Bring Back Hobbies
Catch up on those long-forgotten hobbies that once gave you happiness, but had to be left behind because of lack of time. You may have grown out of gully cricket, playing cards, or that simple game of ludo, but they have not grown out of you. To maintain your mental balance and approach this unprecedented time with a positive outlook, you must indulge in things that you enjoy; be it gardening, writing poems, or painting. I have recently been seeing many Facebook posts of my friends using their time at home to polish their culinary skills, and it makes me quite hopeful. These activities may seem trivial but are very essential in maintaining our mental balance.
Stock Up On Medicines
Let me clarify what I mean by stock up before you venture out and empty the shelves of the chemists. This advice is directed specifically towards mental health patients. People with psychological ailments like anxiety, depression, or even schizophrenia are 90 percent of the time prescribed medications that have to be taken regularly and can’t be skipped even for one day. The concept behind it is that drugs like antidepressants and benzodiazepines only work if a stable and fixed amount of them is maintained in the patient’s blood. In that respect, mental health patients or their caregivers should make sure that their medications are well stocked. Don’t wait for the last moment and, if possible, buy a bulk stock that can at least cover the time of the lockdown so that unnecessary trips to the hospital can be avoided.
Don’t Be Misinformed & Overburdened
Internet, WhatsApp groups, and social media are currently full of useless misinformation aimed at creating unrest and panic among the crowds. Don’t fall prey to these strategies of anti-social elements and keep a stable head on your shoulders. To avoid being overburdened and still be informed about the current Coronavirus outbreak, gather information from government websites and credible sources like Vox, WHO (World Health Organization), and CDC (Center of Disease Control) sources. Don’t believe every source-less message on the internet and utilize your intelligence to differentiate between useful and non-credible information. It is good for your physical as well as mental health.
Educate Yourself about Mental Health
This is a good time for not only mental health patients to research their ailments but also for supposedly healthy people to know more about how they can take care of their brain along with their body. Mental Health is a topic that is quite often sidelined and ignored by individuals for lack of time in this competitive world. For better or worse, now that we have got these one or two months at home surrounded by our loved ones, it is imperative that we indulge in introspection and try to better understand our mind. For people already struggling with psychological problems like depression and anxiety, I would suggest reading studies, articles, and catch up on the latest research being done in the field of mental health. This will help you become more aware of the nature of your disease and hence how you can better approach this biopsychosocial problem.
Meditate Your Stress Away
Given how heavily under duress, we as a society and species are right now, meditation is something we need to indulge without delay. Meditation can not only help us calm our mind but also give us a fresh perspective when discussing the Coronavirus Outbreak. In this time, when a deadly disease has put every human being all around the world under house arrest, we must make sure we avoid unnecessary stress and pressure. And what better way to refresh your mind than shutting it off for five minutes in a day? This is especially applicable for mental health patients because stress can prove to be an aggravator for their conditions. We must avoid unnecessary hospital visits at all costs unless its an emergency. Indulging in precautionary measures like meditation is the perfect way to make sure that our diseases -whichever they might be- don’t get the better of us.
Energize Your Mind with Yoga
Other than meditation, Yoga is also an excellent method of refreshing your body and mind. I didn’t use to do yoga much, but when I realized how advantageous it is, I just had to give it a crack. Yoga’s utility, as you all know, is based not only on the various positions or asanas but also on deep breathing that promotes blood flow to all body parts. Specific asanas also promote blood flow to the brain hence decreasing possibilities of depression and anxiety. I personally have benefited a lot from Yoga and would suggest that mental health patients who have not tried it yet or have left the habit try to get back into it. It kills two birds with one stone, really. You get fit, plus you also avoid mental fatigue. Building immunity to fight against Coronavirus is, of course, a bonus.
Have a Good Time
All in all, don’t forget to have a good time and enjoy your time at home. Even if you’re stuck far away from home, make sure you don’t stress yourself. We are, of course, going through an unprecedented crisis, but in my opinion, these are the times that evolve us as human beings. We should use this time to understand our role in the world and find how we can contribute better to our society instead of focusing on trivial and materialistic things. Most importantly, however, it is essential to enjoy yourself at the end of the day and not take yourself too seriously. Have faith in God, science, or whatever entity you believe in and make sure to tell yourself that we will come out of this problem as we have from many others.