Mental health includes our psychological, emotional, and social well-being. It is very important because it affects how we think, act and feel. From decision making to the way we handle stress, our thoughts, everything is influenced by it and it even has an effect on our physical health and longevity. The importance of it must have given you an idea as to how adverse the consequences can be when our mental health is affected.
What is the Covid 19 pandemic?
A well-known global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). It started or was first identified in the month of December 2019 and it is still continuing.
This pandemic has distanced humans physically as it is a transmission disease and can be transmitted through physical contact. The relation between Covid19 and mental health is that the outburst of one has affected the other. In fact, this pandemic is having an adverse effect on our mental health. The reason for this are many. As we are caged in; the more distance, the more is the fear. Hope has turned into a lie as a year has already been passed.
The major concern of this pandemic apart from handling coronavirus is our mental health.
As social beings we love staying connected, it is one of the ways to escape reality, to distract ourselves, and consume our minds, to avoid negative thoughts or fear and there is no space for it. But now, even this escapism has been taken away from us. Physical distancing, social restrictions, and the policies to stay at home. These norms which are a must to be followed to prevent the disease from spreading have surrounded us by uneasiness and fear. The fear of loneliness, the fear of getting infected, the fear of being hospitalized, or the probability of infecting others or seeing our loved ones in pain or their death has lead us to breathe anxiety every minute. We are breathing anxiety every minute.
According to UNESCO (2020), nearly 90% of the world’s student population-over 1.5 billion learners in 165 countries-have had their learning experiences disrupted by precautions and policies implemented to quell the spread of the disease. Jaime Saavedra, Global Director for Education, describes it as the “largest simultaneous shock to all education systems in our lifetimes” (World Bank 2020).
Worldwide, the Covid-19 has also pushed the early childhood education system to the verge of collapse and mobilized leading early childhood organizations to advocate for Covid-19 financial packages to protect early education programs (NAEYC 2020; Zero to Three 2020).
Let’s have a look at the covid 19 pandemic and the mental health impacts on children and adolescents due to the pandemic.
Children and adolescents are greatly impacted by this pandemic. Changes in lifestyle and the abrupt withdrawal from school, colleges, social life, and outdoor activities. Anxiety, changes in school dynamics and their diet, fear of failing, fear of lacking, it is only fear. Lack of access to school friends, teachers, and the safe space and services that schools provide. All this sudden change is impacting their lifestyles. They are developing unhealthy habits that are making them lazy. Parents being unable to cope up with the situation trying out the easiest way to handle things. And this easiest way is usually unhealthy (Television, Mobile Phone, Video Games).
Convert this negative environment to a positive one. Spend time with your kids by teaching them something new or by learning something from them. You can play games together, do yoga together as it is the best time to understand your kids better, to know them closely. For children, it is the best time to explore yourself, to know your own interest areas, or to explore your thoughts.
Cry, death, pain, scream, the scenario is scary. We are in fear, it is either by seeing other's condition or being in that condition, the fear to be there, or how to go through it. This scene is stressful as students are with a thought that their education has taken a pause or adults with a thought that their career has been affected. A lot of students are unable to pursue their dreams, their dream college. Many adults are going through a lot of problems and responsibilities on their shoulders. Some are either losing their jobs or some are unable to find a new one. This is a competitive world and we all are scared. It is hard to imagine what thoughts are making a space in our minds, what fear is disrupting our peace, but there is something that is making us restless, there are reasons for it and we are not denying it. We are facing loss and we have no control over it.
Don’t let stress make you weaker because worries, stress has never done good to anyone, nor it will. You cannot undo what has already happened and neither you can do anything by crying over the situation. What you can do is handle the situation with the best stress managing technique. You can take help from a mind trainer or a mind coach or attend online sessions for the same. Do everything possible to keep your mind strong, to stay optimistic, and not to forget to live in the moment.
What will keep us going in this situation is our mind. A strong mind can win any battle, be it the battle of life. You can be in any situation. Imagine the worst scenario. If you have a positive mindset, even being covid positive cannot take away your will to live or cannot take away your peace from you. The right state of mind leads you in the right direction because when you are strong mentally, with the will to live, you will take any precautions needed to save yourself from the virus. You will be cautious. You will take any diet that will help you to recover soon.
Another aspect is to take out positivity from every situation. If you substitute isolation with solitude, isn’t this time a bliss for you to discover yourself, know yourself better? When you substitute quarantine with family time, is it not what you always dreamt of? When we don’t have control over a situation and it is likely to happen or is already happening, all we can do is stay strong mentally and face it with an optimistic attitude. The process will be the same but your attitude towards it will mark the difference, will tell you how well you can overcome this situation.
Don’t panic. Utopia life coach suggests you to stay calm. Take a proper diet, keep exercising, keep your mind strong. You can and you will recover because you want to recover. We can do it better if we fight together and we are in this with you.