Yesterday Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with many doctors across the nation. The major points of this discussion circulated around the strategies to combat the second wave of the coronavirus in the country. This discussion concluded with the strategic plan and importance of vaccination, covid treatment, resources and many other points. The discussion also emphasised the importance of psychological well-being alongside physical health.
Psychological health, a fancy naming for mental health has always been the topic of discussion behind the doors. In any instance, even the people suffering from its concern either refuse to admit it to themselves and seek help or are generally ridiculed by the “near and dear” ones.
“Over 60 percent reported disruptions to mental health services for vulnerable people, including children and adolescents (72 percent), older adults (70 percent), and women requiring antenatal or postnatal services (61 percent)”
– World Health Organization Survey
As per the statistical analysis, by an anonymous organisation, as in March 2021, about 62% of people felt that they might need help for their mental well-being. From this 62%, approximately 48% were the young adults between the age group of 16-26 yrs of age. 50% of these adults were borderline depressed and experiencing anxiety due to the academic and career disruption brought by the lockdown due to pandemic.
These figures are surely disheartening and require immediate attention. Humans are social animals, therefore staying indoors for about 2 years may have become a repulsive thought. But is still the demand of time and a necessary measure for the precaution and the prevention of the virus.
Covid-19 has not only been affecting and attacking us physically but has also latently targeting mental and emotional health. Therefore, it becomes important for us to understand the importance of mental and emotional health. If neglected, these issues can turn out to be more severe and destructive than the virus itself.
What is Mental Health?
Mental health, defined by the World Health Organization, is "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community".
A recent report shows that almost 450 million people from all over the world suffer from mental disorders. It is a popular belief among health experts that depression will soon constitute the second largest disease burden worldwide (Murray & Lopez, 1996). As a result, the global burden of mental health would be beyond the treatment capacities of many developed as well as developing countries.
Thus the Mental Health is often linked to behaviour and seen as fundamental to physical health and quality of life by many experts.
What is Emotional Health?
If Mental Health is taboo, that emotional health is a topic of way beyond. As a result, not many are aware of it. Emotional health is often referred to synonymously with mental health. However, emotional health “ focuses on being in tune with our emotions, vulnerability, and authenticity” It is a fundamental aspect of culturing resilience, self-awareness, and contentment.
It should be kept in mind that it does not necessarily mean happiness or no negative emotions but about the emotional strength to keeping up with the everyday struggles.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the overall emotional health index has lowered by approximately 74%.
How to manage your mental and emotional well-being during the pandemic?
1. Take breaks from the news and social media
Watching or scrolling through the media can make us even more anxious. Try to limit COVID media exposure to no more than twice a day and try to avoid reading about COVID before bedtime.
2. Take care of your body.
Good nutrition helps our mood. Sleep, stretching and meditation helps in relaxing exercise every day to lift up your body, mind, and spirit.
3. Do a "worry drop.”
Write out all of your fears in a journal until your anxiety has dropped by half. Make a daily list of what is going well, and remember the things that are going well.
4. Find ways of expressing kindness, patience, and compassion
Be extra kind to yourself. It is a hard time for everyone. At this time, helping others in need is critical to get through this well, and also creates more purpose to our days and well-being.
5. Take considerations for the “moral injury”
Moral injury is a new term to most. It is defined as the psychosocial and spiritual burden caused by any act that goes against one’s own or shared morals and values. Some of the identifiable symptoms of moral injury include demoralization, inability to self-forgive, guilt, etc. Health care workers and anyone can experience moral injury followed by guilt. Understand we all are doing everything in our own power for the betterment of society.
These are some of the ways which can help you to reduce the mental and emotional stress imposed by this pandemic. It becomes crucial that we ensure that no new concerns must rise due to this pandemic in the coming time.
The team of Rus Education wishes for good health for all our students and speedy recovery for those who are suffering. May the souls who have fallen rest in peace.