Protect Your Family’s Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Are you afraid to balance Covid-19 and present time mental status? No, there is no need to carry-forward with any kind of stress or tension.

In general terms, the most affected age group is above 65 years. As seniors lack immunity they are more prone to this pandemic disease as well as being stuck at the home environment they like to move.

During isolation, the vulnerable age group gets affected are the seniors and chronic disease management are much tougher, the income is lower, the isolated situation is like a punishment for them.

  • LONELINESS LEADS TO increased smoking levels.
  • Staying isolated from family, friends, and another social group.
  • Social distancing leading to an inability to communicate.

How Do We Protect Our Family “Golden Age Groups”?

The general measure as instructed by the WHO that is to be seriously followed for better and safe livelihood.

1. 6-FT Social Distance:

It is always wise to maintain 6-feet distance among one another as a PREVENTIVE step. When someone sneezes, coughs, breathes, etc; we are saved from not grabbing their disease. Even though, a person being asymptomatic wearing masks and following the specified distance can reduce the spread of the disease from one ANOTHER.

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Source:CDC

2. BEING QUARANTINED:

This self-quarantine helps not only in the preventive aspect but also in the life-saving aspect. When we are isolating ourselves from our neighbor, how long is this isolation required? It is around 21 days we and our family needs to be confined, as we suspect that our body system showing a few Covid-19 viruses. 

In the case of self-quarantine, it is better to understand that exchanging utensils, clothes or other things might transfer the virus to all the others as well. 

Self- separation is not a punishment rather it is a precaution.

3. ISOLATION:

Isolation is similar to quarantine but the word isolation is a mandatory process that is followed by the government has taken to prevent the infected from spreading the disease to the unaffected individuals.

This isolation is comparatively the best among all the other measures as it is not only prevention but also a cure for both affected and unaffected.

In simple terms, staying far away from the loved ones and the other with whom you are in contact.

The seniors are already isolated from the family prior to COVID-19 spread.

Loneliness & Isolation

When people consider the U.S. for everything why can’t it consider this aspect?

The U.S. is one of the renowned countries that has got around 28 percent of their old people which sums up to 13.8 million people who are left under old age homes.

When a person is lonely this means that they are going to face the following problems in the near future.

  • Heart problem
  • Dementia
  • Increased blood pressure. 
  • Obesity
  • Poor immune system
  • Increased anxiety
  • High depression
  • The cognitive response is subsiding slowly.

When we dig deeper it shows good symptoms that are prominently noticed among the elders mentally.

  • Cognitive disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Mood disturbance

When there is a loss of healthy physical, mental, societal functioning stability. These are the cause if the distressing period for them. 14-day forced isolation can be the most stressful for them than anything else. 

Depression and depressed individuals are the common reactions noticed among the elderly due to this pandemic. 

Mood disorders are the cause of mood swings among people. This can be managed by various yoga measures. 

Medical practicing professionals have suggested that due to confinement elders are more prone to FMD. Frequent Mental Distress causes disturbance in eating, maintaining house works, working, management of the personal following relationship. 

This balance between physical and mental health needs to be managed by individuals. 

In 2006, around 9.6 percent was affected in the age group above 5 years. Around 6.5 percent was above 65 years. 

This has also led to an effect on the financial crisis,  payment deficiency, increase in grocery and food products cost, medicine consumption for diabetes, blood pressure has badly affected. Around 11 percent had one or the other issues that were mentioned above. About 37 percent face a tough time fighting against the situation. 

So, to manage and manipulate the situation in a positive aspect we need to follow amidst the following.

  • Confidence in the decline of pandemic issues
  • Maintain social distancing and self-isolation. 
  • Regular routine life maintenance. 
  • Manage work and home as BEFORE. 
  • Fitness maintenance.
  • Minimal media influence. 
  • Awareness of current pandemic issue status. 
  •  Proper Decision-making. 
  • “Balance stresses into success”

The basic requirement is the confidence that the pandemic issue is declining gradually. The declining graph on the daily cases, increasing recovery cases. 

At present, telemedicine is the best choice where the doctor suggests the required medicine for particular symptoms. 

Telephamacology, telepathology, teletherapy are existing in favour of patients. These require 

  1. Good internet connection
  2. Webcam+ proper computer with a camera. 
  3. A perfect software platform. 

The federal government has provided options for seniors to avail of these services to consult doctors and nurses. 

The next major concern is communication with others through the FaceTime program which can be used through an Apple iPhone, Desktop. 

  • Zoom app which is most important to conduct meetings, host video chats, etc. The downloaded app will work on all types of Android phones, iPhones, etc. This visual method conveys a clear picture to the other person. 
  • Google Hangout is yet another well-known app that works excellent for the face to face conversations without any kind of intervention or signal disturbances. 

Basically, these types of video calling help in better confidence-building, and the closeness is increased whereas the loneliness is decreased.

Maintaining regular life during confinement is a challenge as there is no physical activity but increased mental pressure. This pressure can depict a lot of differences in the heart,  lungs, digestive system, etc. As elders need daily walking to balance the metabolism in a steady state. The immune system needs to be balanced. 

Encourage hobby activities such as art and craft, gardening, which balances both physical and mental activities. 

The current situation has to lead the social groups and religious groups to conduct online meditation and prayer sessions. These online sessions help in better balancing mental status. Also meeting more new people at a time online gives a chance for the older people to feel AS MINE.

Parenting During Coronavirus

Moving on to the CHILD, tackling them is a big challenge for parents. But, the fact is that there is no other option. On Child’s view, it is holiday time. The real fact needs to be explained clearly from time to time to them. No false confirmations are to be given to the child at any point as their mental status is very fragile. They are the first people who need to be protected than elders. 

Parenting During Coronavirus

Yes, the following are the effects on the child due to this pandemic lockdown. Like elders, children are more advised on cleanliness, safety measures, social distancing, etc. The poor state of the world is that the free-living is restricted to confined living. This confinement of more than 2 weeks can irritate the child as even regular moving is banned. The following are the common problems faced in the different child age groups.

  1. Preschoolers 
  2. Elementary school
  3. Adolescents

The primary school kids suffer from thumb sucking, bedwetting, clinging to parents, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, fear of the dark, behavior regression, and withdrawal. 
The  Elementary school groups irritability, aggressive behavior, disturbing parents during their work, scary nightmares, try to avoid school, lack of concentration, as well as activities and friends are concerned as aliens.

Adolescents show more conflicts among each other, sleeplessness, different behavior, no proper focus.

  • The following measures are to be considered while 
  • A balance between the trending lifestyle and healthy hygienic practice. 
  • Be in touch with the school
  • Control over the television and media exposure
  • Defend the inaccuracy on any provided
  • Focus on the positive aspect 
  • Emphasize on being calm. 
  • Following and giving time on listening. 
  • Guidance and reassurance on safe and sooner recovery.

Generally, kids take their elders and parents as their examples in every other activity. So, a mutual understanding and keeping them out of unwanted visuals will definitely give them positive energy on sooner recovery. Binding them on more activities other than school assignments diverts them in a growing aspect. Encourage them to do everything on their own under parents’ guidance.

Physical activity such as gardening, sports, etc is to be developed utilizing their time worth fully. Preschoolers and elementary kids to be engaged in all types of house works and this encourages them to learn to monitor themselves in any circumstances.

Making them understand the exact situation by making them realize the true state of the pandemic disease. It is also important not to scare them but, teach them how to be precautious using masks, hand wash or sanitizing hands at proper intervals of time, etc. 

Allowing these kids to    

  • Practice a deep breathing exercise, managing to keep up their daily routine activities, load them with positive thoughts, etc. 
  • Encouraging them to read more books of their favorite authors online, teach them basic life support activities, etc. 
  • Reducing their television watching time and social media exposure such as Facebook.
  • As the news update always points out the unpleasant pieces of information that are oriented to COVID-19. Also, they should be monitored while talking about with their friends as continuously about the disease. As they may create stress or anxiety within them. 
  • The most important point is to support them and show immense love and affection. 
  • The activities such as solving new puzzles, learning sudoku, etc. Learning to improve concentration, reading useful informational books, etc. 
  • Allowing the child to ask more questions and get a clear picture of everything. The thinking and solving capacity must turn to a pandemic size rather than keeping them epidemic.
  • It is a parent or elders’ duty to give proper, true, accurate information with any hiding. Every child is equal to an elder they can think and understand everything is explained clearly.
“All countries need to review their strategies now,” 
Dr. Michael J. Ryanhor – WHO Informal Advisory Group
Tweet

Though parenting is a stress in this stressful situation but, moving it a fun-rich, interesting period is a tough, challenging task. Never get demotivated, be patient to keep the home and child’s mind healthy. 

Similar to kids and old-age people managing yourself is also very essential. Everyone in a family is very important to cooperate to fight against such a situation. To be more clear and specific:

  1. The information read must be from a legitimate source, 
  2. Limiting the continual exposure 
  3. Take care of yourself 
  4. Assist and reach others to overcome this crisis.
  5. A positive attitude and not losing hope is very essential.
  6. Don’t overlook your inner feeling rather acknowledge them.
  7. Spend time with kids and talk more.
  8. Stay calm, be open, accept everything.

Legitimate Information:

Every information read, heard must be from a reliable or trust-worthy resource. No guess will support to sustain your mental status as of this crisis management is concerned. 

Limited Awareness:

True that it is very important to keep checking on the current status. But, is it very important to get live updates like cricket scores via notification? No, that is really not necessary as they might increase the pressure inside the mind and the heartbeat might be more than twice the normal count. Instant updates on the curfew, death rate might be so scary to every single person. 

Self Care is the Best Medicine:

Concentrating on personal hygiene, maintaining your regular daily routine, sorting out the priority works of being motivated positively, social life maintenance, etc. Never get dumped in the kitchen or your work ambiance physical activity such as a walk, meditation, exercise are essential to keep yourself lively. 

Support and join Hands:

It is very essential to support each other by chatting with friends and neighbors, following social distancing, help a person among your circle to overcome the loneliness, give them a hand to beat the situation. 

Make it a point to keep in touch with all through online and social media. Divert and de-stress by talking about old memories or sharing useful thoughts, religious perspectives, etc. 

Positive vibration:

Understand to keep up the positive thinking and spread positive messages through social media such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, etc. Every single hope gains a plus in putting an end to the death rate. 

Learn to express your inner feeling, respect, and acknowledge them. It is very normal that you get stress, anxiety, increase thinking around the same issue. But move out of line and talk different topics, do something creative or wake up the artist or a singer within you. Spread your boundaries.

SPEND TIME WITH KIDS:

Talk, listen, Respond, reassure, let them understand the situation, motive them to think positively. It is absolutely fine if they feel upset and down, give them, and show the hope of recovery. Make yourself realize and support yourself.

Finally, if

Despite all these, if you feel to get assistance then reach out tell counselors and get the best ideas to manage yourself. It is always the professionals who are well-trained in counseling others to be positive and motivated for better tomorrow rather than starve on the crisis now. Start your research on the local and national professional who teaches you to control yourself in any situation. 

Learn to respect the government’s orders and share their effort in balancing and prevention. As supporting the government people who think and work for our good is very important. Their struggle to fight against the pandemic positively needs a great success. Supporting each other both mentally and physically is very efficient. 

Fragile people need better support than others.

Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.

Let us rise and fight united rather than standing as a unique person now! Beat over the mental illness and activate the hope in you and your family members.

References :

1 Evidence-Based Nursing. Older Adults Reporting Social Isolation or Loneliness Show Poorer Cognitive Function Four Years Later. (2014). Retrieved from https://ebn.bmj.com/content/17/2/59.

2 Tips for how seniors can stay healthy and connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Retrieved from https://www.medicareadvantage.com/resources/senior-guide-to-mental-health-during-covid-19.

Health Psychology. Parenting During Coronavirus. Retrieved from https://mhanational.org/blog/parenting-during-coronavirus.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/children.html

Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks. Retrieved from https://store.samhsa.gov/product/Coping-with-Stress-During-Infectious-Disease-Outbreaks/sma14-4885.

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