Recently Harvard medical practitioner Dr. John Sharp in his journal in Harvard medical publishing on psychiatry concluded by this,
“We are wired for fight or flight. But as a colleague of mine noted, the present situation does not require either of these. If you’re a human who’s been challenged or somewhat disabled, by anxiety in the past, I encourage you now to draw upon what you’ve learned in terms of how you can manage successfully.
Separating feelings from the past, reminding yourself that you have the strength and ability in the present to prevail, seeing a path forward for yourself and setting yourself upon that path is the way forward. If along with that way you should stumble and fall, picture yourself as able to pick yourself back up and carry on. Reassure yourself that the necessary provisions for your safety and well-being are within your power to meet”
The pandemic taught us a lot. From cooperating to the necessity of obeying the law. Taking care of mental health becomes the priority. During these crucial days. On analyzing the present social conditions, these are a few things the society came along with isolation and quarantine. When the whole nature chooses to play against us, we are still hoping for our fast recovery. To achieve that, we have to be alert and prepared to face the future with covid 19.
Social distancing is a new term for every millennial. We are never used to such a social condition. This has made a tremendous effect on our social life, which forces us to change our social interaction methods. Isolation or social distancing doesn’t mean that you have to keep your life to yourself or not engage in interactions with fellow human beings. It is interacting with other people in a safe distance for our own safety and theirs respectively.
Every individual reacts differently to social distancing and isolation. Some people who are with higher Emotional intelligence will get registered with the situation more efficiently and sustain it as long as the situation demands. At the same time, this can cause some serious mental health issues among people who are vulnerable and need affection and need to be in touch regularly of their closed ones, and this seems to be a tough and severe problem. There are some other elements in social distancing and isolation that make it harder for a few people. It depends upon two things one is on your motivation, and the other is on your knowledge. This becomes a necessity to question your motive to practice social distancing and isolation. And it can help in deriving self affirmed answers to the personal self.
Following the directions from World Health Organization (WHO) health professionals around the world, it’s a necessity to practice using a mask and hand sanitizer along with keeping social distance; thus, we can still stay in touch with people and ensure safety for everyone. Clearly, social distancing will not tear apart relationships or people.
Apart from social distancing, wearing masks are also made mandatory all throughout the world. Recently, New York Governor gave orders to the residents to wear face masks in public, which has now become a worldwide accepted custom.
Anxiety and other mental disorders
Anxiety isn’t a new term, and it just becomes more significant during these times. This is the first experience in the past century to stay in quarantine or keeping isolated for such a long time massively. It’s natural and healthy to develop a low rate of anxiety, at a lower level, it is healthier for performance in everyday life. The same concern that pulls you out of your bed every day became significant in rate. The first and foremost thing to acknowledge is experiencing a little anxiety won’t harm in any way. That’s a catalyst for life.
One example of acute anxiety is going to the grocery store to buy all the vegetables and stacking up too many toilet rolls. Another instant is sharing too much unnecessary information to your close ones.
You should be alarmed about what is going on around us. The excessive concern is a sign of over anxiety and needs medical assistance. Meeting a therapist or psychologist is necessary at this point.
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According to the center for disease control and prevention, acute anxiety symptoms during an infectious disease outbreak can sometimes cause the following issues.
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones, your financial situation or job, or loss of support services you rely on.
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns.
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
- Worsening of chronic health problems.
- Worsening of mental health conditions.
- Increased use of tobacco,alcohol and other drugs
Role of social media
It is very evident that Social media plays a crucial role during the time of the pandemic. Social media creates a lot of anxiety among people via spreading the wrong information and news among people. This can cause severe anxiety among audiences with low analyzing ability and newbies.
It’s necessary to acknowledge that we are living in a world where technology has advanced tremendously over the past few years. It’s a blessing to know every news at your fingertip, and this can help us to prepare ourselves for the next level of tackling the pandemic. News from around the world , numbers related to the pandemic, measures taken by each country, data is in a click away. This digital logging creates a database with information useful for the development of vaccines and effective medication. But the adverse effect is when your anxiety takes over the control over the data. It is not necessary to update yourself every five minutes and to make yourself uncomfortable. is that really a requirement?? Every time when your hands are seeking for the covid 19 updates, why don’t you ask this question yourself. Do I really require this now? Keeping updated for knowledge and self-awareness and stressing your mind to get information just to get yourself anxious are entirely different conditions. Pandemic wasn’t an overnight phenomenon to get rid of quickly. Acute anxiety is developed during his phase of the lockdown apart from overthinking. You shouldn’t constantly be looking at your phone checking your social media platforms.It’s important to keep things in the moment, which will help us handle ourselves with ease and control.
Many selfish people took advantage of the situation to spread their Personal Agenda to destroy harmony and cooperation among people. This can be called as a brutal cybercrime, spreading the wrong information through social media platforms can influence many people and end up in danger. As well as the cyber criminals, the unaware people also share wrong information. Next Make sure the authenticity of the news before sharing.
The following are the CDC guidelines for the better health during the pandemic for coping up with stress and anxiety
- Know what to do if you are sick and are concerned about COVID-19. Contact a health professional before you start any self-treatment for COVID-19.
- Know where and how to get treatment and other support services and resources, including counseling or therapy (in person or through telehealth services).
- Take care of your emotional health. Taking care of your emotional health will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your family.
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including those on social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body.
Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate
Eating healthy, a well-balanced diet is equal to medicine.
Get plenty of sleep
Avoid excessive alcohol and stop using drugs
- Make time to unwind.
- Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others while maintaining social distancing
- Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
- Connect with your community- or faith-based organizations. While social distancing measures are in place, consider connecting online, through social media, or by phone or mail.
- Know the facts to help reduce stress and anxiety
Knowing the facts about COVID-19 and stopping the spread of rumors can help reduce stress and stigma. . Understanding the risk to yourself and people you care about can help you connect with others and make an outbreak less stressful.
It’s necessary to accept the fact that we are severely affected by the pandemic. During the period of lockdown, make use of it by developing new habits. It takes 90 days to build a habit. Reading, playing any sport or anything on a bucket list which can be done while maintaining the social distance can ease our loneliness and stress. It’s the right time to reflect on the essential things in life. Things that went unnoticed can reflect and pay gratitude.
An important thing that we can engage in is to reach out. Putting others into priority instead of ourselves is a more natural way to escape from our mess. Communicate about your hopes, fears, plans, and insecurities. We humans have a long history of success and survival. Hunger crisis, water crisis become more critical than ever before. For everything we did with our past, choosing to stay together is the best decision humankind ever did in these days.