The onset of COVID-19 clubbed with the speed with which it was declared a pandemic led to worries, stress, and anxiety among all age brackets. Psychiatrists and mental health counselors have long realized the significance of mental health. But credit to these turbulent times for shifting the spotlight on the seriousness of taking care of mental and behavioral health.
People link ‘mental health’ with mental illness in a flash. However, this is not always the case. Mental health is more than the presence or even absence of mental illness. It’s all about emotional and psychological well-being.
Social isolation, job insecurities, loss of our loved ones, financial instability, and anxieties are taking a toll on our mental health. But as we all pledge to win this battle with guidelines, directions, and jabs, let’s all cross our hearts to give an apex priority to maintain our mental soundness.
Here’s why mental health should be everyone’s concern amid the pandemic.
- Because Mental Health Affects Your Immunity
Both mind and body are connected. Mental ailments such as stress and anxiety lower your immunity. And in a pandemic, you cannot afford to have a weak immune system. As per WebMD – a leading and trustworthy source of health and medical news – when you worry, the body releases stress hormones that speed up your heart rate and breathing. In the long run, these hormones affect your heart, muscles, and other body systems. All in all, worrying too much about something, stress, and anxiety can make you prone to infectious diseases.
- Risk to Productivity
The pandemic has forced people to work from their homes. The HRs and entrepreneurs have left no leaf unturned in keeping the employees engaged and productive. But if you, as an employee, are mentally distressed, all the efforts by the management and human resource personnel may land in vain. Good mental health has a significant role to play in promoting productivity. Being healthy emotionally has a positive impact on your thoughts, emotions, and actions – all of which are essential to delivering quality work.
When working from home, take small screen breaks in between. From tea time to a quick stroll in your garden or on the terrace, make them a part of your routine to stay focussed on your work and keep work-related stress at bay.
- Mental Health Leads to Disabilities
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has identified mental health problems behind major disabilities such as depression, dementia, alcohol abuse, etc. During this health crisis, when we are staring at the long queue of lockdowns; where there is a restriction on movement and social gatherings, hopelessness could strike anyone. However, one should avoid all the mental health issues to stay safe from disabilities in the long run. One should stay optimistic and not lose hope no matter what. Ensure that you have mental health resting at the top of your priority list.
- Makes the Quality of Life Better
Excessive stress can cause migraines, fatigue, and even mental breakdown. It is, therefore, highly recommended to manage it. By doing so, you not only reduce the risk of mental health issues but improve your physical well-being too, which helps you live better and longer. And guess what! With stress managed, you can make better decisions even under pressure. On the whole, improve the quality of your life by taking good care of your mental health.
- To Protect Your Relationships from Going Sour
Bad mental health magnetizes a slew of other issues. Negative thoughts persistently hovering your mind, mood swings that are severe in nature, inability to perform daily tasks, etc. are some of the mental health-related complications that affect the sanity of a person. If overlooked, these problems are sooner or later going to affect your relationships with others. Couples, families, parents, or friends, these side-effects won’t spare any of your relationships. Mental health impacts our own lives and the lives of people connected with us. Therefore, early intervention, as well as treatment, is necessary.
Quick Tips to Improve Your Mental Health
Now that we know why mental health holds the utmost importance, let’s find out how we can be mindful of our mental health.
- Talk! Talk! Talk! : Don’t let anything eat you from inside. Talk about it to your friends or family. There are counselors too who can lend you support.
- Involve in a Hobby: Take this lockdown as an opportunity to experiment. Involve in a new hobby or acquire a new skill. This will also help you break the monotony of your day.
- Avoid Drugs and Alcohol: Don’t let any of these addictions attract you. Stay safe and away from alcohol and drug abuse.
- Take Care of Your Body: Enough sleep, meditation, physical exercise, etc. can keep your body fit and active.
- Seek Professional Help: If mental health issues persist, consult a professional psychiatrist. Let them help you overcome your anxieties and guide you to cope with the mental health challenges.
It’s been more than a year that the world is battling COVID-19. In this span, the virus has assaulted people’s physical health and led to serious issues affecting their mental health. While necessary steps have been taken around the world to prevent as well as combat the effects of the deadly virus on a physiological level, very little has been done for the betterment of mental health.
People must recognize that mental health heavily influences overall human health. And thus, from stress management to consulting professionals, they must undertake essential practices to bolster their mental health during the pandemic.