The world has changed in a few days. Even though it was not peaceful, it was less dangerous.
Nowadays, everybody is talking about Covid-19. It has affected the most powerful countries and even the weakest ones.
What is Covid-19?
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Covid-19 as an infectious disease caused by a new virus.
The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. You can protect yourself by washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, and avoiding close contact (1 meter or 3 feet) with people who are unwell.
As the definition of the disease is crystal clear now, let us talk about how you are doing during this crisis.
Everybody seems to be talking about the new pandemic. Social media, the radio, the television and of course, people.
Most of the time, people tend to worry about getting infected and neglect their mental health.
You cannot escape this reality. What you can do is look after yourself, take care of your mental health and be optimistic.
I know you are wondering how you are going to do that…
- Enjoy your free time
School, work and other commitments may restrict our free time. There are always a lot of tasks to do to the point where you are no longer doing fun or new things.
This could be your shot! Try to learn new things, to develop yourself, to be with your family, to start a new chapter.
Read books, meditate, listen to music, benefit from the free courses online, discover other cultures, take photos, eat well, learn new languages, watch TEDx videos… You have plenty of things to do, you just need to make up your mind and choose the better side of this situation.
Take a deep breath and think about that one thing you have been procrastinating, that you have been dying to do but there was never enough time… Found it?
Do not forget to study.
As we all know, this is not a vacation. Instead of thinking about negative things, shift your attention to what really matters: Your future.
Studying under these circumstances may be hard, but it is not impossible.
The authorities did their job and have provided the students with online courses so as to not find any difficulty during this time of crisis. Therefore, look for them and start.
- Don’t obsess over the news
I know you want to stay constantly updated, but knowing everything is not a solution nor the best way to feel okay.
You will be anxious all the time trying to know if there are any updates.
You can read news without obsessing about it. Otherwise, you are going to hurt yourself and your mental health.
Not everything you read is true, people publish fake news all the time. So be careful about what you are letting into your system.
Limit the time you spend on reading news.
This is for your best interest.
This is a cool social media web and a mobile application that you could enjoy if you are bored.
Through images, videos, articles and diversified information, you can learn a lot of new things and discover things you did not know before.
You can find tips on how to enjoy your free time, how to take pictures, and some DIY ideas.
You will also discover new books to read or new personalities to follow online, who can influence your mind positively.
CORONAVIRUS AND MENTAL HEALTH
The media did a good job of talking about mental health in this crisis.
Coronavirus is called a “personal nightmare” for people with OCD and anxiety disorders.
During this crisis, people with OCD will find it hard to not freak out.
OCD is defined as uncontrollable thoughts that become obsessions and lead to compulsions that supposedly calm the thoughts down.
For OCD sufferers, especially those with Contamination OCD, washing hands several times in a row is something normal, maybe even a routine.
Now, that fear is increasing. They are washing their hands because of OCD and out of fear of getting infected.
They could do it several times in a row and still do not feel like it is enough. It is torture.
This is why people should be careful about the news they are spreading. They should think about those whose physical health is not the only thing in danger, but also their mental health.
Instead of doing the necessary precautions to be safe, OCD sufferers will have to do more.
At least when they are busy, OCD is less in control. But now, unfortunately it can be worse.
They can also feel responsible for protecting their families. They could do all the necessary things and even more so as not to be the reason behind their families’ infection. It is exhausting and frustrating.
Feeling guilty is not easy, and OCD does not make it any easier.
They can think about having the disease, as they start being anxious about the symptoms. They may feel the urge of going to the doctor every single day to be diagnosed, as a way of protecting themselves and their loved ones.
If you have OCD, you need to know that those obsessions are not real. Your mind is designed to protect you from danger, so it turns the alarm on whenever you get triggered by something even if it is not real… Even if you are just thinking about it.
You cannot protect everyone, and that is totally fine.
Those thoughts are JUST thoughts.
This is your challenge. Be safe without hurting your mental health, without responding to those obsessions, without doing compulsions.
Besides OCD, Anxiety is the other partner in crime.
Anxiety is a normal emotion. You can feel anxious because of work, school, or simply because of LIFE.
Still, anxiety is called a mental disorder for a reason. It can stop you from living a normal life.
Coronavirus is enough to feel anxious, worried or even terrified. But for people who are mentally ill, it is not that simple.
They can have sleep problems and be always scared and panicked. Anything they see on the news or hear from someone can trigger their anxiety or lead to a panic attack, such as the number of cases infected or death.
Being anxious is not easy, neither is dealing with it.
Meditation is a good way to relieve stress and anxiety. Close your eyes, breath and let everything be.
You can also write down whatever makes you uncomfortable… You will feel better and less anxious.
Exercise! I know you cannot go to the gym, but your house is as good.
Last but not least, be safe, stay home and enjoy your free time. Talk to experts if you feel lost @drmouti.net
BBC published an article about the same topic, feel free to check it out: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51873799?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/cwlw3xz04egt/mental-health&link_location=live-reporting-story