The current pandemic due to the coronavirus outbreak has led to many changes in every individual’s life across the globe. From doctors, who are trying to save people’s lives, to civilians, who are trying to stop the virus from spreading further, everyone has an important role to play.
Along with this role, people are facing day-to-day challenges that they are unprepared for. Social distancing, isolation, stress, change in daily routine, uncertainty about the future, fear of losing jobs and economic slowdown are some of these new challenges. It is common to be anxious and depressed amidst such crises. While it might be easier to overcome these challenges for some people, others might find it very hard.
Symptoms of depression and anxiety can easily be triggered and intensified due to these new challenges. People suffering from these disorders may get overwhelmed by their symptoms during COVID-19.
For many people suffering from depression, going to work or activities or social events like dinner and parties help them regulate their mood and emotions. Since the lockdown has been imposed, supporting their mental health needs, through these routines, has become harder. This can trigger rumination of negative thoughts, despair and sleep related problems.
In the case of anxiety, COVID-19 related updates can lead to excessive worrying, fear and panic for many. Thoughts such as feeling trapped or getting infected by the virus can further provoke anxiety in many. Moreover, an overload of negative information and uncertainty of the situation is also harmful for one’s mental health.
Research surveys on mental health during COVID-19, conducted in China, provide evidence for these symptoms of depression, anxiety and insomnia in nurses, women and frontline healthcare workers. Managing these symptoms in such a stressful time for health care workers is highly important and needs immediate attention and implementation.
17 evidence based practices to manage anxiety and depression symptoms during COVID-19:
- Practise mindfulness meditation
- Harness your breath with breathing exercises
- Move your body
- Create new routines
- Tune into self-care
- Secrete oxytocin by hugging your pet
- Engage in positive activities
- Set limits on media consumption
- Switch to face-to-face technology to rekindle your relationship
- Relish nature
- Reflect and reframe your experience
- Eat healthy
- Wash your hands
- Only go out when absolutely necessary
- Avoid consuming all the information on COVID-19
- Don’t forget to take your medications on time
- Stay connected with your therapist