COVID-19 pandemic has been a unique and unprecedented scenario. Sudden unexpected lockdown and the outbreak have created a lot of stress among all sections of the population.
The sudden and near-constant stream of news reports about an outbreak can cause anyone to feel worried. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
Withdrawal from regular activities causes boredom & feelings of low mood, severe restrictions of travel, causing detachment from family, friends and relatives leading to emotional distress.
The common symptoms generally people experience are -
Fear and worry about their own health and the health of family members
Possibility of exposure and contracting a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions, anxiety and panic attacks.
Difficulty sleeping or waking up early, feelings of restlessness, unable to concentrate.
Repeated checking of body temperature & constant monitoring for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
Anger, frustration or feeling sad because friends or loved ones have unfounded fears of contracting the disease from contact with you, even though you have determined not to be contagious.
Managing your stress and psychosocial wellbeing during this time is as important as managing your physical health.
Avoid listening to or following rumors that cause you to feel anxious or distressed.
Seek information mainly to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and loved ones.
Watch TV, social media updates at specific times during the day once or twice. Get the facts. Gather information at regular intervals, from WHO website and local health authorities platforms, in order to help you distinguish facts from rumors.
Things you can do to support yourself
Take care of your body - During times of stress pay attention to your own basic needs, set daily routines. Keep yourself busy.
Exercise in the morning at least for 30 minutes.
Expose yourself to the morning sunlight for at least 15 30 minutes
Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals. Do not skip meals
Get plenty of sleep, Keep regular sleep routines
Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
Reduce stress in yourself and others
Take deep breaths, stretch, practice yoga, meditation.
Engage in healthy activities that you enjoy and find relaxing
Children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children.
Dr. Naveen Nadipelli MBBS, DPM (Psychiatry)