Mental Health Coping Strategies During Coronavirus Outbreak

By Dr Santosh Bangar, Clinical Psychologist, Global Hospital, Mumbai

Coronavirus is a public health concern as it has affected many people in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a nationwide lockdown to contain the novel coronavirus. The coronavirus can significantly affect the mental health of people as social distancing and self-isolation are recommended. This suggests that our social activities will no longer be available to us. That is the time when boredom may strike in, and one may also get bogged down mentally.

Due to the nature of spread of the virus, one can get excessively worried about catching the disease. There is a fine line between precaution, worrying and fear of getting infected. When this ‘normal fear’ becomes profound, it can lead to various anxiety disorders, like panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and rarely paranoid disorder. Here’s a mental well-being advice for you and your loved ones you.

This is how coronavirus can take a toll on your mental well-being

Loneliness: It is a no brainer that social distancing can help curb the spread of coronavirus. But, do you know that it can lead to loneliness, which can also trigger a depressive episode?

Anxiety: There may be anxiety in people related to coronavirus. They may feel what if someone in the family gets sick? Or what if the spread of coronavirus doesn’t stop? Will I get grocery or their supply will run out?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): During the outbreak of coronavirus, it is easy to get obsessed about the prevention of this disease. One may repeatedly wash hands to get rid of the germs & may continuously clean the house. One may also worry that he/she is dirty.

Paranoia: Being exposed to negative information can lead to paranoia. One may also feel overwhelmed and scared.

Follow these coping - strategies to enhance your mental well-being

Physical fitness is something that all of us need to maintain in the current pandemic situation. Physical activity is a must for all, and we must remain active even while we are restricted indoors. It might sound bizarre, but engaging in household chores like cleaning, dusting, mopping, gardening, etc. will help you stay fit and burn calories. Combine your regular chores with yoga/exercises like surya-namaskar, pranayama or any other form for better results.

Meditation during these times will boost your mental and psychological strength, which in turn will help your immune system grow stronger and prevent disease.

Eating Healthy

Have a positive outlook and remain optimistic, although this is easier said than done. Avoid getting into a negative frame of mind. Accept that this is a temporary phase affecting the whole world.

  • Exercising can release ‘happy hormone’ which can have feel good effect. Cleaning, de-cluttering your house can be a useful exercise.
  • Eat a balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid overeating, and stay well hydrated.
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. Reduce the screen time (blue rays can cause insomnia), so lessen the use of gadgets/TV.
  • Keep in touch with your family members and friends over the phone. Also, spend quality time with your family.
  • Play indoor games like cards, ludo etc., listen to music or read books.
  • Try relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga that can help in reducing stress.

Avoid rumours: They can be disturbing as they rob your peace of mind. Rumours can set in panic attacks too. Perhaps decide on a specific time to check in with the news and only rely on genuine information. Avoid forwarding unreliable information!

So, do not distress, but de-stress!
Dr Santosh Bangar,
Clinical Psychologist, Global Hospital, Mumbai

Disclaimer:The views and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author. They do not reflect the opinions or views of the organization.

Tags: Coronavirus   

Other Blogs

Nurses - One of the top Keys to Healing the Heart, Mind and Body

Read more

Divided communities, unequal world

Read more

Are We Doing Our Best For the Patients?

Read more

Symptom Similarity Between Cardiovascular And Respiratory Diseases

Read more

The Caring Touch of Nurses, Giving Hope at the End of Life

Read more