This unprecedented situation, caused by COVID-19, calls for much-needed attention to psychological health. A bombardment of news on social, electronic, print and digital media regarding illness, death, social distancing and loss of regular routine brings in a lot of stress. This is very challenging for those who have pre-existing anxiety conditions.
Under the existing circumstances, psychological preparedness is a major challenge. This has to be part of the preventive system along with other measures which we are taking during in the pandemic.
The first step is to curtail news regarding ‘scores’ of COVID-19; rather it should come from government sources at a particular time.
The second step would be to do the day’s planning, scheduling and routine so that we are near to normalcy. This will help avoid anger, sadness, confusion and helplessness in these testing times. These are normal feelings and nothing wrong if one goes through it, but this should not make us weak. Due to sudden deviation of our routine life, we are having some sort of mental and physical repercussions.
The third step is to go for relevant engagement in different ways to keep your emotions positive. Pursue physical activities like gardening, healthy diet, educating and upgrading your existing skills. Connectivity and socialisation can be done through technology, particularly for those who are single and have an unsafe space. These people should have a more trusted group or circle to interact with and keep the social continuation.
Avoid liquor, fling eating and screen time. This will distract and carry you to despairing emotions, do learn how to control and manage the situation. There’s a need to face it head-on and, as human beings, we have the inherent character to recover fast.
Those who have any existing mental condition, do not break your treatment and be in touch with doctors for medication and therapy. Those having severe depression are the most vulnerable during these times. Mental health professionals should touch base with their patients regularly and family assistance is very important.
Nutrients and Brain
It is the diet which affects our physical, mental and emotional wellness. The right amount of mineral, vitamins and antioxidants helps in developing and nourishing our brain with positive impact. All is well with a healthy diet – mental training has to start with self. Say no to soda drinks, snacks, fried food and junk items.
The healthy pattern of diet should include fresh fruits, vegetables, fibrous food and do shift to a healthy diet slowly. This will create a positive impact on mental health. A nutritional diet gives a healthy mind and body, it aids in development of brain and body, IQ levels and body. From birth till the time one gets old, the brain is constantly developing; with nutritional food, it channelizes its working, productivity and functioning of other organs of the body. The shift of healthy food gives awareness, happiness and one is in a state of happiness and satisfaction.
Key nutrients which play an important role in mental health
- a) Omega 3 Fatty acids: The fatty acids provide anti-inflammatory properties to control depression and anxiety
- b) Vitamin D: This helps in proper functioning of neurotransmitter which affects our mood
- c) Vitamin 12: Less of this vitamin leads to multiple neurological disorders. These are needed for proper functioning of nerve cells and transmission of nerve impulses
- d) Selenium: This mineral protects the brain cells from free radicals damage and minimises neurological degenerative disorders
- d) Zinc: Helps in formation of neural tube and brain cells specially expecting mothers as it prevents brain malformations during the formative stage.