Protecting Your Mental Health During quarantine
“Heaven and hell aren’t only destinations of the after-life”.
Looking back at our ancestors who managed to light a fire using two rocks to carving their civilizations into mountain stones! then observing how those who came after them took the torch of civilization and kept improving on the accumulations of the previous one. The torch of civilizations kept on being handed over a generation to generation that now, it marvels us how our ancestors managed to live through such primitive times. But if it wasn’t for their primitive efforts, we wouldn’t have what we have now!
“A man is the outcome of his solitude” or in other words, the play on the stage is the outcome of a well written and directed script. Who we are majorly depends on how we spend time with ourselves.
For instance, Shakespeare had written his play king’s Lear while being quarantined during the time of the plague, Van Gogh drew his famous painting starry night while being locked up in an asylum.
While the rush of modern life and the busyness of ones’ day is due to work, this busyness can result in one disconnecting from who they are.
There are two kinds of people that will come out from this quarantine, lazy ones who enjoyed sitting at home doing nothing and tried to break routine through fighting with those who surround them or being nonproductive.
And then there are others, who are just like a caterpillar, working hard behind the scenes so the outcome is as satisfying and impressive as the beauty of the butterfly wings. A scene worth watching!
Because there is always a blessing in every hardship, this quarantine could be the reason why you write the coming chapter of your life successfully.
The world is temporarily taking a break, and breaks are necessary for maintaining balance! while the world is continuing its break, make sure to maintain the balance of your mental health, because for you to be able to be productive and creative during this time, you need to take care of your mental health.
How is this linked in any way to heaven and hell that was mentioned above?
Heaven and hell can also be a place or a feeling that one creates for themselves and decide to quarantine themselves there!
It is completely understood that stressful events such as the outbreak of COVID-19 across the world can result in unpleasant feelings one will have to face. In the same context, some might develop anxiety, depression and stress disorders. And being locked-up against your own well could be very frustrating on so many levels. the fact that you must stay inside your home for approximately two weeks might have mal effects on your mental health if you don't take care of it.
Why not look at it differently?
Turning your quarantine into your own heaven:
1- Ensuring that you have healthy surroundings is necessary when you are at home remove all of the unhealthy food from your fridge. This won’t eliminate your urge to snack, but if a pack of cookies is not within easy reach, you give yourself extra time to make a healthier choice instead.
2- Take the television out of your bedroom. Screens have become ubiquitous in all areas of our lives, and they are ruining our sleep. If you have a television in your bedroom, you are more likely to watch it late into the night, and the blue light in addition to the mental stimulation can disrupt your circadian rhythm. Move it out and move in a few good books instead.
3- Cover the basics of optimizing your home. Changing air filters and checking the batteries in your smoke detectors might sound like obvious tasks, but too many people overlook these simple choices. Cleaner air is better for your immune system, and basic safety precautions are always a worthwhile choice for you and your family. While you’re at it, roll up the blinds to let in more sunlight.
4- Hang your vision or dream board someplace prominent. A vision board (or a dream board as it is sometimes referred to) is a collage of images that represent your goals and your desires. In this case, it should include a component of your health and perhaps your personal or professional goals. If you put this in a place you see each day, you can mentally center yourself around what matters most to you.
5- Reflect on the people surrounding you. We often think of our surroundings as physical things, but the people we talk to on a daily basis influence us as well. Is that Facebook or Whatsapp group message good for your mental wellbeing? Is that friend who encourages you to have a few extra drinks looking out for your best interests? These might not be simple answers, but you should take the time to be more aware of how the people around you bring you up or bring you down.
It is with no doubt that we realize the chaos outside can affect you and your loved ones and that stress and anger can lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding between people, this is due to the fact that not everyone can express how they feel correctly for the simplest yet most complicated reason; they simply don’t know how to express how they feel or don’t know what is the name of the feeling and how to deal with it.
During these hard times, we must grant ourselves and others the mercy of understanding and embrace, hard times should teach us how to stay connected with ourselves and others or as Kafka likes to describe it: “Solitude is a way to know ourselves” to connect with ourselves and our loved ones better.
Here is what you can do to help yourself and others during this stressful time:
Start with yourself, Sharing the facts about COVID-19 and understanding the actual risk to yourself and people you care about can make an outbreak less stressful.
When you share accurate information about COVID-19 you can help make people feel less stressed and allow you to connect with them.
Many have decided to quit social media until this pandemic of Covid-19 is over, simply because the news overwhelmed them with so much negativity that they sought that it is better for them to avoid hearing the continuous devastating news.
If you are a parent then you need to understand that Children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children if they are better prepared.
But not all of them act in the same manner, some develop more unhealthy habits such: smoking, doing drugs, drinking alcohol, unhealthy eating and sleeping habits.
As a parent you can support your children by doing the following:
• Take time to talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand.
• Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
• Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.
• Try to keep up with regular routines. If schools are closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
• Be a role model. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Connect with your friends and family members.
Be responsible, this is your chance to flex your strength and ability to taking care and being a responsible part of your own life. We can call people like you heroes, for that “heroes are heroes because they are heroic in behavior”.
The government of the UAE was one of the early responders and took COVID-19 seriously and had taken early precautionary measures to stop the spread of the pandemic disease, all for the sake of people’s and residents' best interest. You can pay the government back by being a responsible citizen and staying home as instructed. Stay home, stay safe.
Today you are locking your door and staying in, so you can stop listening to the world and start listening to yourself.
We understand how concerning this is, you can connect with psychiatrists through our platform and book appointments here.
• https://intermountainhealthcare.org/services/wellness-preventive-medicine/live-well/be- well/healthy-environment/
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