Coronavirus has pushed the world into uncertainty and the continuous news about the pandemic can seem relentless. All of this is taking its toll on the majority of people’s mental health, especially those already living with conditions such as anxiety and OCD. The question arises how can you protect your mental health?
Being concerned or worried about the news is acceptable, but for several people, it can make existing mental health problems even worse.
Today, Delhi based Psychologist and Marriage Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo tells how you can protect your mental health and be prepared during this pandemic.
The fear of getting out of control and unable to bear the uncertainty are common characteristics of several anxiety disorders. So, it is understandable that various people with pre-existing anxiety are having challenges at the moment.
Plenty of anxiety is rooted in worrying regarding the unknown and waiting for something to happen, coronavirus is that phenomena
So the question remains how can one protects his/her mental health? Take a look at some of the most important things that one needs to follow not just if one has anxiety or OCD related problems but for general people as well.
Restrict The News And Be Cautious What You Read
Reading and listening to plenty of news about coronavirus has the potential to led to panic attacks for some.
When one is feeling anxious his/her thoughts could spiral out of control and one starts thinking about disastrous outcomes. One usually, is worried about his parents, family, and people he knows.
Normally when one suffers one can get away from a situation. But this situation seems beyond control.
Having considerable time spending away from the news, websites and social media can help one to manage their anxiety.
- Restrict the duration of time you spend reading or watching things that are not making you feel better. If possible, decide on a particular time to check in with the news
- There are plenty of wrong information moving around stay well informed by sticking to trusted and authenticate sources of information like government websites.
Take Break From Social Media And Mute Notifications
Some people have health anxiety and feel necessary to stay informed and find out the subject. But at the same time, they know that social media can be a trigger.
One randomly clicks on a link or hashtag and sees all kind of unverified content and it could make some really anxious and indecisive.
Now one needs to be extremely careful about which profiles or links he/she checks and avoid clicking on coronavirus related materials. Trying listening to songs or reading books instead of using social media.
- Mute or unfollow news, contents that could be triggering on any social media platform you are using.
- Mute or exit WhatsApp groups if you find them too bothersome.
Stay Connected With People
The number of people in self-isolation may increase so it could be a good time to ensure you have the right contact numbers and email addresses of the people, you care about the most.
If you are in lockdown the feel connected to the people around you.
- If you are self-isolating, have a balance between maintaining a routine and making sure every day has some variety.
- It may end up actually seeming like quite a productive number of days or weeks. You can work regarding your important tasks or read a book that you were not able to do it until now.
Clean And Wash Your Hand But Not Exorbitantly
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) people might be seen in the increase in assistance requests from people whose fears have become centered on the coronavirus pandemic.
For individuals having OCD and some form of anxiety, being consistently told to wash your hands can be particularly difficult to hear.
People living with the fear of contamination is one aspect of having OCD. The constant advice or reminders about handwashing can be a big trigger for people who have recovered.
It is quite difficult because one has to do some of the behaviors that he/she has been avoiding.
The matter is to look out for is the function, for instance, is the washing being carried out for the suggested amount of time to decrease the risk of spreading the virus or it is simply being done ritualistically in a particular order to feel simply well?
- People with OCD, getting normal means being able to leave the premises, so self-isolating can pose another challenge.
- If one is forced to stay at home, one has lots of time on their hands, monotony and boredom can make OCD worse.
It might be possible that there will be several weeks and months of the coronavirus pandemic ahead, it is vital to have downtime. Be mindful, continue to access nature and sunlight whenever possible. Do physical activities, eat healthily and stay hydrated. Practice the following things.
Accept: Observe and acknowledge the uncertainty when it comes to mind.
Halt: Do not react as you usually do. Do not react at all. Halt and breathe.
Withdraw: Tell yourself this is simply the worry talking, and this obvious need for certainty is not supporting and not necessary. It is just a thought or feeling. Do not believe everything you think. Thoughts are never a statement or realities.
Let Free: Let free your thought or feeling. It will pass. You do not have to respond to them. You could imagine them floating away in the form of a cloud or bubble.
Search: Observe or search the present moment, because presently, at this moment, all is fine. Check your breathing and the sensations of it. Look the ground beneath you. Look around and observe what you see, hear, touch, and smell currently. Then shift your center of attention to something else on what you require to do, on what you were doing previously prior you noticed the worry, or do something different mindfully with your total concentration.