This is the last blog post of the series COVID-19 and Mental Health. This series introduced a variety of psychological topics which were explained to the readers in layman terms.
It also provided insightful approaches to solve quite a lot of problems. It is not like we don’t have issues now, but along with them we also have solutions and our reaction to those problems has changed.
Even if you have not read all the posts of this particular series, then also you are requested to go through the following insights and takeaways of the whole series.
Re-establishing life structure
You already know in isolating conditions, people lose their sense of identity quite a lot of times as was mentioned in the post 6 Ways To Deal With Isolation. So, the first thing you want is to get your life structured. It doesn’t have to include a lot of activities, just a few meaningful acts done daily that might add value to your life and maybe to other people’s lives too.
You can start by getting up at the same time and sleeping at the same time, eating your meals nearly at the same time every day. Keep your weekends free, weekdays structured. There’s a psychological study in which researchers found that people who have dogs are mentally healthier and happier. The core reason is, dogs like a structured and preferably predictable day, and they make their owners’ lives organised too. Dogs like consistency, and it becomes easier to align your routine with theirs.
Have emotional connections
Forget texts and emojis. That is the time where you need to interact with the people you know on a deeper level. Let them know you care about them. Don’t just ask about superficial things, have a heart to heart conversation. Call them, or even better video call each other. To understand the importance of connections you can read Social Relationships: Managing Stress and Anxiety.
If you’re living alone, then social outreach should be a necessary aspect for you. Connect with your close friends. Connect with them like they’re your therapist or you are one for them. That is when real conversations start. Emotional closeness is a powerful antidote for stress.
Know why you’re isolating
It is imperative to know that you’re isolating because you care about saving your life and also other people’s lives. You might not be at risk, but other people in the community might get infected and may be at more risk.
You’re isolating for the real-life heroes. They are the doctors and health workers who are risking their lives for yours. What you’re doing is an act of bravery, consider yourself the knight without an armour, as you’re helping the health workers in their jobs by taking precautions and staying indoors in the time of COVID-19.
The people living with children at their home know how tough it becomes to communicate it to them that why are we not going out like we used to. In such cases, the head of the family should be very composed, and even if you’re anxious, don’t let the children in your house know that. You can be concerned about things but not anxious in front of the children. It intimidates them, and you don’t want that.
Tell the small kids that you’re not going out because you’re on duty to save the people who are more susceptible to the infection than you are. Tell them they are those tiny soldiers who are following their duties by staying home.
It gives a boost to your self-esteem, and also you’re no more anxious because you know you are doing something for yourself and the community out there.
At the end of the series…
I would like you to know that your mind is your greatest friend, you can manage anything and everything. You might think you are not that strong, but you are! You are reading this, it means you want to make a change in your life, which is commendable.
“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”– John Lennon
There are tons of people out there who don’t even know what mental health management is. Consider yourself lucky if you know that and you work for that.
I would also like to suggest a blog on As The COVID-19 Pandemic Rages On, Don’t Forget About The Mentally Ill by Randy Withers, LCMHC.
And lastly, I want you to know that tough times don’t last, but tough people do!