Tips for Psychological Fitness During Covid-19 | iAmEars: Safe place to speak your heart and get community support
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Debamita Banerjee

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Tips for Psychological Fitness During Covid-19

Covid-19 has been draining and excruciating for people worldwide for a variety of reasons. The widespread sickness, death, shortage of essential commodities, down-spiraling economy are a few obvious ones. We have all been trying to do our part in the battle against the pandemic by staying inside our houses and maintaining social distancing. But, prolonged isolation from the rest of the physical world while being amidst global panic can be injurious to an individual's mental health.  

You need to take certain steps to save yourself from having a mental breakdown and make the best of your situation. These lifestyle changes might seem simple on the surface but can act as positive reinforcement for your psyche. 

Steps to Improve your Mental Health during the Pandemic

You might or might not be a direct victim of COVID-19, but the pandemic has affected the mental well-being of all alike. To retain your sanity and peace in such stressful times, you need to stay in sync with yourself. Replicating normalcy within the limits of your own home can be helpful. To do so, all you have to do is make simple changes in your lifestyle and communication methods with the people around you.  

Follow a Routine  

When the world outside is so chaotic, you need discipline and time organization to stay afloat. Determine the exact time you can go to sleep and wake up. Create a clear distinction between work and relaxation time. Only eating at specific times can help you prevent binge eating too that is leading to weight gain amongst many rooting from our current sedentary and stressful lifestyle.  

You do not have to micromanage your time or have a plan as to how you spend every minute. That might cause additional stress. The basic idea behind maintaining a routine is to get in the rhythm of your life.  

Stay Connected with Loved Ones  

Don't let physical isolation turn into mental isolation. Humans are social beings and feed off of communication and each other's energies. Staying in regular contact with your friends, family, and partner will help you safeguard your relationship despite the physical distance. You can also comfort and support each other through such a tough time.    

Put greater emphasis on voice or video calling people instead of just texting as it is far more personal. You can also use the numerous family games available online to have fun together during your free time.

Limit your Consumption of News and Social Media  

Hearing and reading about tragedy all around you can be disheartening. Lower down your consumption of news and social media articles that spread fear and negativity regarding the pandemic. It is a serious issue that you must remain informed about, but material that just causes sheer panic should be avoided.  

Also, be wary of what sources you trust. There are fake rumors, cures, and statistics circulating all around regarding coronavirus that could cause you anxiety and lead you to practice the wrong methods altogether. Only believe data by renowned and reliable sources whether it's a national or local headline.

Get Quality Sleep 

While we sleep, our body conducts its maintenance and rejuvenation processes. A well-rested brain is crucial for your mental well-being. It keeps mental fatigue at bay.  

Wake up and go to sleep at the same time each day. Turn off all electronic devices at least 30 mins before your bedtime as they emit blue light which interferes with the secretion of melatonin I.e. the sleep hormone. Take the time before you go to bed to engage in self-care practices proactively. You can write in your journal, drink herbal tea, or read a book. This will help you calm down and drift off. 

Maintain a Good Posture while Working  

Working on your laptop all day can be detrimental to your posture. A bad posture comes with a variety of problems such as eye strain, musculoskeletal issues, and mental fatigue. When you're in pain, your mood is bound to drop down and make you think about all that is wrong with the world.  

Try to make small adjustments to your workstation at your home such as position your chair at a significant distance from the PC and have it cushion your whole back. Also, be mindful of how you sit. Keep your wrists straight and elbows free. If you're living with somebody, then ask them to hold you accountable whenever you start to falter.

Limit Screen Time

Being on our screens for long stretches of time has become a necessity to some degree but is soon turning into an addiction for a fair amount of the population. Keep your phone, television, tablet, and laptop away for a set period each day. Do not rely on them as your sole source of entertainment. This will help you clear out your mind of the toxicity that one often comes across on the internet and focus on your personal life.  

Meditate or practice Deep Breathing   

If the pandemic is causing you stress and anxiety, performing deep breathing techniques and meditation can be very potent in calming your mind down and helping you regain your composure. If you have a prior tendency to get panic attacks, then you should definitely start practicing these methods. 

To meditate, just close your eyes and clear your mind of any thoughts about the outside world. Focus your attention on the middle of your forehead. You might also chant a word such as "Om" over and over again and focus on its sound. As far as breathing techniques are concerned, check out our article https://www.iamears.com/blog/Breathing-Exercises-to-Reduce-Stress-and-Anxiety-33e75ff09dd601bb to pick from a wide range of alternatives.

Engage in Physical Activity  

Exercise induces the release of dopamine and endorphin - also known as the happy hormone. Thus, exercise can instantly lift your spirits. Exercise can help you project your negative emotions such as stress and anger onto physical exertion. This proves to be a great emotion management technique. It improves your overall fitness as well and helps you get out of a slump.  

You can pick any mode of exercise that suits your mode. You could take a walk in your backyard or case space is an issue for you, access the enormous amount of free workouts available online.

Clean and Declutter

A cleanroom doesn't just provide you a clean workspace, but also a clean headspace. Sitting in a pile of junk brings down our productivity and clarity to think. Get rid of unnecessary things you have been hoarding and properly wipe all dusty surfaces from time to time. The brainless sweeping and dusting can help you feel like you're in control of your surroundings without having to put too much pressure on your mind. It can be a calming activity for many.  

Keep in mind that there's always a fine line between being organized and obsessive. Do not start fussing about sanitation every living second as a result of panic. It is only going to make your mental health deteriorate.

Be Kind to Yourself  

At the end of the day, you need to acknowledge that the world is not in a normal state. It is okay if you feel overwhelmed and slips up on your daily tasks at times. If one day you spend some extra time watching too much Netflix or feel that you're not motivated enough to work on a project immediately, it would not be the end of the world. The key here is to have the courage to stay positive in the bigger picture and keep going even after a down day.    

Remember, the whole nation is going through the same state. You are not alone. We will get through this with a collective effort.

Help Others

There is no greater happiness than spreading happiness. Try to help the people around you by checking up on them regularly so that they don't succumb to loneliness. Provide financial assistance to the needy according to your means. If elderly people in your area are struggling to get their groceries and medicines, help them. 

When you see yourself make a real and positive impact to better the situation, it's going to fill you with hope and zeal for better times. Do not forget to follow the precautionary protocol the entire time you perform these acts of kindness.  

    

At times, your solitude can start creeping up on you. Having a community you can discuss your problems, thoughts, and feelings with can be an aid in itself. Visit iAmEars to interact within support groups with people facing the same issues as you. You can empathize with each other and gain an alternate perspective by learning about their experiences and coping methods. You can pour your heart out on the forum without the fear of breach of privacy as Iamears assures complete anonymity to its users. In case you're too overwhelmed by our circumstances, you can sign up for an online counseling session too. The medical professional on our panel will carefully assess your psychological situation and provide you advice accordingly. iAmEars is going to be by your side through your tough times.

Conclusion

Trying to extend a helping hand towards the people around you, whether it's your loved ones or strangers taking the brunt of the pandemic. Though, keep in mind that you can only serve the community when you're physically and mentally capable of taking care of yourself. Prioritize your personal well-being.  

As gloomy as things seem around, the world will turn the situation around and keep going forward in its own rhythm. Do not become hopeless about the future. Instead, use this free time to focus on self-development and learning new skills that might help you come out as a better person when the world gets functional again.  

In the video linked below, renowned psychiatrist Dr. Ashish Mittal discusses various ways you can maintain your mental fitness during COVID-19.