Do Not Lock-Down Your Mental Health
By Dr. Methmal Subasinghe
Due to the unprecedented pandemic, lockdowns are inevitable and it is certain to give people a not-so-good experience. As social beings, being locked down can be daunting for humans. Although a lockdown is unpleasant, there is no option other than to obey the rules put forward by governments and health authorities. When human-to-human interactions, travel, and entertainment are restricted, it affects the ordinary behaviour of people. During lockdowns, monotony can be resulted and can harm a person’s mental health. At the inception of the pandemic, we saw how people went out of their houses for no reason when the pandemic curfew and lockdown were strict.
This is because they feel bored to be in one place and be inactive. For some people being confined to homes during lockdown can be like being in prison. Nevertheless, some people value this free time that they are blessed with due to the pandemic to spend time with their loved ones. It is however sad to note that the majority of the people do not spend this free time fruitfully. It is important to pay attention to your physical as well as psychological health during the lockdown. Being confined to one place, monotony and inactivity can, to a certain extent affect one’s mental health. The number of COVID-19 patients and deaths reported daily can fill your mind with melancholy and fear.
Losing friends, celebrities due to COVID-19 can down your mentality severely. Also hearing that friends and loved ones are affected by COVID-19 can be terrifying news. Many have faced problems with their employment. Some are getting only half of their salary due to the pandemic but expenses remain the same. Businesses are facing down-turns and people who depend on daily work are losing their income, being unable to settle loans and leases can also create negative mental conditions in people. People, despite their social status, have faced economic issues. The future is precarious with new variants of the virus spreading faster and people are encompassed by a feeling of uncertainty. The elderly and people with chronic illnesses live with uncertainty because if they contract the virus, the possibility of death is high.
Simple activities for mental health
It is always better to express your melancholic feelings about life to someone who cares about you. It is normal to have some negative and uncertain feelings about life these days due to this pandemic. Even the person with who you are sharing your feelings may be undergoing a similar scenario. Hence, talking to someone closer to life can be soothing than keeping such negative feelings to oneself. During the lockdown, most people spend the entire day in their nightclothes and sometimes even without brushing their teeth and bathing. This may worsen the confinement.
The best thing is to bathe as you wake up, clad yourself in a clean beautiful dress, and arrange your house to look better. It is important to keep the place that you are living in clean. Drinking plenty of water, basking in the sun, and eating healthy foods can help elevate your mood. Exercising is also important these days as it can help keep you physically active which also helps mental health. If watching TV is your pastime, switch to something interesting. Also, limit your time spent on social media. The content spreading on social media is not so healthy.
There is a lot of negative information and news spread on social media platforms. It is better to avoid them. Pick an interesting book and read. Read some books that contain life lessons. See what you can get out of the book to improve your life. Do more household work and gardening etc. Gardening can be a good pastime for anyone. Researchers have found that gardening can elevate mood and keep a person mentally healthy.
Breathe fresh air. Enjoy the natural environment. Pursue your hobbies during this period which you have been unable to fulfil previously as you had no time. That will keep you engaged. Spending quality time with children and elderly people at home is important as they can be easily affected. That will also improve the family bond. Cook something healthy and serve others. Enjoy by seeing how they enjoy your dish. Learn something new.
That will cast away your boredom. Spend time with your pet if you have one. Pets are said to be the best treatment for loneliness and when a person is mentally down. Spending time with your pet also helps it have healthy growth. If you have a garden at home with plenty of trees, spend more time with nature. If you can go to a jungle or natural water body and spend time there, this will be a great cure for most of your mental problems. Do not lock-down your life during the lockdown. Make use of the lockdown for personal development and emerge as a better person when the pandemic is over one day.