Coronavirus is a term used for a family for viruses, which tend to affect the respiratory tracts of mammals and birds. They can also affect humans and cause problems such as cold, cough, pneumonia, bronchitis, critical acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The virus can also affect the gut and is typically found in animals and rare cases are transmitted from animals to humans, which further leads to spread from one human to another.
The recent outbreak from this family of viruses is the COVID-19, which is caused by an infection of SARS-CoV 2. The disease which began in Wuhan, China has now spread to more than 150 countries and territories worldwide, causing global panic and increasing the death toll to more than 2 lakh globally. The WHO has declared Coronavirus as a pandemic and has advised people to be aware and follow more precautions.
The current coronavirus pandemic has not only impacted the physical health of people but also majorly affected their mental well being and caused a lot of stress, anxiety and fear. Moreover, with the lockdown situation of the country, the virus has taken a huge toll on the overall being of being.
Stress from the COVID-19 situation can lead to:
- Fear and extreme worry about one’s health and that of the loved ones
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Changes in eating pattern
- Problems in concentrating
- Negative thoughts affecting health
- Problem in sleeping
- Increasing severity of existing chronic health problems
- Worsening of mental health conditions
- Increased use of tobacco, alcohol or other drugs
Even though the response of each person towards the stressful situation will differ, yet some people, who will be at a higher risk of being stressfully impacted by the COVID-19 situation, include:
- Older people
- People with chronic illness
- People with existing health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
- Children and teens
- Anyone with a compromised or a weak immune system
- People helping curb the COVID-19 situation such as doctors, police, first respondents, etc.
- People with a mental health condition especially problems related to drug abuse
Amidst such bizarre times, here are 7 tips one can use to overcome the stress related to Coronavirus:
Exercise Regularly: Even though gyms and other physical training centres are closed, yet one must not give up exercising. Regular exercising of any form can be taken up at home such as aerobics, walking, running, HIIT, climbing stairs, yoga, etc. Also, in case you have exercise types of equipment at home, it is advisable to indulge in a full workout session at least thrice a week. Regular exercising not only helps to keep the physical weight in check but also boost immunity while simultaneously helping to clear the head and relieve stress from the body. Exercising releases endorphins, which are hormones that help the body feel better and positive.
Eat healthy: Even though cravings will sink in during the lockdown period, but with all restaurants and food joints closed, this is probably the best time to clean your body of external toxins. So, focus on eating a healthy and nutritious diet comprising green vegetables, a good amount of vitamins, proteins, etc. Moreover, remember to not indulge in emotional eating due to stress. Also, avoid foods which can trigger stress; keeping healthy snacks and nuts handy are always a good idea to relieve stress. Refrain from alcohol, tobacco, smoking, drugs or any other similar products. Moreover, it is important to boost your immunity in such times; hence, one must consumer ginger-garlic water, turmeric, and more immunity boosters.
Take a break: Most of the emotional stress and anxiety during this time will be fuelled bythe news and media. Hence, you must maintain distance from consistent news updates and media glare on the global pandemic situation. Keeping the latest developments and news at bay will help relieve some stress from the mind and allow you to focus your energies elsewhere.
Indulge in a hobby: The perfect escape from the reality is to subdue the mind and allow it to refocus its energy on activities and hobbies which interest you. You can choose to play indoor games, write, read a book, create a photo album, browse through all memories, solve puzzles, indulge in singing or dancing, etc. Any sort of activity which helps one relieves the stress by diverting the mind.
Connect virtually with people: It might seem the world is crashing on to you but then you must remember, millions are fighting the same war.So, it is always a good idea to take time to call your old friends, reconnect with more people, engage in healthy conversations and reach out to your family. You could use texting, FaceTime, Whatsapp calls, or any other medium you prefer, including social media and get your social dose virtually to keep the spirits from sinking.
Get enough sleep and rest: Despite the multiple problems arising due to the COVID-19 situation, one good thing that has come about is the abundance of time in these days. One has more time than necessary and hence, it is a perfect medium to spend your days doing exactly what you love and what keeps you motivated. Also, important is to release the stress by getting enough hours of sleep and taking rest or power naps, per choice.
Keep a schedule: A very effective way to work out those stress hormones during the pandemic situation is to keep up a schedule. Ensure you plan your day and keep hours allotted for every activity such as household chores, cooking, sleeping, hobbies, exercising, etc. Prepare a schedule and ensure you follow it every day. However, you should be very rigid and allow for certain flexibilities.