The Psychological Impact of Covid-19
By Juliana Sridhar


Panic and Pandemic go hand in hand. Covid-19 has caused elevated levels of stress and anxiety. Self isolation and quarantine measures have completely changed the normal routine of people and levels of loneliness, depression, harmful alcohol and drug use and suicidal behavior is on the rise. The World Health Organization has taken the impact of the crisis on the mental health of people very seriously and is monitoring the situation.

In order to cope during these trying times, here are some tips given by Jacintha Carson, Licensed Professional Counselor at Think Happy Live Healthy, LLC, Virginia.

    1. Limit your news intake : The news these days is overwhelmingly negative and depressing. A constant intake of negative information, scary images, etc has an impact on one’s mood. No doubt one needs to stay informed but try to limit your news intake.
    2. Seek out social connections : According to Jacintha, the word ‘social distancing’ is a bit of a misnomer. It is actually physical distancing that helps to limit the spread of the virus. It is essential for us to maintain social interactions with others. She recommends that people have at least one interaction per day especially for those who live alone. It can be through text messages, phone calls, whatsapp messages, video calls, emails etc. One could seek support from family, friends, religious groups, community members and other social groups.
    3. Healthy Eating : The food we consume can have a big impact on our mood and overall health. Try to get a balanced diet by including a lot of fruits and vegetables. This will not only provide you with the right nutrients but will also boost your energy levels and your mood.
    4. Do physical exercise : Physical activity like exercise is known to produce mood boosting hormones that is required for good health. One can also try out yoga and a bit of meditation too. This too will help in calming the nerves. You can workout at home and check out free workout videos on YouTube and other websites.
    5. Try to get some amount of fresh air : Getting a little fresh air will help a person to stay fit and fine. Staying indoors all day will make a person feel claustrophobic. Vitamin D is said to be the sunshine vitamin and getting a little sunshine will do a lot of good. If you can’t go outside your house, you can consider walking on the terrace.
    6. Make positive plans : On the whole, try to stay optimistic and make positive plans for the future. After all, the pandemic has to end and everything will soon be back to normal. Till such time, plan out activities that you enjoy doing at home that will inspire you and in the bargain improve your mood and decrease your stress levels.
    7. Seek help if required: Last but not the least, do not hesitate to seek help if you find yourself struggling to cope. You can talk to a doctor or a therapist who will be able to guide you how to manage stress. The government has launched a toll-free helpline number 08046110007 to help people in distress. Here, there is a team of psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers who are spearheading this initiative.

In the words of Fyodor Dostoevsky, “to live without hope is to cease to live.” Therefore, always hope for the best. Remember that nothing lasts forever and this too shall pass.



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