A catastrophe at the scale of Covid19 pandemic affects us not only at the physical level but also leaves an indelible imprint on our mental well being. It is causing widespread concern, fear & stress all of which are natural and normal reactions to the changing and uncertain situation that everyone finds themselves in. It is turning out to be a major stressor for most of humanity, including our country. Never before has such an event affected so many individuals across the globe.
|| Dr. Nitika Anand
So, we all are facing this lockdown period, wherein, we are staying at home, social distancing, self isolating and all of this is crucial in stopping the spread of Covid19. But this can affect us psychologically. Many people used to exercise in a gym or go for a run /walk but now being forced to stay in lockdown is going to pose a challenge. So what can be done to ensure we make most of the situation and keep ourselves fit &healthy and also support our mental well being during this time.
At an individual level, it is important to continue being active and create a routine for ourselves. This means that although one might be at home all day, there needs to be a clear schedule for pleasure & work. We need to keep our bodies & mind healthy by doing things that we like to do on a daily basis, whether it be reading, gardening, music or whatever activity that keeps our spirits high.
“Fitness has always been one of my passion. But due to work and family and also lack of time never got the opportunity to live this passion fully. So during the first lockdown of 21days I started my 21 days workout challenge for a minimum of 21minutes, to ensure m physically and mentally active and to motivate others to do the same. I did completely different workouts each day so that it doesn’t become monotonous for me and also for the viewers. As with this, I posted my videos on social media & YouTube. Some days I did CARDIO & strength training, yoga with pilates, cardio yoga, Zumba, bhangra, Tabata workout, wall & chair workout and many more. Even after those 21days got over I did not skip posting videos about my workout. This lockdown gave me an opportunity to showcase my talent to the world.”
Getting moving is easier said than done especially when you feel low or anxious, but its can significantly boost your mood due to release of feel good hormones. Physical activity also helps to keep your immune system working effectively as it flushes bacteria & raises body temperature, all of which help the body to fight infection. Apart from this it is also important to have regular interactions with friends, relatives through electronic means like voice call or video call.
At a family level, it is important to bring jn a sense of cohesiveness & togetherness. This is the time we can do family activities which might otherwise have been difficult due to busy work schedule. Also we should minimize repeated discussions on the negative consequences of Covid 19 and maintain an atmosphere or hope within the family. Special care to be taken for children who face an enormous disruption to their lives. They are likely to be experiencing worry, anxiety and fear. Since schools have been closed they may no longer have thay sense of structure and stimulation that is provided by that environment, and now they have less opportunity to be with their friends and get that social support that js essential for good mental well being. So parents should give them the love &affection that they need to resolve their fears and being honest with children , explaining what is happening in a way that they can understand, even if they are young. Parents can help children in finding ways to Express themselves through creative activities like art, craft, reading stories, puzzles etc.
Regarding older people & also those with pre-existing medical conditions, have been identified as more vulnerable to Covid19. The psychological impacts for these populations can induce anxiety and feeling stressed or angry. There are many things that older people can initiate themselves or with the support of their families like physical activities, keeping to routines or creating new one, engaging in activities which gives a sense of achievement. Maintaining social connections is also important . Some older people may ne familiar with digital methods & others may need guidance on how to use them.
Also since the country is facing huge economy crisis due to this pandemic, there are things that Employers can do for the Employees. One needs to remember that this is a phase and work will resume normally once situation improves. Hence, employers need to ensure that they genuinely care for the well being of their employees. This will make life easier for the Employees and ensure that their work output is not negatively affected. Employers may also be in a difficult situation due to economic adversities related to the lockdown. It may be important to have clear and transparent communication with employees on these matters.
Healthcare professionals are used to dealing with infections in general. Many such situations have been encountered in the past where safety precautions are paramount. They are working 24×7and staying away from their families, so they need to keep the mind healthy making sometime everyday to do things that they like, whether be reading, movies, music or whatever that keeps one’s mood positive.
Throughout this time of uncertainty something we can take control of is our health & well being. So whatever your situation, try to keep yourselves active, eat healthy meals that boost your immune system, which is the need of the hour, stay hydrated, wash hands regularly, wear a mask and most importantly STAY HOME & STAY SAFE.