Written by: Riti Dowerah, Cotton University
The Covid-19 lockdown has led to a complete shutdown of the entire world and all countries are in a “Lockdown” mode.
The lockdown strategy is an essential step to curb the exponential rise of Covid-19 case which led to sudden and drastic alteration in the daily routine.
Earlier studies have shown that the sudden loss of employment along with financial stress or distress could enhance psychological impact shown by symptoms of increased aggressiveness and post-traumatic stress.
However, the impact of lockdown is likely to be heaviest on those who are alone, poor, already psychologically burdened or out of mainstream at baseline.
An online survey was conducted using an anonymous Google form via Social media. They use items like anxiety, depressive symptoms, symptoms of addiction, pornography addiction, experience of hostility, change in food and sleep habits, social empathy and relationship quality to construct overall picture of social and psychological experience during lockdown.
During the survey, a total of 1871 responses were collected out of which 1685 (90.05%) responses were analysed. About 36.2% had anxiety, 10% had depression and 44.1% reported stress.
For many people, the uncertainty surrounding corona virus is the hardest thing to handle. Many people lost their daily source of income, some even lost their loved ones or whole family, some of us are in areas where the infection rates are getting worse while others are bracing for “What may come next?”,”When is this going to end?”.
This pandemic has highlighted the need for us to not take our mental health for granted. There are many things we can do even in the face of this unique crisis to manage our anxiety and fear.
Stay informed but don’t obsessively check the news
It is vital to stay informed, particularly about what is happening in our community, but there is a lot of misinformation going around, as well as sensationalistic coverage that only feeds into fear. Step away from news that makes you feel overwhelmed and try to stick to trustworthy sources.
Focus on things you can control
When you feel yourself getting caught up in fear of what might happen, try to shift your focus to things you can control. Example :- You cannot control pandemic breakdown but can take steps to reduce own personal risk by washing hands with soap, water or hand sanitizer, avoid gathering, staying at home as much as possible, following all recommendations from health authorities and SOPs by the Government.
Stay connected even when physically isolated
Make it priority to stay in touch with friends and family. Whenever you feel lonely and depressed, think about scheduling regular phone call, chats or zoom dates to counteract that tendency.
Take care of your body and spirit
This is an extraordinarily tough time hence try to use stress management strategies such as eating healthy meals, getting plenty of sleep, meditating and doing yogas. Maintain a routine as best as you can, try to utilise your time in fruitful, quality and creative activities.
Helping others during this pandemic not only makes a difference to our community but it also supports our own mental health and well being. Reach out to others in need, donate to food banks, help poor people and street animals, be a calming influence and be kind to others.