Are you depressed or anxious now? If yes, you are one among the millions. Disorders like clinical depression, anxiety, and stress were quite high when people had to stay at home for long. For some, the situation remained the same even after the lockdown. The finding was published in the Lancet Regional Health-Americas.
Do This When You Feel Distressed or Anxious During The Pandemic
Scientists studied the data of 2,359 adults. All of them were participants of the American Cancer Prevention Society’s study. Scientists analyzed data from two time periods; 2018 and July through September 2020. 42% of those who participated in the study experienced a mild form of psychological depression during the COVID 19 pandemic in 2020. The same was 32% in 2018. 10% of the study participants experienced moderate to severe psychological depression in 2020. Such instances were more prevalent among those with pre-existing medical conditions.
Negative thoughts precede anxiety and depression. Such thoughts, if left unchecked, cause stress, and they get changed into such disorders.
The study defined depression and anxiety as follows:
- If your worry is more than just a stress, it is called anxiety.
- If your sadness does not go away with distractions, that is called depression.
The study also revealed that women were more prone to depression and anxiety during the pandemic.
The changing times have created more balance in the roles of genders. Even then, women tend to be those who manage their homes. They not only bear their own anxieties but also take up those of others. Those who suffer increasing anxiety during the COVID 19 pandemic experienced higher levels of psychological distress, the study revealed. Men too were not exceptions. Higher levels of anxiety caused an 11% increase in their levels of psychological distress.
The reason for depression for women was more related to work-life balance. But for men, it was a financial concern.
The study stresses the importance of regular mental health assessments. More and more mental health professionals have to be involved in the matter.
Mindful meditation is another tool that will definitely help. Using your five senses, discover the things you love in nature. Express your gratefulness for them. This way, you will take your mind away from the thought that distresses you. And you will be able to focus your mind at the moment.
You should also dedicate time to the hobbies you used to enjoy before you started experiencing anxiety. Set aside as much time as possible for self-care. Be kind, not only to your body but also to your mind. Feeling distressed is not your own fault. It happens.
Follow a balanced diet. Certain vitamins play a vital role in determining your moods. You should also regulate your intake of coffee and alcohol. Both, according to researchers, cause panic attacks.
Sleep well. When stressed out, your body needs it. Regular exercise helps a lot. As you know, working out helps you feel good about yourself. And it is a constructive diversion.
When feeling anxious, take a few deep breaths. It will calm down your wandering mind.
Stop aiming for perfection. Know that no one is perfect. And you are not an exception. Be proud of yourself when you manage to reach anywhere near it. In the end, you should be able to celebrate your achievements.
Finally, accept one fact. You cannot control everything. Try to calm your mind and evaluate your predicament in a different angle. If possible, be involved in the lives of those around you. Join voluntary organizations and serve your fellow beings. When doing so, you build a support network without you noticing it; the larger the better.