The recent outbreak of coronavirus has made almost everyone stay at homes for an uncertain period. Some people are doing their office and other activities from home, while others are having a boring and anxious time since they have nothing to do.
This pandemic doesn’t have similar effects on everyone, particularly when it comes to mental health. Although social distancing is the only way to decrease the spread of the virus, it can have a severe impact on the mental condition of some people.
This article looks into the effects of social distancing on mental health and some tips for you to manage it.
How Social Distancing Can Affect Your Mental Health
Staying at home may not be a difficult task for you, especially if you’re busy with your office related work or study. But for some people, it may feel as impactful as not eating.
Research on how a lack of social connectedness can have a toll on your mental health during an epidemic is limited.
However, a review published in the journal Lancet reports that most people who were quarantined during the SARS, Ebola, and H1N1 flu outbreak experienced both short and long-term mental health issues, including, stress, anxiety, insomnia, among others.
Another 2004 research was conducted to see the psychological problems of some people during the SARS breakout. The result shows symptoms of depression and PTSD in 31.2% and 28.9% participants respectively.
From the above discussion, you can easily understand how this lockdown can affect an individual psychologically. If you don’t take any steps to manage your mental health, things can get serious, and even deadly.
Tips to Manage Your Mental Health During Lockdown
Although this lockdown is having a tremendous impact on your mental health, there’s no way for you to go out and meet others. So, while you’re staying home, follow these tips to take care of your mental health.
Maintain a Daily Routine
According to The American Psychological Association, apart from the anxiety and fear of the outbreak, the interruption in daily routine can also cause depression. That’s why it’s crucial that you maintain a daily routine.
Create a daily routine regarding your work, leisure time, mealtime, etc. Follow it strictly to have a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
Stay Physically Active
Staying physically inactive can have adverse effects on both your physical and mental health. A recent study reports that doing regular physical exercise has mood-boosting effects and can even prevent depression.
You don’t need a gym at your home to stay active. You can still go for a walk or run by maintaining six feet distance from others. You can also do some yoga at home. Those who have dogs can walk their pet outside.
Continue Your Treatment
If you are already under treatment for any mental issue, it’s essential that you don’t stop the treatment at any cost. Staying at home without any therapy or treatment during this pandemic can worsen the condition.
While you cannot meet your therapist in person, there are some online and telephone counseling options available for which you can opt for. Compared to the traditional mode of therapy (in office visits), telephone therapy is more affordable and convenient.
And the best part is, there’s no chance of getting infected by the virus since you’re getting the treatment at your home.
Stay Connected With Others
Due to social distancing, regular social interactions have been reduced, which was essential for mental wellbeing. However, you can still connect with people, thanks to technology.
You can now talk to people via phone calls, text messages, video calls, etc. Call your distant relatives or friends and ask about them. Have a group conversation with your friends, which will cheer you up and uplift your mood.
Have Enough Sleep
There’s a deep connection between sleep and mental health that most people don’t realize. Regular sleep can reduce the chance of getting sick and encourage mental resilience.
Try to get proper sleep at night for at least 7-8 hours. Don’t watch TV or look at your mobile before going to sleep. Avoid eating foods that can cause insomnia.
While you’re bored due to the lockdown, remember you’re doing this for a greater good. You can keep yourself, as well as your friends and family safe by maintaining social distancing. When you take the whole situation positively, you will start feeling better, both mentally and physically.
While at home, try to avoid negative news since they can create unnecessary anxiety. Take care of yourself and everyone at your home. Keep yourself busy doing other work and build a healthy lifestyle.