It cannot be overemphasized that in a critical time like this, fear is likely to creep in. People across the globe have been told to stay at home to curtail the spread of the virus through what is termed “Social distancing/Quarantine.” This process has a high likelihood of causing more harm than good. Some people think it’s the end of the world. Humans are social animals.
Therefore a prolonged state of isolation can aggravate depression and a sense of anger and helplessness. People now have to stop what they love doing – going to the movies, restaurants, tourist centers, grocery stores, beauty salons, and even traveling. That’s not all; most religious, political, and social activities have been banned. As a result, everyone just wants to survive this ordeal, and there is every possibility that things will not go back to how they were before the outbreak.
There is a need to safeguard your mental health and state of mind, which is, at this point, more important than the physical state. The psychological impact, if not well taken care of, poses more threats to humanity.
This impact ranges from anxiety, frustration, fears, boredom, lack of adequate basic amenities and item supply, lack of information, depression, financial loss, anger, and sleep disorders. Not to mention the stigma associated with getting infected with the virus and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for the recoveries.
Having good mental health has nothing to do with the physical look as an individual with the following signs of distressing mental health can look physically fine. The signs include:
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Loss of concentration and focus.
- Fear of contracting the virus.
- Loss of appetite.
- Increased use of alcohol.
- Drug abuse.
In cognizance of these problems, the World Health Organization (W. H. O) has made a guideline on how individuals can safeguard their mental health in this period.
It is advised, and necessary that the government addresses some of the factors that can help ease the impact of quarantine. This can be done by putting plans in place to make basic amenities available to everyone, especially the ones that can’t afford to feed without going out in a day.
Employers also have a role to play in safeguarding their employees’ mental health. Work should be made remote, and employees should be given salary advances or payable loans without/with less interest. This will further lighten the burden on the employees.
Lastly, individuals should, like the government and employers, play their part in protecting their mental health at home. Psychology experts made a list, few of which are:
- Create a routine; have a to-do list.
- Take care of your body.
- Eat well.
- Sleep well.
- Get adequate rest.
- Help others.
- Stay connected.
- Fight boredom; get busy no matter what.
- Limit media intake.
- Focus on the positives. This phase, too, shall pass.