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Mental Health in Global Pandemic

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Covid-19 has been a part of almost all conversations that have happened these last few months and the mere mention of it is enough to give rise to fear and panic in people. Originating in the Chinese city of Wuhan, this virus has slowly crept into every part of the world, resulting in a global pandemic. It has been months since the first case of Covid-19 was recorded and yet, there is no cure in sight.

Credit: Sleep Cycle

Covid-19 has affected every part of the world and has left in its wake huge losses to mankind, be it physical or economical. However, the impact that Covid-19 and the resulting lockdown has had on the mental well-being of people is not talked about enough.

Mental health and discussions around it are anyway considered to be a taboo and the pandemic has not helped matters. In uncertain times like these, where people are getting infected, inevitable recession in sight, students and the education system are suffering and people are getting financially incapacitated due to economic regression, mental well-being of people has gone for a toss. The lockdown, even though implemented with the best interest of people in mind, has isolated people greatly. Anxiety, depression and suicides are at an all-time high, and yet, conversations around mental health are still surprisingly limited.

So, what can we do to cope better with these trying times? First, if you are struggling with your mental health, talking to a professional could be a great help. Understand that there is no shame in asking for help, in fact, once you do, you’ll be surprised at how many people are willing to help you. Even though the thought of taking a time-out and enjoying in your own little world may seem tempting, remember to stay in touch with the people you love, otherwise you might very easily end up isolating yourself without ever intending to.

Habits like maintaining a journal, waking up early, having a proper sleep schedule, exercising and meditating, eating healthy, making time for our hobbies and picking up new ones have been seen to have helped people feel better and more in control of their lives. In uncertain times like these, having the control to make a routine that suits our needs can do wonders for us.

And lastly, the most important thing is to have hope- hope for the arrival of better days and healing. As Dr. Bidita Das (@das.bidita), Head of the Dept. of Psychology, of Handique Girls College, Guwahati, writes in her article on “Hope”, “Hope has the ability to motivate us to stay engaged with an activity, with the possibility of a positive outcome. As long as we wait for it to occur, we are likely to engage ourselves determinedly in our actions towards that outcome.”

She further suggests practising the simple habit of jotting down “three good things” that one has encountered on a given day. This habit is to be practiced daily, and the idea behind this is that when one flips through the pages of their journal after, say a month or so, the good things that they have encountered in the given span of time can pleasantly surprise them and help them feel more positive and hopeful.

2020 has been a trying year, but we need to believe that we will come out of this stronger. If you ever feel the need, do not hesitate to ask for help. Remember that you’re not alone, and that we’re all in this together. The words of William Samuel Johnson, “He knows not his own strength who hath not met adversity” beautifully reminds us that facing tough times help make us stronger.

Written by: Debashree Chowdhury

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