Extended home stays resulting from the restrictions imposed on our movements to cut the infection chain of the novel coronavirus are taking a heavy toll on our mental health. The new situation that curtails freedom of movement and feels like spending time in jail has left most people struggling to adjust to the changes, observes Brian C Jensen.  No one is comfortable with the excess time now at their disposal. The lack of routine makes people spend their day aimlessly, which leaves them dissatisfied and disappointed, leading to depression. Add to this the anxiety and fear about the pandemic coupled with the economic uncertainties that multiply the stress.

Our wellness and wellbeing have hit the nadir during the pandemic, but some words of wisdom discussed in this article should give hope and direction in the fight to stay well and healthy.

Unending stress is a new reality, believes Brian C Jensen

Despite spending more than a year to adjust to the truncated lifestyle, people are still struggling. The problem is that we are yet not ready to accept the new reality in the long term and the accompanying restrictions that disrupt regular living and push us deeper towards despair that gravely damages our mental health. Added to this are other worrisome matters concerned about livelihoods and lost earnings, inability to socialize physically isolation, and alienation from friends, colleagues, and extended family, which only compounds the stress. More stressful are the information circulating everywhere about the virus becoming more dangerous and lethal, which now travels through the air and leaves us more vulnerable.

Here are some ways of looking after your mental health.

Maintain a daily routine

Although our daily lives are not the same anymore, we must create and follow a routine that matches the new lifestyle.  Many of the activities remain unchanged, and there are some new inclusions in the routine, which results in altered timelines and changed schedules. Following a routine helps lead a disciplined life that keeps us motivated to move from one activity to another. Start the morning with some workout sessions, maintain personal hygiene to the T, eat healthy food, schedule your work by ensuring intermittent breaks and maintain fixed times of going to bed and waking up. Use the breaks to relax and unwind and keep some time for your family, which adds to your comfort and keeps stress under control.

Beware of information overload

Too much information about the pandemic paralyzes our brain that is unable to deal with the information overload.  Most information is sensational and unreliable, but it is impossible to separate the wheat from the chaff.   To protect the brain from unwanted stress, consume information from authentic and reliable sources only and stay away from the new grapevine of social media.

Stay connected

Humans love to stay connected with others as it stimulates their minds. So circumvent the physical restrictions by connecting with people virtually. It will give you a sense of belongingness, and knowing that you are not alone will motivate you to overcome the crisis with a positive outlook.

The more positivity you can imbibe through your interactions, lesser will be the mental stress.