Coping With the Pandemic - Keeping Mentally and Physically Fit
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about many changes in our lives. How we live our lives has completely changed, leaving people with lot of uncertainty, altered daily routines, job losses, financial pressures and to top it all social isolation.
Surveys have shown that all this has resulted in an increase in stress levels, anxiety, fear, sadness and loneliness. Those already battling mental health issues find their depression and anxiety worsen.
All these reasons only stress the need for self-care strategies for all: to be mindful about your physical and mental health.
To Take Care Of Your Physical Health:
Eat healthy – A well-balanced diet is ideal. Avoid junk food.
Get enough sleep – make sure to get a minimum of 7 hours of restful sleep a day.
Physical Activity – Include regular physical activities in your daily routine. If you are indoors, on the spot jogging or running and skipping will work.
Limit screen time – Psychiatrists recommend to turn off all electronic devices at least 30 minutes before you sleep. Make a conscious effort to limit your screen time throughout the day.
Relaxation Routines: Set aside some time for yourself every day. Many people benefit from breathing exercises, meditation, tai chi and yoga. Include these in your daily routine.
Indulge in hobbies – Reading books, listening to music, drawing, painting, gardening are some of the activities that will help you to relax.
Learn new skills - Join online courses, learn something new like a new skill or a new language.
To Take Care Of Your Mental Health:
Focus on positive thoughts – Start your day with listing down the things that you are grateful for Maintaining a gratitude journal will be a good idea.
Stay busy – Idle mind is a devil’s workshop! Keeping yourself busy throughout the day will take your mind off negative thoughts and help you relax.
Limit your exposure to TV news – Constantly watching news that focuses only on the pandemic can be upsetting and scary. Avoid anything that might expose you to false information and rumours.
Connect With Others – To avoid feeling lonely, call your friends and family, arrange virtual meetings with them and find what’s been happening with them.
Do Something For Others: Help senior citizens if they need any support. Help your domestic help either financially or in buying vegetables and groceries.
It is very important to get professional help when you feel too overwhelmed with anxiety or depression.
Tips to help children get through the situation:
It is possible that children are finding it difficult to understand the situation. Explain and reassure them that it is a temporary phase and not here to stay.
Explain to them that if all safety precautions are taken there is nothing to be worried about. Be patient with them and understand their anxieties.
Set up a routine for them that includes their online classes, self-studies and physical activities. Include recreational activities like music, board games etc.
Not being able to interact with their friends may be distressing for the children. Help them keep in touch with their friends through phone calls or virtual interactions.
Keeping physically active is critical to boost the moods of the children. Engage them in indoor activities like stretching exercises, yoga and even dancing. You can ask them to help in household chores.
Ensure your child gets good sleep and eats healthy food.
Most importantly it is imperative to let them know that social distancing is the best way to curb the spreading of the virus. Make sure they understand that this is a worldwide phenomenon that has never happened before and that everyone is in this together. Be honest with them about the current situation.
Remember, keeping fit physically and mentally in these difficult times may help you win the battle more easily!