QUARANTINE AND MENTAL HEALTH
The frightening corona strikes have driven us all home. Most of us are at home waiting for the pandemic to be ceased so that we can go back to our normal lives. While staying indoors sounds like a safe idea, long isolation periods can have some lasting effects on our mental health. Human beings are fundamentally social beings. No matter how much we joke about our introversion, every human has some innate need for air,exposure and other people.
While social quarantine is essential for fighting off the Covid pandemic, we must make sure we are living under a mentally safe and sound environment. We pay a lot of attention to our physical wellbeing but not as much to the mental wellbeing. Here are some things we should take into consideration.
People with a substance addiction can find this isolation time hard to cope with. The situation is worse for people who depend on such substances as a means to fight off stress. Humans, over centuries have found many methods to combat mental stress-religion, meditation, alcohol and drugs are some of the obvious solutions. Among these, ingestion of substances like alcohol for mental distress can lead to severe addiction problems. When the availability of such substances comes to a sudden halt, they may react in a desperate way. Gradual cutting off of substances is the right way to tackle such situations. People with such addiction problems should be given proper care by friends and family. It would also be a good idea to make them engaged with activities, which brings me to my next point.
Boredom in minor quantities will not damage you, unless you are permanently bored 24 hours of a day. Then you have something to worry about. Prolonged feeling of boredom can decrease your brain capacity and can lead to extreme frustration. Inactivity is sometimes also a cause for stress. It is important to find and get engaged in some sort of indoor activities. These should not be in a way just to kill time, but to make your free time productive. Anyone can start a new activity like de-cluttering house, indoor workouts, learning a new language, cooking etc. One can also spend time by reading books, learning a new skill or even engaging in simple tasks like drawing a picture or writing a story.
Since the lockdown, the reported domestic abuse cases have grown several folds. Most of such assaults are against women and children of the households. It is important that the authorities and social commissions should take strict measures to prevent such attacks. This is a perfect time for abuse against weaker sections of people, especially family. People should keep themselves busy and try to find quality family time, instead of taking out the stress on each other. Let family be the reason to heal and support each other in these dreadful times, and not a reason for venting out the fear.