Infectious disease outbreaks, just like the current coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), are often scary and may affect our mental health. While it’s essential to remain informed, there are many things we will do to support and manage our wellbeing during such times.
It will mean that more people will be spending tons of their time stuck at home, and several regular social activities are unavailable. It will help to undertake and see it as an unusual period of your time in your life, and not necessarily a nasty one, albeit you didn’t choose it.
It will mean a distinctive rhythm of life, an opportunity to be in-tuned with others in several ways than usual. Be in-tuned with people regularly on social media, email, or the phone, as they’re still excellent ways of being on the brink of the people that interest you.
Create a daily replacement routine that prioritizes taking care of you. You can try reading or watching movies, having an exercise routine, trying new relaxation techniques, or gaining knowledge on the web. Attempt to rest and consider this as a replacement if unusual experience, which may have its benefits.
Ensure your more extensive health needs are being taken care of, like having enough prescribed medicines available to you. Try to avoid speculation and look up reputable sources on the information regarding the outbreak. Rumour and speculation can fuel anxiety. Having access to accurate information about the virus can assist you to feel more on top of things.
Follow hygiene advice like washing your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds with soap and predicament (sing ‘happy birthday’ to yourself twice to form sure you are doing this for 20 seconds). You should do that whenever you get home or into work, blow your nose, sneeze or cough, eat or handle food. If you can’t wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, then wash your hands whenever possible. You should also use tissues when you sneeze and confirm you eliminate them quickly, and occupy home if you’re feeling unwell.
Here are some tips we hope will help you, your friends and your family look after your mental health when there’s much discussion of potential threats to our physical health.
Try to stay connected:
Attempt to confine touch with your friends and family, via telephone, email or social media, or contact a helpline for emotional support, including stress management, keep active, and eat a healthy diet.
Stay in-tuned with friends on social media, but try not to sensationalize things. If you’re sharing content, share information only from trusted sources, and remember that your friends could be worried too. Figure out whether particular information or people are increasing your worry, social anxiety, or stress?
Talk to your children:
Permanently involving our family and youngsters in your plans is essential. Mental health awareness should include educating children and teens about their mental health as well as the general stigma surrounding it. We can try to minimize the negative impact it has on our youngsters and explains the facts to them. Discuss the news with them but attempt to avoid over-exposure to coverage of the virus and stay as truthful as possible. We cannot prevent the ‘scary topic’ but engage in a way that’s appropriate for them.
Try to anticipate distress:
It is okay to feel vulnerable and overwhelmed as we read news about the outbreak, especially if you’ve experienced trauma or a mental health problem in the past or if you’ve got a long-term physical health condition that can make you more susceptible to the consequences of the coronavirus.
You must acknowledge these feelings and remind one another to look after our physical and mental health conditions. We should always be conscious of and avoid indulging in habits that will neither be helpful within the future, like smoking and drinking. Try to reassure people you know who could also be worried and sign up with people you realize live alone.
Try not to make assumptions:
Judging people, avoiding them, and jumping to conclusions about who is liable for the disease’s spread. The coronavirus can affect anyone, irrespective of gender, ethnicity, sex, or race.
Manage how you follow the information about the pandemic:
There is extensive news coverage about the spread of coronavirus. If you discover that the news is causing you immense stress, it’s essential to seek out a balance. You shouldn’t avoid all news you retain, informing and educating yourself but limit your news intake if it’s bothering you.
Distrust of the medical profession:
Many people with severe mental disorders even have a robust distrust for the healthcare system stemming from previous traumatic. According to Cunningham, it’s common for people with severe mental illnesses to refuse to visit the hospital. Because of this, they postpone seeking treatment, albeit they show symptoms. And when it involves COVID-19, a delay in treatment is often a matter of life or death.
There’s also the stigma of getting a respiratory illness like COVID-19. That stigma — which can manifest as a deep shame or embarrassment for getting sick — only weighs on the already heavy stigma people can carry from a mental disorder, which may make it even harder for them to scoop of their living situation.
There’s life after the outbreak. Pandemics are eventually transient. As many researchers across the world unravel the various mysteries surrounding the virus, drugs are made and tested, and countries mount their emergency responses. There’s hope that life, economy, and work will ultimately take their course. However, what is going to immortalize this microscopic virus in human history is its ability to compile the whole world as a unified family with a standard suffering and a usual goal of eradication, regardless of geopolitical differences.
Prioritizing public health and aggressive early restrictive measures are always critical measures for the containment of an epidemic. Social media is probably getting implicated as the most vulnerable vector for the spread of COVID-19 in our minds. Misinfodemics (spread of plague through misinformation) has been rampant since the primary cause of COVID-19. It distinctly makes it different from its earlier congeners like SARS or MERS.
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