Fear, anxiety, and stress are normal responses amidst these turbulent times. Most of us are curious what the future will bring, while others have lost their job, or are in a constant bubble of worry for their family members and those dear to them. Let us also add how the lack of social interactions and being confined in one space can create symptoms of depression, and trauma. Evidence suggests that isolation or quarantine can be traumatizing, with 25 percent of isolated or quarantined children and adults experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder. (The Next Pandemic: Mental Health, Edsurge, 2020)
So How to Prepare? We Read Several Studies and Wanted to Share A Few Insights.
First, it has to start with a changed mindset and remove the stigma associated with mental health. Governments must expand the services currently being offered and put in place inclusive and empathetic mental health systems. (A mental health crisis is brewing. Here's how governments can prepare, World Economic Forum, 2020)
If You Are an Individual:
• Share your thoughts and open up those conversations on your mental state and being. The more you share, the healthier it is.
• Create a plan for each day and try to learn one new thing every week. It creates the feeling of excitement, and something to look forward to.
• Minimize news feeds. Reduce how much you watch, read, or listen to news that makes you feel anxious. Keep a time limit to be online and exposed to this spur of information that can be a lot to take in, especially at this time.
• Create indoor activities with your family to liven up the mood and could also strengthen your relationship with people you are living with.
If You Are an Organization:
• Offer resources and thought leadership for your employees on how to be healthy and resilient. You can educate via the company’s newsletters or by engagement activities such as yoga videos, meditation and offer free access to one on one mental health virtual hours.
• Increase awareness of your virtual and telehealth facilities so people can access a professional from the comfort of their own home, anytime.