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COVID-19 and Mental Health – How Are You Doing?

“To anyone seeking help, it is OK to ask for help. Sometimes a listening ear can make a difference”.

Tanya Kretschmann

She was a girl but twenty, who faced the monstrous turmoil of depression and anxiety. But one thing was resolute, Tanya wouldn’t turn to her family nor friends to seek the help she needed, for she loathed the idea of causing them inconvenience. It was an evening that she was much too passionate about indulging in self-harm, that she understood the necessity to charge her situation to the hands of trusted strangers. The ones who had a compassionate countenance that guided and cheered the forlorn.

Help was given in the form of Lifeline, and she is a changed being ever since. She now narrates that she is five-and-twenty, and has graduated from the Queensland University of Technology with degrees in dance and business. Presently working at the Queensland Ballet, she hopes to become a teacher one day.

That, my friend, is the story of Tanya Kretschmann, who suffered, but emerged victorious as she approached the right source of mental health advisory. Today, you too might be suffering under the COVID-19 pandemic. Be of good cheer, my friend; you don’t have to fight this battle alone. iWrite India is by your side to help you amass victory.

Read on now, dear friend, for we have some productive insights on how to address mental health issues during these distressing times.

This is a formidable time for researchers, medics, and the laymen locked up in homes. While physically, the COVID-19 has afflicted humankind, the fact that it has deployed severe mental catastrophes couldn’t be denied. And, notably, the British government has allocated $6.2 million for funding mental health organizations. This goes on to say that the mental health of people is as much at stake as that of survival from the pandemic.

To address the situation, Dani Fallin, chair of the Department of Mental Health at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health discussed the challenges of maintaining mental and emotional stability during the times of social distancing.

From the conversation, we have compiled a few questions and answers to help you understand the challenges faced by people fighting mental illnesses and pro tips on how to mitigate their impacts.

Q1. What effect could self-quarantine and social distancing have on mental health?

Many shreds of evidence and incidences point to increasing tolls on mental issues such as depression and anxiety whenever the cord of physical interaction is severed. Especially during COVID-19 isolation, some people are suffering from loneliness and pain, while some are fighting with the thoughts of the fatality of the pandemic. By-and-by, the combination of the two angst waves would be deadly, a situation that mental health researchers are worried about.

Q2. What advice shall be given to those treading the unknowns?

First off, people must be aware of the surging disturbing feelings. At the same time, they must understand that it is a totally lucid response in the face of a calamity. To some, especially those under experiences of depression, anxiety, and other disorders, it is crucial to seek professional aid. Since therapists are offering telehealth services during these COVID-19 times, those under crisis can seek counsel right from the comfort of their homes. Further, with many other health applications and websites, one can procure adequate help.

Q3. How to be up and doing during the prolonged period of social distancing?

Primarily, one must be aware of what he or she consumes from social channels and the media. More the time one spends in absorbing real-time updates, the more are the chances of growing anxiety. This situation can escalate, especially during these times when one is locked up in his home with 24/7 access to the news. So, it is advisable to limit the news intakes.

An alternate means to be motivated is to engage in virtual social gatherings. Tools like Zoom are helpful to host both audio and video chats, which is a great way to connect with family and friends and score a sense of belonging.

Also, during these times, it’s essential to stick to a routine. Before the pandemic, people had some routine, going about their works and chores, which is dynamically affected now. To compensate for this loss, one can indulge in home-based routines, to keep busy and occupied. While maintaining this form of normalcy, feelings of uncertainties could be alleviated.

Q4. How to maintain healthy relationships and grow closer to one another as more time is being spent indoors with partners, roommates, and families?

As people spend more time with their families or roommates, it’s natural that there will arise discrepancies of some sort. To lessen the conflict and to maintain the cord of love, it is required of all to be forgiving. Everyone is under anxiety and offering that extra beat of kindness, compassion, and passion is crucial.

It would also be great to take up some activity together as a family. For instance, Dani Fallin, says that her family plays a game of board after dinner, which she claims her silver lining during these times of uncertainties. But for those living alone, they could spend more time on virtual chats with their loved ones.

Therefore, it is advised that one looks for activities that could be done together as a family that wouldn’t have normally done during those times of non-social distancing.

Identifying Signs of Mental Issues

While this discussion may help you garner adequate insights on managing mental health, you must be aware of the first waves of mental illness. Here are some important symptoms and signs that denote the onset of mental illness.

  • Feeling downcast
  • Feeling confused with lack of concentration in tasks
  • Extreme fears coupled with an extreme sense of guilt
  • Withdrawal from loved ones and other people
  • Striking fatigue, lack of energy, and inability to sleep
  • Worsening of health problems
  • Increased use of drugs

If you or anyone you know, faces any of these symptoms, it is advised to seek the help of mental health experts, immediately.

Power of Positivity in the Face of COVID-19

Positivity can alleviate stress and promote a sense of mental well-being. Though it’s tough to keep the bright outlook during the stressful times, it is a vitality that shall be done efficiently with minimal effort. Here are a few things that you must embrace to stay positive.

  • Write down things that you’re grateful for, every morning
  • Write to parents or teachers or mentors a note of thank you every week (According to Tim Brown, doing so three months made him cheerful)
  • Plan a routine and find time to unwind
  • Connect with friends and family – technology is a boon
  • Be compassionate and think of others – talk and encourage them to share
  • Write how a bad thing could turn out for the better following Napoleon’s famous quote “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”
  • Unfollow all resources of ceaseless bad news and concentrate on only the facts
  • Listen to your favourite music and mix up positive rhythms
  • Exercise and break a sweat
  • Meditate and practice deep breathing

Closing Thoughts

Should you at any cause face any mental ailment, seek the help you need from those who care for you. At iWrite India, we’ve collaborated with mental health experts to aid you in your hour of need. Make use of the opportunity, dear friend, and spread the word to those in need. Until then, stay home, stay safe!

4 thoughts on “COVID-19 and Mental Health – How Are You Doing?”

  1. Vikas Tiwari says:

    Very well written article. Mental health is a grave concern and often neglected. Kudos for the great initiative. All the best!

    1. iWrite India says:

      Thank you. Please keep coming back for more informative posts.

  2. Thanks for being there ❤️ Much Love

  3. iWrite India says:

    Thank you. We are always there. 🙂

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