The Ministry of Health on Tuesday came out with a release on ways to beat social isolation amid the 21-day coronavirus lockdown.
The ministry, in its release, said fear is the most common emotion faced by many amid the coronavirus crisis. Fear can give rise to anxiety and panic which can make a person think or do things that we might not “consider appropriate under normal circumstances”.
Here’s what the government suggests to ensure sound mental health and beat social isolation during the lockdown:
1. The government has suggested people to keep themselves busy during the lockdown and be watchful of any symptom of emotional or mental distress during this period.
2. Social isolation should be tackled. Rumours, fake news and theories must be rejected. Call up friends and family, stay connected.
3. One should take a break from watching too much news and updates around the coronavirus crisis yet keep abreast of the latest developments for safety.
4. People with existing mental illnesses may feel overwhelmed and face newer challenges.
5. Keep busy. Distract yourself. Take up hobbies and be active. Try and follow a routine. Eat well and drink plenty of fluids.
6. “At times of anxiety, practice breathing slowly for a few minutes. Try and distance the thoughts that are making you anxious. Think of something calm and serene, and slow down your mind. When feeling angry and irritated, calming your mind, counting back from 10 to 1, distracting yourself helps”.
7. Recognise emotional and mental problems in you and in people around by paying close attention to any changes in sleep pattern, difficulty in sleeping, substance abuse or increased use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs; worsening health problems.
8. “If any of these emotions persist continuously for several days, despite your trying to get out of it, talk about it with someone. If the feelings worsen, a person may feel helpless, hopeless and feel that life is not worth living. If that happens, call at helpline number (080-46110007) for advice from a mental health professional or contact your doctor/mental health professional.” the government release read.
9. DO NOT: Spread rumours or misinformation. Avoid consumption of tobacco, alcohol. Don’t consume drugs.
10. Do not judge people with Covid-19 infection. Avoid panicking and overthinking.
According to a Lancet report, there were as many as 197·3 million people with mental disorders in India in the year 2017. Mental illness and emotional distress is a rising cause of worry in the country.