With the Covid-19 pandemic in full swing for months, it’s unsurprising that it has impacted all of us in one way or another. According to a survey conducted by Premier Value Provider Inc. (PVP) on Filipino employees, a substantial percentage has reported that they have been experiencing severe stress, anxiety, and depression since the quarantine took effect in March. On top of worrying for their and their loved ones’ health, being forced to stay home has taken a toll on the respondents, especially those who have lost their jobs or are working from home. Relaxing may be a lot more difficult now than it used to, but taking care of your mental health is important now more than ever. Here’s what you can do to look after yourself amid this stressful time.
Limit your intake of news
It’s essential to stay informed on recent developments regarding the pandemic, but it can get overwhelming especially when you’re hearing about them constantly. It can also lead to exacerbated fear and anxiety. Limit the amount of time you spend on TV and social media, and only get your news from reliable sources so you know the facts and you can avoid unnecessary panic.
Connect with your loved ones
Many of us have been away from our family and friends for a long time, which definitely adds to the stress from current events. On the bright side, it’s easier to connect with your loved ones no matter where they are nowadays, thanks to social media and video call platforms. Schedule a weekly chat with your friends and family, and consider confiding your worries in someone you trust. Sometimes, simply talking it out can have positive effects on your mental health.
Take the time to be active
You hear it over and over again, but it’s true — regular exercise is greatly beneficial to your physical and mental health. Staying active helps protect you from sickness and produces endorphins, the so-called “happy hormones,” which are integral to a healthy mental state. You don’t even have to go to the gym to get a workout in. If you can, walk around your neighborhood every morning or just follow instructional workout videos online.
Look out for bad habits you might be developing
People react differently to stress. Fear and anxiety can cause some people to turn to bad habits such as overeating, smoking, and drinking to cope. While this is perfectly understandable, you must be aware of these habits and stop them while you can as they can only harm you in the long run.
Try to relax
Although it’s hard to truly relax these days, you can always start small. Finish the book you’ve been putting off reading, watch movies and TV shows you’ve never seen before, bake cookies and pastries for yourself (or send them to your friends), or try new things gardening or online selling. It doesn’t have to be a full-on meditation; anything that will take your mind off things can do wonders for your mental health.
Don’t be afraid to call someone if you need help
If you’re suffering from any level of stress, anxiety, or depression, don’t be afraid or ashamed to reach out for professional help. Call the National Mental Health Crisis Hotline at 0917-899-8727 or 7989-8727. You can also find other resources here.
If you suspect that you or someone you live with has contracted the virus, consult with a doctor via the Department of Health’s (DOH) 24/7 telemedicine hotline at (02) 8424-1724 for free. You can also reach KonsultaMD at (02) 7798-8000.