Since the pandemic begins, we are witnessing a new set of practices worldwide Social distancing, the world economy at a standstill a rising global death toll. None of it is normal and the world is not familiar with this type of living. Everyone is asking itself “Is there’s no way to come out of this?”. The COVID-19 virus is not only attacking our physical health but also increasing psychological suffering. And while we worry about keeping the virus away and staying physically fit how do we protect our mental health too?
Lockdowns and Mental Stress
In some parts of the world, lockdowns have stretched on for weeks even months. And in countries where restrictions are being lifted, we’re still keeping our distance and we’re not socializing the way we used to. The consensus is, all of that is having an effect on us especially on our mental health. You’ve probably heard that human beings are considered social animals. Humans are one of the most vulnerable species by birth and need to rely on others for survival. Our brains have adapted to having others as our baseline. And so when this lack of proximity to trusted others is absent then it puts us in a heightened state of alert.
Our brains are hardwired to feel safe knowing we can turn to others if we need to. So whenever we feel lonely the fight or flight area in our brain releases stress hormones into our nervous system. And if we stay in that state of alert for a long time it starts having a physical effect on our body. Like on our digestive and immune systems. The risk of heart attack, stroke, and type 2 diabetes can also go up. Some studies show that loneliness can even shorten your life. For more exciting stuff please subscribe to our Facebook Page
Feel of Loneliness is shortening our lives
Loneliness was associated with a 26% increase in risk for earlier death. Social isolation at 29%, and living alone a 32%. But it’s not just isolation that’s stressing out our brains and bodies. It’s everything. The number of coronavirus cases globally has crossed millions. Everyone is talking about is the pandemic in routine. We’re overwhelmed by constant news updates some of them true and some of them false. And that information overload can cause anxiety. For some of us, we have this belief that we can try to control this anxiety by excessively worrying about it, consuming more and more information might actually feed into the anxiety. But most things seem to be out of our control. And that uncertainty is wearing people down. Fear and anxiety, stress. These are all incredibly normal responses to this situation.
Anxiety is becoming a byproduct of Covid-19
Anxiety is a natural reaction to something that is uncertain anyway. And this pandemic is the most uncertain time that any of us have lived through. Maybe you’re having trouble sleeping or you just feel a bit weird. You might be fine one day and feel totally over it the next. A lot depends on your experience of this pandemic. You might be dealing with trauma after recovering from the virus. Maybe you’ve lost someone. Maybe you’ve lost your job. Some people were struggling to put food on the table even before the lockdown. Or maybe you’ve distress due to your work or school routine. For more exciting stuff please subscribe to our Facebook Page
There’s already evidence that young adults and children are feeling it too. “An Oxford University study found that 1 in 5 children are now afraid to leave their homes.”Young Adults and Children are also feeling this Depression
The most disturbed groups
Those with preexisting mental health issues like people with diagnosed depression who might feel particularly vulnerable right now. It’s also elderly people terrified about contracting the virus. And healthcare workers dealing with the sick and being afraid of getting sick themselves as they are working in a warzone. Mental health experts say an entire generation of medical workers will likely suffer prolonged psychological effects from working through this pandemic. It’s those prolonged effects that mental health specialists are worried about. Because we just don’t know when we’ll see the back of this pandemic.
Lifting Lockdowns is also not that effective
Some countries are starting to lift the lockdowns. But life isn’t exactly going back to normal. And there’s no guarantee that the number of cases won’t spike again. The virus is going to stay for a while. It’s going to stay for a few years. Even if we get the vaccine it will not eradicate the virus. The vaccine will decrease the transmission rate. This virus basically can go away but it goes back like seasonal flu. That means that whatever we’re feeling now could last a while. For more exciting stuff please subscribe to our Facebook Page
Suicide Cases due to Stress for future
There are also concerns about other ways people might respond. A report in the Lancet medical journal says there are suggestions that the number of deaths by suicide will rise. Specialists say that first of all people who decide to take their own life do it for several reasons, not just one. In fact, some researchers say people who’ve already sought mental health treatment are in a better position to cope. They’re actually better prepared for this isolation in a pandemic because of coping mechanisms and resilience measures that they’ve learned in the past already.
What can we do for self-motivation
So here are a few things we can do to keep our mental health in check.
- Find ways to have a little project, task, or little ways to achieve something throughout the day. Staying physically active.
- Pick up a phone and check in on family members friends, neighbors.
- The best thing that you can do is inform yourself with legitimate sources. The easiest way to do that is to look to the World Health Organization as facts minimize fear.
- Whatever you’re feeling you’re definitely not the only one. We’re all affected by it. And if you’re really struggling it’s ok to ask for help.
- The World Health Organization has an online campaign called HealthyAtHome (#HealthyAtHome) that has lots of advice. Depending on where you live you can also get help online or over the phone.