kids can learn and be busy while you can get your work done and spend some quality time with them later.
There will be a time when you’ll be done with work and all the chores of the house and still couldn’t find anything to do. Getting bored easily is very normal during this time. This can result in irritability and frustration. Idleness and boredom is a risk factor for mental issues.
Think of different hobbies or habits to inculcate, like cooking, painting, writing etc. It will help you have a calm and happy mind. You can also start working on that side project you always wanted to.
Check out my blog post on 20 things you can do while in quarantine
Increased consumption of alcohol, tobacco or drugs
People use different methods to cope with a situation, while every method has it’s pros and cons, excess of anything is bad. There are chances of increase in consumption of alcohol, tobacco or drugs among individuals. This can be due to stress, anger or even idleness. Excessive consumption of such things can do more harm to your body than act as a coping mechanism. Your mental health can deter and make things worse for you and your loved ones.
You can start by trying to limit the quantity of consumption and eventually try to get rid of this addiction. You’ll have a hard time coping without it but your mental health will thank you for it later.
Messed up sleep & eating problems
Your daily schedule will no longer be of use and your usual routine will get changed because you have nowhere else to go. This will affect your sleep pattern, sleeping in late or sleeping too much. This can increase your perception of fatigue. Similarly, eating 3 times a day will be a thing of past. You might end up eating more and occasionally munch on snacks because we all have nothing better to do. This can result in increase in unhealthy weight. Both of these schedules, when messed up, can be a risk factor of depression.
Establish a quarantine routine where you wake up early to complete your tasks for the day and exercise later or vice versa. Have a good sleep of 7-8 hours. Plan your meals for the day and grab a fruit if you feel hungry in between. You can try various smoothies and juices too, it will fulfill your hunger and builds your immunity too, something which is of utmost importance today.
Now that we have discussed most of the reasons how your mental health can be affected due to this lockdown and why you should not neglect it, sharing this information with your loved ones would be a great gesture to let them know that you care about them.
Don’t forget to stay healthy while being home and appreciate all those people who are working day and night for us to fight this pandemic.