It’s been more than a year ever since the pandemic took hold of our lives and completely altered the world around us and our world with it. While being locked inside our homes for months on end, didn’t help us, what made the situation worse was the constant barrage of news and overdose of information. The world seemed a bleak and morbid place with no hope in sight and it seemed everybody was out on their own and responsible for their own lives. It was during this period where people realized the significance of sound mental health and how important it was to take a little time for ourselves considering the crazy times we found ourselves in. Being isolated and cooped up in our homes left us with nothing but our own thoughts and left us feeling more lonely than ever. Even though the entire world was facing the brunt of the virus and we all seemed to be in it together, in a much more real sense we were all in it alone and by ourselves. We feared for our lives and our family’s health and at the same time tried to maintain a strong front which helped in giving others some form of assurance. We were aware of the fight against the virus and knew very well from the start that it was always going to be an uphill battle but what we didn’t realize was that we were also at war with our own selves. This may sound ridiculous to some but the fact of the matter is that we were at a constant tussle with our inner self and the prize was our sanity. The war of overcoming fear, stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness is still ongoing and the battle is far from being won. It is not only the suffocation that we felt inside our homes which did a number on our mind but a contribution of a number of factors.
The news was filled with reports of people who had lost their jobs, their wealth and most importantly their health and lives. The initial days of the lockdown seemed to be from some form of a post apocalyptic world or seemed to be a chapter straight out of a George Orwell novel. It was unfathomable to see and witness that the world and the people we grew to love since our childhood would be in disarray and in a state of paranoia and chaos. There seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel and since nobody knew what our future held, it took a great amount of toll on many people’s mental health. No matter how optimistic we tried to be, it looked as if it would be of no use since stories of loss of life and depression dominated our social media feed and news channels. The world seemed to collapse and in order to come out of the pandemic with little or no scars, it was important that we took care of our mental health.
It was during this period of time that people realized how important it was to take care of our mental health. Before the COVID-19 crisis, people often took their mental health for granted. However, just like the virus exposed the state of our medical and financial institutions and the different systems in place, it also made people realize how important it is to be mentally resilient. The need for this was felt more than ever as many people reported being stressed and feeling depressed during this period. It was the need of the hour to remain calm and so that we can handle our responsibility and duties to the best of our abilities. The situation was so bad and terrible for some individuals that staying sane became a challenge in itself.
Here are a few ways to keep yourself sane amid the paranoia of the pandemic:
One of the most effective ways to keep our sanity amid the paranoia of the pandemic was to exercise daily. Physical health is not just crucial for a healthy body but also necessary for a healthy mind and for a person’s emotional well-being. Exercise is the miracle cure we’ve always had, but most of us neglect to take our recommended dose of it and incorporate it into our day to day lifestyle. Even though laziness and remaining seated on our beds and couches seems like the new normal amidst the other set of new things that staying at home has brought, there’s no substitute for self-care and a good old exercise routine. A good rigorous exercise routine is one of the best and effective ways to reduce stress and also helps you to elevate your mood and raise your spirits. Exercise not only helps in improving your physique but also helps to keep your brain active. A study shows that in comparison with people who do not play sports or do any physical activity, those indulging in any kind of physical activity tend to have sharper brains. Since the lockdown is still not over, it provides us with the perfect opportunity to shape ourselves by utilizing our time constructively. It is important that you keep you exercise daily if you want to reap any benefits related to it.
In order to be mentally sound during times like these, it is important that you do activities that help to cultivate your mind and body and there is probably a no better option than regular meditation session to achieve this. It should come as no surprise that meditation is incredibly helpful and useful to calm your senses and helps to relieve you of your stress and anxieties. It can give you perception and help you to approach a problem in a new and different manner. Meditation has the potential to change a person as it helps an individual to see things for what they truly are and helps him/her to set his/her priorities straight and in order. This is more important than ever in times like these where you have to put your needs and wants in order and assess them accordingly. Even incorporating a 10-minute session in your everyday life can do wonders for you. Make meditation a part of your routine just like exercise and witness how it adds value to the better version of ‘You’. It helps in increasing your focus, concentration, and patience which is something we need more than ever.
Learn a New Skill:
You can only spend so much time exercising and meditating and after a while, they both can get tiresome and even excruciatingly dull and boring. The same monotonous routine every day can take a toll on your mental health and because of this you should try and keep things fresh and interesting for yourself. Since you have all the time in the world, learning a new skill can be highly useful. By choosing to teach yourself a new skill, your time in self-isolation and time in quarantine will not only be over before you know it, but you could also significantly benefit your life and career. Learning a new skill will always give you an edge over others. Whether that skill is learning a new language or a new instrument or cooking, it will surely help you in the future and help to set you apart from most other people. Ask yourself what is that one thing that you always wanted to do but just couldn’t due to lack of time and other circumstances. While the current situation is not favourable for anybody really, it is highly beneficial for those who want to catch up on something but never got the time to get around it. Your time is precious and it is important you make the best use of it during these times.
Connect With Friends & Family:
In order to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation, it is important you remain and make an active effort to connect with your friends and family. Talking to your friends and family will help you to reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. Just because you have to maintain physical distance from people, it doesn’t mean you move people further away from you emotionally. As a matter of fact, now more than ever you should try and stick to the precious and invaluable relationships you have cultivated with your friends and family over the years. You may feel overwhelmed and scared during this period due to the uncertainty over our futures and in such moments it is important that you try and talk to your loved ones and allow them to ease your pain and stress. It will also help you to gain perspective as it allows you to see that you are not the only one who is under severe stress and you are one of the many people who are on the same boat. Open and healthy communication not only relieves you of your anxieties but also helps in strengthening your bond with the other person which would not have been possible in normal situations. With the advent of technology, communicating with your friends and family has become easier than ever as there are numerous platforms available to you through which you can connect with your friends and family. Make use of these platforms for better mental health.
Keep a Tab on the Usage of Social Media:
Along with incorporating a few new things in your everyday life, you should also try and change a few of your habits which you may have picked during the lockdown. One of these is the excessive use of social media. With nowhere to go, it is understandable that you may have resorted to spending a considerable time on your phone. You may have spent quite a lot of time on visiting people’s social media profiles and may have felt the urge to participate in various internet and social media trends which may have started during this period. While they can help an individual to be distracted for some time, in the long run excessive use of social media can be detrimental to your mental health. Moreover, the constant barrage of excessive and at times unnecessary information only adds to the stress and anxiety. What made matters worse was that many news and social media outlets become platforms for fake and false news to circulate which not only misguides people but also adds to their anxieties. Statistics of the number of people being infected with the virus and the news of people losing their jobs was something which was difficult to ignore and move past. It is important that one limits his/her use of these social media platforms as they can really mess up the state of mind of an individual.
Go Back to your Hobbies:
Along with learning a new skill, this is the perfect time to get back to your hobbies. Hobbies build confidence, reduce negative stress, help socialize, and aid in personal development. Not only this they can give you a sense of purpose and something to look forward to every day. Try and follow a creative pursuit as it may be extremely fulfilling and satisfying. Once you’ve completed your creative endeavour it can leave you satisfied and give you a sense of achievement and accomplishment. It can make you feel good about yourself and make you feel worthy and boost your self confidence. With the human spirit at its all time low during these turbulent times it becomes important that you do whatever it takes to boost your mental health.
You should try and remember that throughout the duration of the pandemic things will not seem okay and it will be a challenge in itself to pursue your interests and hobbies. You may feel the urge to simply give up and fall into the hands of depression. While it may seem easier to let go, try and remember that once you fall down the abyss, it can be extremely difficult to get out of it. Make sure you try to remain sane by taking care of yourself as it is the only way one gets off this pandemic unscathed.