How to take care of your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic
Mindful measures to stabilise anxiety in the midst of fear and uncertainty
Covid-19 or the novel coronavirus was declared a pandemic by WHO on March 11. While this is definitely overwhelming and a massive panic trigger for human lives and the world economy, it is imperative to align our minds to respond with precaution rather than react with fear. This might be easier said than done, especially for those who deal with mental health issues on a regular basis. It is, however, very possible.
From a scientific point of view, reacting with fear and anxiety only weakens your immune system, which makes you more susceptible to catching this virus or any sort of disease. The hormone cortisol which is secreted from the adrenal glands is known to produce our flight or fight response. This works great when you are fighting something or dealing with stress in a limited, more tangible amount. Once the stressful episode has passed, your cortisol levels will calm down, as will your heart rate and blood pressure. However, if you stay in a continuous state of stress, your body produces more of this hormone, which then leads to a more severe form of anxiety and weakening of the immune system amongst other health issues.
Here are a few simple actionable steps you can take right now to better manage your mental health, release suppressed energy and help the world recover from the current uncertain scenario we are living in.
1. BREATHE – CONSCIOUSLY
Yes, right now is the perfect time to sit down and actually breathe. Set a 5-minute timer for yourself to begin with and just take deep breaths. Do not underestimate the power of breathing – something that we seem to take for granted.
Take out that pen and paper and write down how you feel – about the virus and just anything at all. Physical writing is one of the oldest and most used tools to release pent up energy and OCD.
By this, I mean, actually talk. Not WhatsApp, not email, not DMs – but actually pick up the phone and talk to your loved ones or in person to the ones around you. This again releases suppressed anxiousness.
Our default mode has now become scrolling through our phone. The continuous stream of news updates invariably raises those stress hormones. Put your phone away. Read a book. Consume different content.
You know how so many of us wish we weren’t so busy and could fit in more sleep. Well, now you can, and you must. This is going to allow you to repair the mind and body and strengthen your immunity system.
6. SUBCONSCIOUS SLEEP MEDITATIONS
This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to reframe the brain. Simply go to YouTube before you sleep and type in sleep meditation to let go of whatever the emotion you want to feel less of. Leave it on play and let it work on your subconscious mind as you drift off.
7. WORK OUT
Keep the blood pumping in your body and mind. You could do video workouts with your friends or try a new yoga practice – just keep the body moving to release the excess energy.
The last practice on this list but probably the most important. We need to tune into the frequency of healing, for ourselves and our planet. The quickest way to do this is be grateful. So actively say thank you for all the good you can think of.
Other than these, do take all the required physical precautions since this is an easily transmittable disease
Aahana is an author, content writer and a generational marketing consultant by profession. She is passionate about emotional & mental wellbeing and when she can, shares her certified therapy skills through interactive writing workshops. She is also a spoken word artist and experiments with this form of art on her YouTube channel.