How you can improve your mental health and immunity
As COVID – 19 cases continue to rise, so is the fear and anxiety that comes with experiencing a pandemic. As a planet, we are bracing to fight a formidable force. A recent study by Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index found that 43% of Americans felt their emotional health has worsened as a result of the rise in the number of cases.*
62% of them were worried about their family contracting coronavirus. 51% worried about investments they lost, while 46% of them were concerned about their loss of income as the workplace closed.*
These concerns are shared by people across the world. Reading the news increases our sense of hopelessness, speaking to friends and family makes us worry more about their safety. As we become confined to our homes, with limited interaction, we need to focus on our mental health as much as we are our immune system. For those who have been infected and in quarantine, or have been released after treatment. It is necessary to take care of your mental health to help your recovery.
You don’t necessarily have to meet friends and family personally. Stay connected to them via video call, chat, or phone calls. Speak to them every day. Help each other hold on to positive thoughts.
AVOID READING TOO MUCH NEWS
The current news reports are focusing on reporting the number of cases and deaths. While we do need to be updated on current events, we need to understand when to stop. Or avoid reading too many negative articles. There is an unconscious negative effect as a result of this, it could lead to the development of depression or anxiety.
For people who already have mental health issues, keep in touch with your doctor. Your conditions can worsen, or you may develop new ones.
USE TELEHEALTH SERVICES AND MENTAL HEALTH APPS
The federal government has increased access to telehealth services in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Make use of them should you feel distressed at any point.
Youper, Moodpath, Bloom, Ten Percent Happier are all apps you could try to help track your mood. Ten Percent Happier is offering free live meditation guides in light of the spread of coronavirus. You could use these apps to track your mood or join therapy sessions to reduce stress.
Working to reduce stress will help improve your immune system and your ability to fight the disease. Stress hinders your body’s immune systems causing it to weaken, making you prone to infections.
YOGA AND MEDITATION
It can help your mental and physical health, some yoga exercises are specifically targeted at improving your immune system. You can watch videos by Baba Ramdev or youtube channel Fit Tak on yoga to learn how to practice these.
Combine these with breathing exercises that can help to clear your respiratory system. Sadhguru’s youtube channel has 5-minute breathing exercises that can really help.
Meditate, simply focus on your breathing while pushing away all thoughts from your mind. You will feel some improvement as your stress levels reduce.
Yoga is also a good option for people unable to go to the gym or who regularly exercised outdoors and find it hard to do so now.
Even going for a jog or walking every day can do wonders for your mental health. It will help release endorphins in your brain that act as natural painkillers. It will help improve sleep and thereby reduce stress.
It cannot be emphasized more at this point. Getting your seven or eight hours of sleep will go a long way to reduce stress at a time like this. You will make up feeling refreshed and more positive. It is also necessary if you are exercising, as your body needs time to recover.
AVOID ALCOHOL OR SUBSTANCE ABUSE
Alcohol can set off mental health problems or make existing conditions worse. Limit the amount of alcohol you wish you take to less than four glasses a day. People who drink more experience more psychological distress.
Stay positive, focus on the number of people recovering and what you can do to protect yourself. Taking care of your mental health is one preventive measure.
While we practice social distancing to curb the spread of the virus, we need to maintain our social connection now more than ever. We need to maintain a physical distance but need each other now more than ever. Even a phone call could make a difference. Keep helpline numbers handy and reach out. Take care of your mental health, it is connected to the rest of your body.
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