The Covid-19 pandemic has the biggest effect on mental health.
Isolation from quarantine as well as working from home has led to increased feelings of loneliness and depression.
Stress levels have also increased due to reasons like coping with the sickness of a loved one, death and the situation surrounding the pandemic.
In such situations, mental health has suffered.
The situation is difficult. Which is why it is so important to stay positive and hopeful in this time.
We can only deal with adversity when we remain positive.
Here are 5 things through which you can keep up your spirits while following the pandemic restrictions.
1. Follow a home exercise and meditation routine
Gyms and parks may be shut. Going out may be out of question.
However, that does not mean exercise should suffer.
Working out is important for boosting immunity.
However, it is also a mood booster.
Exercising releases feel-good hormones and helps elevate emotions.
Working out at home when gyms and fitness centers can seem daunting.
The number of online workout apps and tutorials can simplify workout routines which can be practiced even indoors in limited space.
If nothing, YouTube provides a range of workout routines from Pilates to Zumba.
Meditation and yoga are also effective in ensuring a healthy mind.
2. Read motivational books
Staying at home can make people feel stuck and depressed.
In such time, reading helps.
Reading helps transport one to a whole new world. It refreshes the mind without having to change the scenario.
Reading inspirational or motivational content can help make one feel motivated and hopeful even in such uncertain times.
If you don't like to read, probably following up some YouTube channels who effectively summarize the motivational books with in 15 mins of videos will not only help but also create a desire to read books.
Following are a couple of channels that I would recommend you to start with -
If buying books sounds expensive then you can read about a couple of alternatives and ways to save money on buying books.
Reading accounts of victory over obstacles and can give us hope even during these difficult times, so you should definitely consider forming a habit of reading especially during these unprecedented situations.
3. Organize and tidy your space
It seems counterintuitive to organize your room when you feel at your lowest.
But, there are many benefits of tying up.
Research shows that staying in a clutter free space makes people feel more relaxed.
The space we occupy has immense effect on us.
Organizing also reduces stress and makes working from home a joyful experience.
Try the holistic KonMari method of tidying up your home.
It is something that will definitely ‘spark joy’ to keep up spirits, surround yourself with bright and cheerful colors.
Little things like these make the most difference.
4. Invest in self-development
Pandemic is a lonely time.
This loneliness and emptiness has also brought a time for introspection.
Now is the best time to invest in one’s personal growth.
Plenty of online courses are available on various subjects to choose from.
There are personal as well as professional courses one can choose.
In this digital age, there is not one but millions of free online platforms where qualified professionals teach you the skills you always wanted to learn.
A handful of best platforms have been listed below -
Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creative and curious people, on topics including illustration, design, photography, video, freelancing, and more.
On Skillshare, millions of members come together to find inspiration and take the next step in their creative journey.
Coursera believes that the access to best learning is a right, not a privilege and that is why it partners with best institutions to bring best learning to every corner of the world.
So, here you can build skills with courses, certificates, and degrees online from world-class universities and companies.
From “for some” to “for all”, edX empowers millions of learners to unlock their potential and become changemakers by opening the classroom through online learning.
Learn the most trending skills to reach your professional goals.
Udemy offers largest selection of 1.3 lac online courses with new additions published every month.
Build data skills online.
Learn data science, machine learning and get the skills you need for the future of work.
More than 80% of the Fortune 1000 companies use data camp to upskill their teams.
Khan Academy offers a personalized learning resource for all ages.
Build a deep, solid understanding in math, science, grammar, history, SAT®, and more through practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower you to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom.
No matter which part of the world you reside in, if you have a laptop/smart phone and a good internet connection, you can begin to learn and develop your skills.
You do not need a degree to be successful, just a desire to learn and practice.
It is a good time to pick up the hobbies that you’d left or learn something that you always wanted to try but never found time.
5. Seek Online Counseling
If you find that a loved one (or yourself) has extremely high depression or anxiety levels then taking help of a trained expert is necessary.
Not many people know that one does not need a specific mental health issue to approach a counsellor.
It is quiet normal for people to approach a counsellor to talk about stress or things they do not feel comfortable talking with their family or friends.
Clinics may have shut down however online consultations do happen.
It is recommended to see a counsellor especially when you’re dealing with intense issues like death of a loved one or loosing livelihood during the pandemic.
These may seem like simplistic solutions for serious problems such as depression and anxiety.
But, sometimes it is the simple solution that turns out to be the most effective one.
Mundane activities such as talking on phone with a loved one or doing something you love for even an hour a day can help you with mental health issues.
ABOUT OUR STAR AUTHOR
Gautami Shankar is an author of books Love in Pink City, Tabloid and Suffering and Solace: A Collection of Poetry on Mental Health.
She is a Bharatanatyam Dancer, History Researcher, Screenplay Writer and a Poet.
She writes on mental health and strong female characters.
Her hobbies include reading and writing.
Her books are available on Amazon, Flipkart and in Crossword bookstores.
You can connect with Gautami at