Mental Health Matters: 5 Things to Remember While in Quarantine
With everyone in self-isolation due to the outbreak of COVID-19, it's no surprise that the general levels of anxiety and performance pressure have gone up. With the world in chaos, it can be hard to catch your breath as you continue your daily life.
These are trying times for everyone, and while it is important to be nice to other people, it is also necessary to be kind to yourself.
Here are five things to remember when you feel low, so that you remember that you are not alone.
It’s okay to not be fine
If you’re worried because of the rising number of cases, or because of headlines that sensationalize things, or because of exam pressure, know this: it is completely valid.
Our lives are under so much chronic stress due to our current circumstances, our outlook on life may be a bit bleak, but this is just temporary.
Eventually, things will start to fall back into place -- there won’t be a constant need to achieve everything because of your “free” time, you’ll find a routine that will help you feel better, and you will be at a much more mentally stronger place.
If you feel like you are under extreme distress or you are finding it difficult to cope, try talking it out with your friends and family. Sometimes when we keep things to ourselves for too long, it hurts us more than we can imagine.
If you find that it is not helping, try seeking professional help. Therapists and counsellors (like the ones at school) are trained to help people with difficult situations. There is no problem that is too silly for a counsellor to help you with, and in the end, they only want your well-being.
But apart from these, if you are worried that you are experiencing symptoms, it is important to speak to your parents about it. Let your parents or a trusted adult know if you’re not feeling well, or if you’re feeling worried about the virus, so they can help.
Remember, your health is always a priority, be it mentally or physically.
Create distractions for yourself
Because of all the tension we are facing, it may seem difficult to solve the smallest of things. In these times, it is quite helpful to divide a problem into two categories: things I can do something about, and things I can do nothing about.
While it may seem like there is a lot that falls into the second category, that’s okay. Realizing that we cannot have control over everything is important to our mental health.
One thing that might help is to create distractions for ourselves. These could be things like watching a movie with your friends online, or reading a novel by your favourite author.
Not everyone has the same methods to distract themselves. Some are into art, music, writing, while others are into sports, exercise, or maybe into video games. It’s okay to do what you love and not judge yourself for it.
While these may not solve the problem, it helps us to cope with them better and to find balance in our day-to-day lives.
Find new ways to connect with your friends
If you want to spend time with friends while you’re practicing social distancing, social media is a great way to connect. For example, get creative and join in a Tik-Tok challenge, or you could watch a web series with them online.
With advancements in technology, we’re not as alone as we think we are. We can always video call a friend when we feel like we need to see them.
That being said, it’s not a good idea to have unlimited access to screens and/or social media. That’s not healthy, that’s not smart, and it may amplify your anxiety. You may feel a major sense of FOMO if you are on social media all day.
In times like these, it is important to remember that social media is not a mirror of our lives. If anything, it is a gallery of occasions that do not occur usually. People don’t always put out their bad days, but they will show you their best.
Eye-strain may also contribute to headaches, pain, and a general sense of unease. So, work out a screen-time schedule that can help you stay connected with your friends, and also help you prioritize your health.
Get your game on!
While being online is something that is a requirement these days, taking care of our body is essential.
Apart from reducing screen-time, there is one more way of improving our mental health: by taking care of our physical health. Our mental and physical health are connected in more ways than we can imagine.
So follow along your tried and tested workout routine, or follow one you found online! Getting enough sleep and sunshine is essential to our wellbeing.
Feel your feelings
The best way to deal with these negative feelings? Let yourself feel them, from start to finish. Our minds are complex, but they are not impossible to decipher.
You know how a song gets stuck in your head and won’t go away until you listen to the ending? The same thing works with our feelings.
Our thoughts get stuck in our head like a broken record until you let it play out fully. It’s okay to feel sad or disappointed, but like we said, it won't last forever. At the end of every storm, there's a rainbow waiting.