The coronavirus outbreak has resulted in the world adapting to many changes. While the number of confirmed cases is on a rapid rise, social distancing and quarantine has become the norm, cities are on lockdown, economies have taken a massive hit, the healthcare industry has been working non-stop and people have been restricted to their homes. This has caused many to feel anxious, sad, depressed and fearful of what’s to come. To get through a time of adversity, it is important to stay positive, optimistic and know that despite the current situation, this will pass. We are dedicated to helping you through some tips and habits you can inculcate daily.
Maintaining relationships with loved ones is an essential aspect of mental wellbeing. Keep in touch with your family and friends through phone calls, video calls, texts on a regular basis. Keep conversations light-hearted, laugh and avoid discussions about the pandemic unless absolutely necessary.
Food & Nutrition
Dharana’s food philosophy is deep rooted in Ayurveda and is inspired by fresh, seasonal produce that are known for its nourishing benefits. Similarly, the food we consume during this pandemic must be fresh and high in alkaline, which aids in boosting immunity. Some of these include whole grains, moong dal, broccoli, cauliflower, fruits (pears, pomegranate, mango), quinoa, flax seeds and other Vitamin C foods, that are instrumental in stimulating the Ojas or Immune System. Ayurveda also recommends turmeric, cumin, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and other healing herbs like Ashwagandha, Amla, Tulsi and more that boost immunity. Some foods especially help in managing anxiety more than the rest, so consuming those will help elevate your mood levels by triggering your feel good hormones Serotonin & Dopamine during these difficult times. Remember also to drink plenty of warm water.
Exercise, Meditation and Sleep
Our physical health also has a big impact on our mental health. Inactivity can end up making us feel worse. Exercise is a natural, effective and powerful method of reducing anxiety. It releases cumulative lactic acids from the muscles & endorphins, known as the happy hormone. Since movement is restricted, a 30 minute simple at-home exercise can help refocus and keep negative thoughts at bay. According to Harvard Health Publishing, Yoga is a self-soothing technique similar to socialising with friends, as it modulates stress response systems, which reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressures and increases heart rate variability; all are signs of the body’s ability to respond to stress and anxiety more flexibly. Additionally, Pranayama, which is a conscious practice to make the breath easy and smooth, has tremendous power to reduce stress, anxiety as it activates the Diaphragmatic (abdominal) breathing which induces a relaxation response in our body and also promotes restful sleep. Sleep and anxiety have a bidirectional relationship. With a positive focus on food, nutrition and exercise, one can ensure a better sleep pattern.
When you’re feeling anxious, do things that make you feel good. Reading a book, painting, cooking, baking, knitting etc are ways of relaxing without stepping out of your home. Focusing on hobbies not only mentally calm your thoughts but also make you feel positive and optimistic.
Do Not Check Daily News
Limit the time you are spending watching the news or coverage about the outbreak, including social media as it can overwhelm you and rely on trustworthy sources.
Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help
Acknowledge your feelings and don’t shy away from asking for help. Talk to your friends, family or confidante if you’re feeling anxious. If you’re uncomfortable sharing, journal your thoughts or get professional help. The Indian Government and individuals have taken many initiatives to help people with their mental health during the pandemic. It is important to understand you are not alone fighting this.
Dharana’s philosophy is about holistic wellbeing – mental and physical. Keep in mind that even though the future may seem bleak, this too will pass. Our fears are justified and valid, but there are many who are offering help. Remember to follow all Government mandated guidelines, practice social distancing and stay safe.