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  • Dr. Ankita Priydarshini

Mental Health in the Pandemic Era: What Are We Doing To Combat the current crisis?

"You can't always control what goes on outside, but you can always control what happens inside."- Marilyn Monroe.

In this pandemic era, mental health is at the forefront. Earlier mental health would be highlighted only in celebrated cases and otherwise face stigma but with changing times it has been duly accepted as the new normal in the world of illnesses. This current crisis has seen a significant rise in anxiety, stress, loneliness and depression which require much more attention to mental health.


Those who already had mental illness experienced an even greater down-hill due to this scenario and feel like they can't function anymore. With mental health being such a hot topic for discussion, we need to make sure that we are doing enough to combat this crisis and help those who already have mental illnesses. This situation calls for increased awareness and more attention to mental health.


It's important that during periods of high risk or distressful events like death of loved ones , loss of job or financial crisis , your mental health is a priority and you have mental health professionals to help.The COVID era has shown us not only negative effects on our mental health but also how important it is that those who have mental illnesses receive appropriate care - including therapy sessions with professionals, medication treatments and social supports from family & friends which will allow them to lead fulfilling lives again.This post will discuss what we're doing about mental health in the COVID era, how you can combat negativity when you experience it, and tips to keep your balance, or re-balance yourself.








Self-care Tips:


  1. Value Yourself: Those of us with mental illness need to take care of ourselves psychologically as well as physically by understanding that being alive is a gift worth appreciating every day- not just on special occasions. Treat yourself with kindness & respect, and avoid self-criticism.

  2. Take Care Of Your Body: Eating healthy food, drink plenty of water, getting plenty of sleep and taking time out from heavy routines helps immensely in reducing anxiety levels which has been found at an all-time high in the COVID era.

  3. Surround Yourself With Good People: When mental illness is at its worst, it's important to have people around you who will listen and support without judgement. People with strong family or social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network.

  4. Volunteer For Help: We can volunteer for work with a mental health charity or even just do some volunteering outside of our usual activities which, as we know from experience, helps keep us balanced and is also a great way to meet new people.

  5. Learn How To Deal with Stress: It takes time but staying positive really does make all the difference when dealing with mental stress.Try One minute Stress Strategies, take a nature walk, play with your pet, or try writing a journal. Also, remember to smile & see the humour in life.

  6. Quiet Your Mind: Calming your mind down by meditation, mindfulness and/or prayer or finding other methods that help clear away negative thoughts can be very beneficial if done on a regular basis and combined with other coping strategies like learning how to deal with stress.

  7. Set Realistic Goals: What we think, feel and do really does have an effect on the way our mental state can change so it's imperative not to set unrealistic goals or engage in activities which will increase stress levels. Decide what you want to achieve academically, professionally and personally, and write down the steps you need to realise your goals.

  8. Break Up The Monotony: Finding a new hobby or activity helps with mental fatigue when feeling down- especially if you are experiencing boredom from lack of creative stimulation at work or home life.

  9. Avoid Alcohol & Other Drugs: Sometimes people use alcohol & other drugs to "self-medicate" but in reality, these substances only worsen mental illnesses by adding yet another layer of addiction which makes mental healing all the more difficult.

  10. Get Help When You Need It: Seeking help is a sign of strength - not weakness. It is important to remember that treatment is effective. People who receive appropriate care at the right time can recover completely and can lead a full, rewarding life ahead.



Conclusion:


Mental Illness doesn't discriminate against age, race, sexual orientation or mental capacity. It touches everyone in some way but for those suffering from mental illness it can be an extremely difficult time where getting help is the most important thing to do.

If you're feeling depressed or having mental health issues, reach out to people for help. It's important that we take the time to listen and understand when mental illness is at its worst because this has been seen as a major crisis of mental illness in recent years.


The COVID era shows that more needs to be done about mental health awareness and treatment. It's been a tough year for many of us, whether we've dealt with the stress of trying to make ends meet or watching loved ones pass away. Sometimes it feels like there is no escape- but you don't have to go through this alone. I hope these tips help you learn how to cope during difficult times in your life. If they don't work out, please remember that getting professional help can be an excellent way to find relief again!

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