Mental health and you
As the Covid-19 pandemic still looms its ugly head for the consecutive second year, countries have imposed renewed measures to curtail the spread such as the imposition of lockdown. The devastation of the pandemic — millions of deaths, economic strife and unprecedented curbs on social interaction — has already had a marked effect on people’s mental health. Individuals have experienced the loss of family members and colleagues but have also undergone stigmatisation. And not to forget an overwhelming fear for their health or spreading the infection to their family members. The strain felt on mental wellbeing because of quarantine and isolation has been immense.
Namita Piparaiya, Yoga and Ayurveda Lifestyle Specialist, says, ” While we cannot avoid this stress, we can regulate our response and introduce practices that can help us mitigate its impact. And the first step in that journey is to acknowledge that this stress exists and that it’s ok to feel overwhelmed or for your productivity to be lesser than normal.”
Maybe regulating the adverse impact on mental health comes down to doing the basics right. “ In this case, stress is our brain’s response to the information of what is happening in the world. Being mindful of our thoughts is paramount in order for us to break this cycle of negativity. Adequate sleep, stimulation of the mind and body, a balanced diet And plenty of hydration will also play a role in how our body responds to these stressors,” says Meditation Expert Sahil Vij.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, you are not alone. Dr Chandni Tugnait, MD (A.M) Psychotherapist, Life Alchemist, Coach and Healer , Founder & Director, Gateway of Healing, feels the anxiety around the pandemic and the fatigue in the seemingly unending wait for the situation to get better, is unnerving. She says, “The one question racing in almost everyone’s head is “When is this going to end?” The uncertainty along with the overdose of information & news can be overwhelming and scary. The multitude of the crises is unfathomable. Yet, we must brace ourselves and move on. Some things we can do to make this situation better for ourselves and people around is to be more aware; not scared or over-cautious but responsible and aware.”
Experts have your back. There is a way out and most like Luke Coutinho, Holistic Lifestyle Coach - Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine believe stop letting news, social media, gossip, complain and blame get the better of you. Even better if you could cut off from the source itself. Be informed and updated about what’s happening around you, but don’t scrutinize the trends, numbers and statistics at this point. When in doubt, we should resort to
1. Having boundaries:
“Mark your boundaries and disconnect yourself from social media, the constant posts which are for helping others and the news of the rising numbers can be overwhelming sometimes – although it’s good to be aware, don’t let it consume you. Fix a time, say 15 mins, and don’t spend more than that surfing about the chaos around you,” says Arouba Kabir, Mental Health Counselor, wellness Coach, and Founder, Enso Wellness.
2. Stay connected virtually
“Be each other’s support by talking to your loved ones, it proves beneficial by making you and them, both happy and mentally better equipped to fight this pandemic,” adds Kabir.
Apart from staying physically fit through yoga and meditation, get exposure to fresh air, prioritize self-care, boost immunity through good nutritional intake and catch up on quality sleep. These mindful practices will help us in taking a pause and replenish our mental energy,” says Kanchan Rai, Mental and Emotional Wellbeing Coach, Founder - Let Us Talk.
4. Slow Walks:
Health and fitness educator and coach Yash Vardhan Swami recommends slow walks. “They can activate the parasympathetic nervous system ‘the rest and digest mode’ which would turn off the stressed mode. Slow walking in the morning, around meals and before sleep is a great start.It’s easy, doesn’t require any equipment and we can even multi task while walking.”
5. Make a schedule
“Adding a routine to your lifestyle is key at the moment. Whether it is your work, a work -out video, helping out around the house, experimenting with cooking, and going down in your building for a walk,” says : Shahzeen Shivdasani , Relationship Expert & Millennial Author of the book Love, Lust and Lemons. Swami adds, “ Listening to music, gaming or pursuing favourite hobby can actually be an amazing tool to manage stress and cherish the melodies or favourite activities. “
And lastly as Swami says have faith. Having faith has scientifically been proven to improve immunity and having a positive outlook towards life would always help us keep stress at bay.