The Nationwide Coronavirus-Lockdown has been initiated in India to flatten the sharply-rising curve and control the community spread of COVID-19 disease.
Undoubtedly, it has dramatically changed the lives of billion+ Indians who have been rightfully forced to stay at home for at least 21 days.
Most of us, with a varying degree of success, are trying hard to adjust to the new reality. Many are going through unsettling times. All our routines have been thrown into disarray and our health, to a considerable extent, is suffering.
Not a Pleasant Situation
- Feeling of uncertainty.
- Mood swings.
- Loneliness, especially amongst those staying away from their families.
- Anxiety, stress, panic and confusion.
- Lack of joy, sense of security and fulfilment one gets out of meeting people in public places or offices.
- Sleep deprivation.
- Behavioural issues.
- Psychological complications.
- Increasing risk of chronic illnesses, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.
Let’s call it a “Temporary mess” and explore all the possible solutions.
Addressing the Mental Health
- Take multiple breaks, even while doing your office work.
- Adopt relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation or progressive muscle relaxation.
- Get involved in hobbies you always thought of, be it reading books, writing or playing musical instruments.
- Allot a part of your day for recreation and calming activities.
- Pick up an online course.
- Limit COVID-19-related news consumption.
- Revisit/visualise your personal, family or financial short-term and long-term goals.
- Practice compassion, support others, check-in on your family members, friends and neighbours.
- Spend at least 30 minutes/day on physical tasks ranging from skipping, jumping jacks, endorphin-releasing exercises like yoga and stretching to circuit training or Surya-namaskar.
- Vitamin B-rich food items(Broccoli, Spinach, Bananas, Eggs, Fish and Beetroot) are necessary for your brain.
- Fermented foods (Idli, Dosa, Kulu, Rabdi, Chilra, Dhokla and Yoghurt) reduce inflammation, boost your mood and cognitive function.
- Minimise exposure to screens (blue light) in the evening.
- Maintain a reasonable sleep-wake schedule.
- Create and follow a daily routine.
- Try talking to friends, acquaintances, colleagues, relatives and family members about aspects bothering you.
- If needed, consult online resources.
- Speak to a counsellor if you are feeling overwhelmed.
The Physical Well-being
- Do not sit in the same position for long durations. Take a 3-minute break after every 30 minutes.
- Eat a nutritious diet full of complex carbohydrates found in vegetables, fruits or whole grains and vitamins A, B, C, D E, iron, zinc and selenium.
- Do away with processed foods.
- Closely monitor your alcohol intake and avoid sugary drinks.
- Avoid smoking as it increases your risk of developing severe diseases in case you get infected with the coronavirus.
- Stay hydrated to ensure your immune and digestive systems work effectively.
- Do not miss exercise, at least half-hour for adults and 1 hour/day for children. It could be as simple as walking up and down the stairs.
- Opt for an exercise video online or dance to your favourite music.
- If permissible by your local or national guidelines, go out for a walk/run within your colony/society while keeping a safe distance from others.
Government of India has launched a toll-free helpline (08046110007) for individuals facing mental health issues due to the countrywide lockdown. Psychological institutions across the country are playing their part by extending assistance without any charges or at nominal costs.
World Health Organization(WHO),the United Nations’ specialised agency for international public health, also recommends exercising at home for maintaining mental strength, better heart health and muscle flexibility.
Ongoing lockdown and enforced social isolation will not last long. In the meanwhile, we must remain healthy during the quarantine and make our immunity systems stronger.
A reliable vaccine for the treatment of COVID-19 disease appears to be 18 to 24 months away. The risk of contracting coronavirus cannot be eliminated. However, some basic precautions, including washing your hands regularly and social distancing, could help. At the same time, comprehensive healthcare insurance can secure you against a variety of undesired circumstances.
Disclaimer: The above advice offers generic information only. It should not be substituted for qualified medical opinions. Please consult your doctor/specialist for precise guidance.
Sources: WHO, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, EcoWatch, Live Science, Economic Times, India Today, NDTV, News18 Network, EXPRESS, and other information channels.