The amount of information circulating about the coronavirus (Covid-19) may affect mental health. so, we will talk here about Tips on maintaining Mental Health amid Coronavirus Panic, stress, fear of losing loved ones, and changes in activity are a few effects of the outbreak of this dangerous respiratory virus.
A recent study from the medical journal The Lancet notes that the psychological impact of isolation or quarantine can be huge. Experts say this can trigger a variety of mental health problems ranging from anxiety and anger to sleep disorders, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
A separate study conducted on SARS quarantine patients showed that a previous coronavirus outbreak in 2003 caused 10% -29% of people with PTSD.
The Lancet report states, the cause of mental health problems is related to quarantine, which is a result of pressure from fear of infection, frustration, boredom, inadequate supplies, lack of information, financial losses, and stigma associated with contracting the disease.
That is not only a problem for sufferers of pre-existing mental issues, but also for people who appear to be healthy.
Identification of Mental Health Problems
“Humans are social animals, quarantine or prolonged social isolation (without compensation methods) will worsen anxiety, depression, and helplessness,” said professor Ian Hickie at the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Center, told CNBC.
The CDC records signs of mental health problems that can occur, namely:
– Fear and worry about your own health – Changes in sleep or eating patterns – Difficulty sleeping or concentrating – Worsening of chronic health problems – Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
“For people without adequate resources, the so-called ‘disruption’ is a disaster. The impact on their mental health will be dire, “Friedman told CNBC Make It, highlighting expanded telemedical services as a source of help for those who have mental or substance use disorders.
“To overcome these stressors, the government can help reduce the impact of quarantine on mental health,” Dr. Marcus Tan, consultant psychiatrist at the Singapore-based Nobel Psychological Wellness Clinic, told CNBC Make It.
Not only the government, but some parties who are willing to work together will also certainly be very helpful in deciding the spread of this virus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated the coronavirus as a pandemic. This makes the government and the world community more aware of the spread of the coronavirus. While it is important to find reliable information, we also need to know the steps to protect ourselves from excessive stress and panic in the midst of a corona outbreak.
Psychological impact due to coronavirus
Following the development of the coronavirus is important for vigilance. But constantly being exposed to information, both trusted and not, can also make a person more stressed.
People who have previously experienced mental disorders are the group that may be most vulnerable to the psychological effects of this crisis, likewise with children and people who come down directly in the field to deal with the coronavirus, especially doctors or other health workers.
Physical and psychological effects that can arise include excessive fear and worry about the health of yourself and loved ones, changes in sleep patterns and eating patterns, as well as worsening of existing health problems.
Mental Health Symptoms
A person is said to have a healthy mentality if he avoids the symptoms of mental illness and exploits his potential to harmonize the functioning of the soul in him.
Whereas people who are mentally unwell are people who feel disturbed by the peace of their hearts. This is usually caused by the inability to face the facts of life, so that mental conflict arises in him.
Common symptoms that can be seen in people who are mentally unwell:
1. Feelings and Thoughts
People who are mentally unwell will always feel restless, panicked, and anxious that they are out of place. People who are mentally unwell are also unable to concentrate on doing a job, lazy, forgetful, apathetic, and so on.
In addition, these people are usually jealous of the happiness of others. This is not because his heart is indeed rotten, but because he himself cannot feel the happiness.
2. Unreasonable sadness
This can be seen from the look on his face that always imagines sadness when, in fact, he is a capable person, respected by people, rank, and so on. In people who experience mental disorders, this happens very often. The reasons vary according to what happens in the environment.
3. Low self-esteem or lack of confidence
This happens a lot in adolescents. Usually, adolescents experience this because there are so many problems they face and they cannot solve them, even the help from parents to solve the problem is not there.
This feeling of inferiority causes people to be offended quickly. Because of that, he might stay away from associating with people, being alone, not daring to express opinions for fear of being wrong, not daring to act, or taking the initiative for fear of not being accepted by others.
Too often angry is out of place or out of balance with the cause that caused the anger, then that has something to do with mental health.
Anger is actually an expression of an unpleasant feeling of heart, usually due to disappointment, dissatisfaction, not achieved what he wants.
If a person who is feeling uneasy, dissatisfied with himself, then a little outside atmosphere disturbs him will become angry. Maybe children, wives, or anyone else will be the target of his long-standing anger.
How do you control anxiety in the middle of a corona outbreak?
Here are some tips that can help maintain your mental health and those closest to you in the face of a corona pandemic:
1. Look for sources that can be trusted
In a day, how much information is circulating about corona in your messaging application group? Although a variety of information is spread by family or friends, we should be more careful because it does not rule out the possibility that the news hooks.
Instead of feeling calm, we can actually be more panicked and anxious. Be sure to always monitor the development of the coronavirus from sources that are truly trusted. For example, from the WHO website and other trusted media.
2. Maintain good health
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, one of the things we can do to be calmer is to take care of our health. When we feel we are not maintaining our health well enough, we may be more afraid to catch it. Apply a healthy lifestyle with the tips below:
Eat healthy and balanced food. Drink enough water, at least 2 liters for adults. Stay active with regular exercise. Get enough sleep, at least 7-9 hours for adults. Stop smoking and drinking alcohol.
Wash your hands more often, at least 20 seconds, with running water and soap. Do this before and after eating or preparing food, and after traveling, sneezing, coughing, or going to the toilet. Praying and meditation may also be helpful in calming panic attacks that are raging.
3. Stay connected with loved ones
Isolation policies have been put in place in some areas to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. This can make us more stressed and feel lonely.
By maintaining connections with loved ones, the sense of panic, fear, and fatigue that is plaguing will undoubtedly be greatly reduced. Call or make video calls with family and friends, including surefire ways we can do to stay connected and maintain mental health.
We can tell stories and share jokes so that feelings will be more peaceful. If you share information about the coronavirus with others, first make sure that the information is really valid and comes from reliable sources.
4. Take a break from the news
It is not healthy if you are constantly reading, listening, and watching the news. Try to take time to relax and do some activities that you like. For example, reading books, gardening, listening to music or podcasts, drawing, and others.
When chatting with family and friends, try not to be too focused to discuss this outbreak. Avoiding news altogether should not be done. The best way is to limit it, so it is not too stressful.
5. Divert attention for a while
Be vigilant, but don’t focus solely on the corona pandemic. Occasionally, we also need to distract and relax for some time. For example, you can play with pets, walk around the house, take care of plants, and more.
6. Think positive
This might sound like a cliche, but facing a crisis with negative thoughts won’t make it calmer, right? There are many ways we can do to maintain positive thoughts. We are starting from giving positive suggestions to yourself, focusing more on the good and fun things in life, and sharing stories and jokes with loved ones and people who make more enthusiasm.
Stress and other emotional crises also should not be underestimated. If you or those closest to you experience mental health problems related to the ongoing corona pandemic, it is advisable to contact someone who can help, such as a psychologist.
Facing corona outbreaks without provoked panic or anxiety viruses surely can help maintain mental and physical health in the midst of this global health crisis. The effect is not only good for you personally, but also for the people around you.