As we crossed the threshold from 2020 to 2021, many had thought this year would be a better one— but we have to give it time. We continue to experience anxiety because the Covid-19 pandemic is still a chief cause of concern for millions.
We are living in overwhelming times and it can cause emotions such as frustration and irritability more easily than before. It is completely normal to feel anxiety at such times as we are learning to cope with stress, worry and fear of the unknown. We cannot help but wonder— what could go wrong next?
Health measures such as social distancing, closing of establishments and wearing masks have made people feel isolated, lonely, and angry— all these emotions add to more stress and anxiety.
As we continue to address the coronavirus pandemic, it is time to pay attention to the one that grows at a parallel— the mental health pandemic. It is vital to learn healthy coping methods to take care of oneself, and as a sense of responsibility to the community we live in. Right now, the concerns are bigger than before. It is no longer just about us but about everyone around us.
It is completely natural to experience feelings of worry and stress about one’s own health. It is valid to have fears regarding your financial situation or potential loss of employment due to businesses closing.
When you feel anxiety, it is normal to notice changes in your eating and sleeping patterns, having difficulty concentrating, and feeling of temptation to use more caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. When you experience such changes and urges, it is important to realise that your mental health needs attention.
Like most things in life, anxiety is not a one-size-fits-all. Different people experience different signs and symptoms of anxiety. People react differently to stressful situations, and the same coping mechanisms and treatments will not work for everyone.
Flying home in a pandemic, Anjana Rajbhandary
There are many factors that affect the level of stress and anxiety you feel during a pandemic, such as your emotional and physical health, emotional support from family and friends, and your financial situation, among others.
Just because meditation worked for your cousin does not mean it will work for you the same way. You may have to try different methods, so you are able to find what works best for you. Till then, it is important for you to stay patient.
Be kind to yourself and remind yourself that it is completely normal to experience anxiety during a pandemic and that there are healthy ways available to tackle that anxiety.
Here are some ways you can take care of yourself and others during the pandemic.
- Take care of your family but also remember to take care of yourself.
- Establish and focus on meaningful connections with people.
- Continue to maintain social connections with family and friends despite social distancing via phone calls or video chats, as loneliness and isolation can deeply affect one’s mental wellbeing.
It is important to do your research and get your information from reliable sources. Do not believe everything you see and hear on social media, and only trust Covid-related information from certified medical professionals.