Restraining anxiety and the importance of mental health during Isolation

Yuval Harari, in his bestselling work Sapiens: A brief history of Humankind, describes that our ancestors evolved to work in tribes as it was almost impossible for one sapien to survive on its own. Hence, we are biologically programmed to function as one social unit. And we did live by these practices by partying together, eating together, commuting together, and celebrating together.

Today, in these early months of 2020 the story is different. Now we are confined within our homes practicing self-isolation due to the ongoing pandemic. Most of us haven’t made human contact in months. Our plans for the near future have been annihilated. All this uncertainty has led to a buildup of panic among all age groups. Add to the fact that we all have been stripped off of our greatest power, our social units. Instead, we are now social distancing. We get anxious day by day staring at all the numbers emerging from online trackers. We are perturbed over the impending economic crisis. As a result, our mental health is in shambles. To be honest, mental health was often overlooked by our very own social unit. Now in isolation, most of us have come to struggle with it. We are unprepared, we are depressed and we are afraid.

The first step in combating this anxiety is to analyze our behavior. We all expected that if given a chunk of free time, we would accomplish so and so tasks. We are anxious because we are less productive and less productive because we are anxious. The only way to break out of this cycle is by taking baby steps, setting smaller goals, and day by day we would find ourselves more optimistic and more productive.

Our virtual network is one of our biggest strength in these times. Keeping contact with near and dear ones is essential to feel the love and power of our social unit.

The influx of internet has risen and we are constantly online consuming news, entertainment, and distraction. Excessive use of social media is a rising cause of depression. In order to keep our anxiety and mental health in check, we need to be mindful of the content we choose to consume. Not to cut off all information, but to curb the misinformation. The right information can save lives, misinformation can do the opposite. As a commitment to our mental health, we need to carefully seed out these sources from our internet routine. There is a plethora of positive and creative content online which can lift up the spirits. We can combat the covid blues by keeping busy with healthy habits.

To conclude, we all feel anxious and struggle with mental health in isolation because we are experiencing a sense of loss, a loss of our previous lifestyle. Instead what we need to do is to turn that around into a sense of newness. We need to treat this as a video game, previous levels were group mode, but the way to succeed this level is in single-player mode. We have all the power upgrades that we need, we just have to enable them and we shall survive this.

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