HYDERABAD: As the COVID-19 has led to rise in mental health issues, experts have suggested some simple ways to overcome fear and anxiety about the pandemic and thus avoid feeling depressed.
The World Mental Health Day this year is being celebrated at a time when the world is in the grip of the pandemic, which is affecting mental health of millions of people.
Fear and anxiety about a new disease and what could happen can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Public health actions, such as social distancing, can make people feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety, says Dr. CharanTejaKoganti, Consultant Neuropsychiatrist, KIMS Hospitals, Kondapur.
He observed some changes among people like excessive worry about own health and the health of loved ones, financial situation or job, changes in eating patterns, difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating and memory recall, worsening of chronic physical problems like hypertension, cardiac conditions, diabetes and worsening of mental health conditions like OCD, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, increased use of substances like tobacco, alcohol, etc. and changes in mood, including mood swings, irritability, low mood, low energy levels, etc.
Dr. CharanTeja believes that people can take care of their mental health in a pandemic by following a few simple methods.
"Use practical ways to relax. Relax your body often by doing things that work for you -- take deep breaths, stretch, meditate, wash your face and hands, or engage in pleasurable hobbies. Pace yourself between stressful activities, and do a fun thing after a hard task. Use time off to relax -- eat a good meal, read, listen to music, take a bath, or talk to family. Talk about your feelings to loved ones and friends often."
One should keep himself or herself healthy by eating healthy foods, and drink water, avoid excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol, by not using tobacco or illegal drugs, with enough sleep and rest and doing physical exercise.
He also suggested that people should limit consumption of news. "Set limits on how much time you spend reading or watching news about the outbreak as it can fuel anxiety and fear. You will want to stay up to date on news of the outbreak, particularly if you have loved ones in places where many people have gotten sick. But make sure to take time away from the news to focus on things in your life that are going well and that you can control." (IANS)