How to take care of your mind during Covid-19


Get help as needed

Simply hoping that mental health problems such as anxiety or depression will go
away on their own can lead to worsening symptoms. If you have concerns or
experience symptoms of worsening mental health, it may be time to seek
professional help. It can be really helpful to have a chat with a qualified counsellor.
Sometimes the stigma associated with mental problems makes it difficult to speak up
but chatting to a professional can make that step much less daunting!


Start with your physical health

Our thoughts are closely linked with how we feel emotionally and physically. If our
minds are anxious and filled with thoughts of impending catastrophe—such as, “I
won’t be able to keep my family safe during this outbreak”—then this will easily
cause emotional distress, even resulting in physical impacts like sleeping difficulties,
poor appetite, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, and low energy levels.


Give yourself a basic sense of routine: Try to stick close to your normal sleeping
schedule as if you’re going to work, even when you are staying at home. It would be
great to get in some regular exercise, this can help reduce anxiety and improve your
mood in general. With some extra time on your hands, it’s a good idea to start
planning and meal prepping for a healthy and well-balanced diet.


Limit the amount of time you spend in front of the screen each day and space it out
to give your eyes some rest. Instead of sitting in front of the TV or spending time on
social media you can indulge in other relaxing activities instead, such as meditation,
bubble baths, or just reading a book to switch things up!


Work on your mental health

Now that your body is in a relatively better state, it will make taking care of your mind
easier as well. The human mind is a powerful but very delicate thing, so it’s all the
more important for you to understand your thought processes.


Establishing a routine is a good way to keep your thoughts in check and feel more in
control, so do maintain a regular sleeping pattern and consistent meal times. For a
stronger sense of structure, set aside time for exercising, for relaxing, and for
working. You may also limit news exposure to cut away some stress triggers.
Keeping too close an eye on everything the media has to say will heighten your
fears, and you could essentially even be conditioning yourself. Try to find something
else to keep busy with instead, such as a hobby or a mini home project, and limit
yourself to checking reliable news outlets once a day.


Change is a natural part of life, even when the change sometimes feels forced upon
you. Understand that there are things simply out of your control and that adapting to
accommodate the change is the best way through. A simple technique is to focus on
positive thoughts, because the way you think will directly influence how you feel, just
as how the way you speak or your choice of words will also influence how you think.
Making the effort to put a positive spin on things can help you maintain a sense of
hope and keep problems in perspective.


Stay connected with others

Maintaining social distance doesn’t mean you should go into social isolation! Even if
you’re fully working from home, you can still get in touch with colleagues to talk
about work or simply catch up. In this age of hyper-connectivity, there are so many
social apps for you to use. You can use this opportunity to find connections and build
on them—remember that the other party will most likely also be stuck at home just
like you!


You might also want to do something for others, which could be as simple as
sending a quick text to someone you haven’t spoken to in a long while, or even
looking up local charities and donating what you can to help. If you know someone
who can’t leave the house—for example, the elderly—consider doing a quick grocery
run for them. This way, you can slip in a bit of exercise and also do some good for
someone else.


If you know someone who needs to be in state quarantine, let them know that you
are there for them online. Drop them a message or give them a call: These small
gestures can help a lot and help yourself in turn too. Remember that we all share this
world together, so we should help each other get through this hardship however you


Know what’s typical and what isn’t

Everyone reacts differently to difficult situations, and stress is a normal reaction
during a crisis. But with something as large-scale as a global pandemic, multiple
challenges may occur on a daily basis, and it can be too much to handle.


It’s common to experience some anxiety while coping with stressful events, changes,
or situations that you have little control over, especially if they could have a big
impact on your life. What you should learn to recognise is when you, or others
around you, are becoming overwhelmed. You may find yourself feeling helpless,
sad, angry, irritable, hopeless, anxious, or afraid. You may have trouble
concentrating on typical tasks, experience changes in appetite, have body aches and
pains, encounter difficulty sleeping, or struggle to face routine chores.


When these signs and symptoms last for several days in a row, making you feel
miserable and causing problems in your daily life to the point where you find it hard
to carry out normal responsibilities, it’s time to ask for help.