Here Are Some Tips for Mental Health Care During COVID-19 Lockdown
It has been a month since the lockdown, and remaining indoors can take a toll on most of us. Social distancing can make us miss the finer things in life, like hugging our parents. Moreover, if you’re an expat living away from your loved ones, it can hurt your emotional wellness and psychological health. We have a few tips for mental health care for expats during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Connect with Your Emotions
A global pandemic accompanied by a long lockdown and social distancing can be both boring and depressing. One of the tips for mental health care is to take some time and acknowledge whatever you’re feeling. By simply letting your feelings come and go, you’re allowing yourself to observe them instead of reacting to them.
Now, how do you connect with your emotions? Perhaps a few of us already know. However, it is ok if you don’t. Be mindful. This means knowing yourself and your mental state well. Though this may seem simple, with our busy lifestyles, this needs a lot of practice.
Fortunately, we can access many online tutorials and there are also a few free apps. One of these is the Smiling Mind, which is managed by an NGO. Similarly, you can even start journaling. This is a lot easier as most of us are familiar with writing down our feelings. Get it all out with a good rant session with your pen and paper.
2. Switch off the News
With the recent events, we’re being bombarded with hard news. You feel it is your priority to know what is happening around you. You get curious about the number of cases, number of mortalities, the measures, the hospital scenario, and other happenings. However, you must stay away from the news if it upsets you.
But it is not easy to disconnect when the COVID-19 pandemic is all around you. The television runs it all the time; it’s everywhere on social media. COVID-19 is an obsession with WhatsApp groups and Facebook stories.
This is where you must draw the line. Switch off the TV, tune in to Netflix, or watch a DVD. One of the tips for mental health care is to filter your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts. You can also uninstall these apps from your phone. This way you will not receive any disturbing notifications. Prioritizing your mental wellbeing is vital. You can always reconnect when you’re ready.
3. Stay Connected with Family and Friends
For many global citizens, you may either be alone or with your family in your host country. Even though your family may be with you, few of your loved ones might be in your home country. This may be depressing. Their medical conditions probably worry you.
This is entirely natural. One of the tips for mental health care is to be in touch with your kith and kin, back home. Spend time on a video conference with your family and friends as and when you need to. Besides this, you can also do activities together. For instance, watching a movie together is a great idea.
Maybe you can enroll in a virtual fitness class together, or engage in a 30-day challenge together. These are very reassuring and connecting interactive sessions with your loved ones, even if they’re in different geographies.
4. Working from Home Has its Ups and Downs
Many of us are working from home in these lockdown times. It can be very disheartening due to:
- Loneliness because of the absence of colleagues
- Disturbance because of children or people at home
- Apprehensions about not being able to do things the way you need them to be done
- Working under pressure to perform even better
- Overall depression from all of the above
Be kind to yourself, and believe that you can do things well. Find the joy in spending time indoors. There are many tips for expats when it comes to working from home. Build a schedule, connect with your colleagues, and ask questions as and when required. Most health authorities recommend that you do make time to get exercise and fresh air as this may assist your immune system. Stress can reduce your immune response to a lot of viruses, not just COVID-19.
5. Get Help and Follow Your Medical Professional’s Advice
If you or your family members see that you are getting anxious or depressed or the COVID-19 Pandemic has made a pre-existing mental health diagnosis worse, it is always a good idea to seek help. Many mental health professionals and doctors can talk to you via phone or computer, some even using telemedicine. If you are on a medication recommended by your doctor, make sure you follow his or her advice. There is no shame in seeking help.
In Conclusion — Do What Makes You Happy
These are testing times. Follow these tips for mental health care, and you will be safe from feelings of isolation, distress, and gloom. Keep in mind that you are not alone. Consider every tomorrow as a fresh beginning. The essence is to be kind to yourself because you owe your present self to your future.
Additionally, having proper health insurance in place helps to alleviate any stress and worry. As global citizens, it is vital to take care of your health and wellbeing, especially if you’re working abroad. With the worldwide crisis, it is essential to get proper comprehensive health insurance. If you are working on a contract basis overseas, then you should also consider a global health policy.