Epidemiologists around the world are struggling to understand and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. There are also some people who are concerned about a different foe: the mental health problem. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many people are feeling strange emotions and they don’t know what to do with these emotions.

So, if you are dealing with pandemic stress and you are anxious or depressed, you are not alone in this world. We’re facing this coronavirus pandemic for many months, and these feelings are becoming more widespread. These are all normal reactions to such a bad situation. And you are not alone in feeling them.

Pandemics can be stressful:

The coronavirus pandemic may be stressful for many people. Anxiety about a new disease and the possible outcomes can cause strong emotions in adults and children. Due to this infectious disease, we have been forced to develop a distance from each other. It also comes with levels of fear, uncertainty, job loss, and grief that are unusual for many people. People can feel isolated and lonely due to public health actions, such as social distancing that is required to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It can also make and increase stress and anxiety among peoples. It is important to learn how to deal with stress in a healthy way since it will make you and your community stronger.

Loss, grief, and healing:

As this pandemic continues to grow, societies are looking to create the “next to normal.” People are individually facing tremendous loss and grief. The feeling of loss is one of the most difficult things to endure. It may include losing a friend, a job, a routine, a hobby, or anything else that has gone from our lives. In any situation, the way we react to loss is called grief. It can affect our emotions, thoughts, and even how we feel physically. You should also remember that the way one person faces grief might be very different from how someone else does. Grief reactions can include:

  • Shock, and confusion
  • Anger
  • Trouble concentrating and focusing on tasks
  • Different patterns of eating and sleeping
  • Physical changes such as dizziness and headaches
  • Sadness and loneliness
  • Thoughts about what has been lost
  • Unable to do usual activities.

Lockdown can make us lonely:

If you are living with family during COVID-19 then it is the most ideal way for protecting against feelings of loneliness, depression. In some studies, young adults aged 17-24 also showed the highest levels of loneliness compared with other age groups. And it does just involve people living alone. People who are living with housemates may also be at risk of loneliness.

Everyone reacts differently:

How you deal with stress in the COVID-19 pandemic can depend on your background. It also depends on your social support from family or friends, your financial situation, your health background, the society you live in, and many other factors. The changes that can develop due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the methods we try to contain the spread of the virus can affect anyone. People who may respond more to the stress of a crisis include:

  • Older people and people of any age with certain medical problems.
  • Children and teens
  • Frontline workers can feel more stress such as health care providers and first responders.
  • People who work in the food industry.
  • People who have existing mental health conditions that are more favorable to stress.
  • People, who have lost their jobs, had their work hours decreased, or had major changes to their employment.
  • People who have disabilities or developmental delay.
  • People who are isolated from others, people who live alone and people in rural or frontier areas.
  • People who do not have access to information in their primary language can also feel strong stress condition.
  • Homelessness is a big issue. People having this issue will face stress conditions too.
  • People who prefer to live in groups.

How to manage loneliness during COVID-19:

As we all know, it may have been difficult to find time for yourself in between work, birthday parties, and family obligations before the pandemic. Now, we can feed ourselves with more “me time” than ever before and many of us feel downright lonely.

Due to the added isolation of the pandemic, mental health experts are concerned about the increasing number of individuals who experience loneliness. Loneliness has been connected to heart problems, stroke, memory complaints, drug abuse risk, and high blood pressure. Some studies also show a connection between loneliness and sleep problems.

Develop strong relationships with others:

We can understand that the pandemic makes it more difficult to foster relationships in the way we are habitual to. But it is not impossible to have relationships. You should talk on the phone; maintain physical distancing if you are in person. You can also use one of the tech platforms to connect with your loved ones.

Relationship with ourselves:

Many of us do not know that there is a difference between being alone and being lonely. It is important to realize that you can feel part of something and connected to something without having physical contact with others. It is essential to speak to yourself in a positive way during this pandemic.

You should talk to yourself about your resilience. You should talk about what you have overcome before and what you are going to overcome again. You should remind yourself that we have been through these times as a whole and made it out safe. And we are more connected and more scientifically advanced than others.

Checking in with yourself:

It is normal to have feelings of anxiety and depression during a period of isolation. Our brains are bound to feel these emotions, so you should allow them in your life. During this difficult time, people who are isolated and feel lonely are at greater risk of suicide. If you are feeling thoughts of wanting to harm yourself, it is essential for you to talk to someone in your life or seek professional care as soon as possible.