Dealing with anxiety and mental health during a pandemic

June 10, 2020

Dealing with anxiety and mental health during a pandemic
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A pandemic can be extremely frightening. We don’t know what to expect as we get conflicting information from various sources. This COVID pandemic is even more daunting as it is a new virus and the medical fraternity does not have all the answers. New research, changing updates and recommendations add to the confusion. It is easy to lose hope, slide into depression and despair when confronted with such a scenario.

How then can we take care of our mental health during this COVID pandemic?

There is no magic remedy that will promote mental health. It is achieved through many small practices. Here are a few tips that will help you take charge of your life and stay positive.

Segregate real from fake

We are constantly bombarded with information through all channels, especially the social media. Most of it look and sound authentic but are far from the truth. To avoid misconceptions, we should identify reliable sources of information, such as Government bulletins and limit news time as too much negative information will increase stress and lead to anxiety. Numbers are not important. We can stay healthy in spite of it if we follow all the recommendations.

Control what can be controlled

During a calamity, not all events may be within our control, but even in the most difficult times, there will always be certain things that we can control. During this pandemic, infection control methods in our homes are in our hands. Practicing them will give us a sense of purpose, which will promote our feeling of security and peace.

Avoid panic

Panic is an unwanted byproduct of a calamity. This pandemic has induced many instances of panic actions, including panic buying. Panic makes us ignore the bigger picture and focus on the immediate circumstance leading to disastrous effects. During such moments, we should step back and think through the situation. If people are just reacting to a situation in panic then we should refrain from doing the same. We should follow recommendations given by our government or doctors and remain calm amid the storm.

Take care of body and soul

According to experts if we are healthy, we have a better chance of beating COVID. So let’s adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle to boost our immunity. Spending time with family, staying in virtual touch with friends, engaging in enjoyable leisure activities and practicing meditation etc. will keep our minds healthy, active and positive. A healthy body and mind will keep us in good spirits.

In spite of our best efforts, sometimes we may feel overwhelmed. Instead of bottling up our worries, we should talk to our near and dear ones or seek professional help to regain mental and emotional balance.

Disclaimer: We recommend consulting a Doctor before taking any action based on the above shared information.



Dr. Prarthana Saraswathi

Dr. Prarthana Saraswathi

MBBS, MD Psychiatry

Consultant Psychiatrist

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