July 20, 2021

Corona-Induced Stress

Corona-Induced Stress and the ways to beat it

We hadn’t foreseen this. Not even the most advanced intelligence systems in the world could have foreseen the extent to which this pandemic has affected the world. These are unprecedented times. COVID-19 has put us all under lockdown, changed our lives. While it’s quite natural to be concerned, it’s important to beat excessive stress and anxiety about COVID-19. In India, we are managing the situation rather well, so far. The rest of the world is fighting COVID-19 relentlessly. Let’s take a look at ways in which we can beat stress and anxiety that are the result of the outbreak.

Difficulties you may be experiencing during this pandemic :

  • Fear and worry about your health and the health of your loved ones.
  • Uncertainty about your future health and financial situation.
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Worsening of chronic health problems.
  • Worsening of mental health conditions.
  • Increased use of tobacco, alcohol, drugs to help cope with the situation.
  • In some cases, having to deal with aggression/domestic violence.
  • Difficulty accessing the usual resources, support systems, or medical help.
  • Isolation

How has the outbreak affected people?

Stress and anxiety affect different people in different ways. While some of them function, as usual, some others may find it extremely difficult to cope with the situation. It may cause increased anxiety and even panic in the elderly who may be battling other diseases; children may find it difficult or stressful to deal with the restrictions, isolation, and change in routine during the lockdown. Migrant workers and people who may face job losses find themselves grappling with uncertainty, insecurity, homelessness, financial strain, even hunger. Employees and their employers, managers, administrators, business people, homemakers, health, and support workers may find it difficult to face and deal with new challenges that have sprung up. People across the world are coming to terms and grappling with a new reality.

How to keep oneself strong?

As the adage goes, a healthy mind resides in a healthy body. Here’s how we can keep our body and mind healthy and strong:

  • Stick to a routine: Keeping a regular schedule is vitally important for your mental health.
  • Get enough sleep: Maintain your schedule and go to bed at the usual time.
  • Be physically active: Physical activities can keep you fit and help improve your mood.
  • Eat healthily: Avoid bingeing on junk food and eat healthy and nutritious food.
  • Say no to tobacco, alcohol & drugs: COVID-19 affects the lungs and hence smoking can put you in more danger. Alcohol and drugs lower your coping skills.
  • Limit screen time: While it is important to be aware of the current situation and changes in the rules, regulations, and instructions regarding maintaining our safety (from reliable sources), spending innumerable hours in front of the TV or with your mobile or tablet can have an adverse effect on you constantly exposing yourself to news of COVID-19 can be disturbing. Also, be wary of fake news and rumors that you may find on social media.
  • Stay busy: Distraction is the best way to keep calm. Indulge in activities that keep you happily occupied such as a DIY project or pursuing a hobby.
  • Learn something new: No matter what your field of work is, there’s always something new to learn. Since you have the time now to learn new things or hone old skills, use it to your advantage.
  • Be positive: Watch and filter your thoughts as they have a powerful impact on your Fill your mind with thoughts about what is within your control and those that are positive. Learn to identify and be aware of negative, unhelpful thoughts – especially on matters which are unpredictable and not within your control.
  • Relax: Deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and mindfulness can help you relax.

In addition to these, you can de-stress yourself and find joy in connecting with or calling your friends and relatives, writing to them, helping those in need, and instilling hope in others.

If you still find it difficult to cope with stress, talk to your family about it, and seek medical help. Remember, this too shall pass. Keep yourself optimistic and nurture hope.

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