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5 Tips To Calm Yourself While the Nation Is In Panic The uncertainty of the situation is causing anxiety, agitation, stress & panic leaving many people vulnerable and fearful.

By Apurva Verma

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COVID-19 is a global pandemic as declared by the World Health Organization and the outbreak has left the whole world in dread as the cases are spiking each day. It has turned the world upside down and everything has become temporary due to the lockdown. The uncertainty of the situation is causing anxiety, agitation, stress & panic leaving many people vulnerable and fearful. Here are a few things that can help you cope during this challenging phase.

Focus on the facts

Under the lockdown, you might have a lot of time in your hands as you don't have to go out or meet people, which then gives you that extra time to be active on your phone and fixate over the news about COVID 19. It is important to remember that not all sources would provide correct information. So maybe sticking to just one reliable source and only checking it for a limited amount of time each day would help you ease down that extra worry that is really unhelpful at this time.

Snooze & Sleep

Research suggests that when we don't get rest, our bodies release hormones that make us feel even more jittery. Do not compromise on your sleep at all. While worry has a tendency to disrupt your sleep schedule, try to keep your sleep routine as consistent as possible. Getting enough hours of sleep will actually increase your capacity to deal with stress during the day and also helps with low mood. Try and maintain regular sleep patterns and decent sleep hygiene practices like avoiding screens (TV, mobile, iPad, laptop) before bed and also if you have difficulty sleeping, cutting back on caffeine is also something to keep in mind.

Exercise & Diet

Physical health is also equally significant and has a big impact on how we feel and behave. In difficult times like these, it is very easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour that may end up making you feel even shoddier. So it's vital to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough fluids and do some form of workout regularly. Avoid smoking or drugs, and try not to drink too much alcohol. Research suggests that daily exercise can help promote feelings of well-being and also helps in boosting your immunity.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is all about being consciously focusing your mind in the present moment without judgment. It can help us become more aware of what is going on for us internally and externally. For now, focusing on the present, rather than worrying about the future, can help with difficult feelings and improve our well-being. Mindfulness based relaxation techniques can also help in dealing with feeling of anxiety & also stress. Here are a few that you can try:

  1. Three-minute body scan, start with deep breathing and then bring your attention to your body and then slowly focus on each part of your body, notice how you're feeling there and let it relax!
  2. Five senses exercise, notice the surroundings with your five senses, five things you can see, four things you can feel, three things you can hear, two things can smell & Lastly one thing you can taste
  3. Square breathing, breathe in on a count of four, hold your breath and count four in your head, release your breath on a count of four and then stay still for four. Repeat 4-5 times.

Reach OUT

Do not isolate yourself socially because of the lockdown. Yes, you cannot meet your friends and loved one's physically. But there are a lot of other ways to communicate and keep in touch these days like phone calls, video calls or social media instead of meeting face to face. Maintaining healthy relationships is important for our mental well-being. It is normal to feel worried about the current scenario, remember that it's okay to feel this way and the best way to get over it is by expressing your feeling with someone you trust. If you are not able to express, and are still feeling the same. There are plenty of helplines out there that can help. Lastly if nothing works out, reaching out for professional help is also very important.

Apurva Verma

Psychologist & Outreach & Content Associate, Mpower

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