With the widespread cases of COVID-19 worldwide, another pandemic is silently growing globally. Doctors are reporting the spread of despair, hopelessness, and depression especially those who are suffering from some form of anxiety disorder.
Even before the pandemic, there is already a growing issue involving mental health worldwide. Now that everyone is apprehensive about their physical and economic security, there is a strong likelihood that pandemic-related stress and anxiety will grow even further.
Stress and anxiety can be manifested through several ways such as fear and worry for the health of oneself and for their loved ones, irritability, frustration, changes in sleep and eating patterns, inability to concentrate, and overthinking. Among those who respond strongly towards the stress this pandemic brings includes, but not limited to:
- Older people and those with pre-existing health conditions who are at a higher risk of contracting the disease;
- Employees, daily-wage earners, and business owners whose industries were greatly affected by the pandemic;
- Frontliners, sanitary workers, and those who are directly and indirectly involved in taking care of the patients; and,
- People with anxiety and other mental health conditions.
Stress can negatively affect the immune system. Hence, coping with stress and anxiety will make you, and the people surrounding you, stronger. Here are some tips to lessen anxiety and help someone who is experiencing it:
- Communicate. Social distancing only means being physically apart. It does not mean you should stop reaching out and talking to your family and friends. Make use of technology and check on your loved ones once in a while. A little chitchat goes a long way.
- Take care of your body. Make sure you’re eating a healthy and well-balanced meal. Do some minor exercises at home such as stretching. There are various home workouts available online. Don’t forget to drink your vitamins and do your much-needed self-care and skin-care routines.
- Social Media Distancing. Take some time away from social media and the news. Constantly hearing and reading about the pandemic can be upsetting.
- Clean up. Make use of this time to catch up on chores. Arrange or re-arrange your home, closet, or kitchen. Try living minimally; contemplate on what are the things you need and what are the things you can live without.
- Learn. Books are not meant to be dusty and unopened on the shelf. Grab those books and take this time to catch up on your readings. Parents, take this time to teach your kids about practical and basic life skills such as cooking, sewing and patching torn clothes, and cleaning and arranging their toys. Learning is not limited to school.
- Cleanse. Prayers, meditation, and mindfulness are very helpful during this emotionally trying times. There are several mobile applications and videos that can help you meditate and will teach you about mindfulness. Since mass gatherings are no longer allowed, churches and church groups are adapting and are now moving online.
The human mind is imperfect and susceptible to succumbing to worries, however, a little dose of gratitude and regularly giving thanks to life’s little victories can make each day better. Like everything else, this, too, shall pass.
This article is brought to you by Almond Drive.