New Delhi: The COVID-19 pandemic has had prejudices consequences on every part of society, but mental health risks being overlooked. The lockdown imposed by the government in different countries has taken a toll on people’s mental health and mainly in women’s. Undoubtedly, during these unprecedented times, the likelihood of rising mental health issues is high. Some studies show that the pre-existing gender gap in mental health, with women worse affected than men, has broadened critically during a pandemic.
This article elaborates on why women are bearing the emotional brunt of COVID-19. Well, several factors contribute to declining mental health. But, there is a lack of evidence of a single aspect which derives women’s deteriorating mental health. The life of women has changed significantly in the past six months as COVID-19 has disrupted daily routines.
Ways to Deal with Ongoing Pandemic Stress
Give Yourself Grace
Due to this reality, women have to shift their mindset and expectations to one acceptance and understanding of not others but also ourselves. Now, more than ever, we are required to give ourselves the grace to deal with this stress we have during this global pandemic.
Create A Support Circle
If you, as a woman, juggling in a specific area of life, find a group of women who are in an identical position and create a support circle. Else, connect with your friends through social media which is an excellent way to connect—staying connected means having the support of your companions in this challenging time.
It is vital for you as a woman to prioritise yourself. You are not required to do it for hours or every day. It is not hard to prioritise when you have competing interests. You can try to do small things such as taking a bath or getting reading are enough. Try to seek for something that interests you and do that on regular basis.
Due to pandemic, everybody is at home that does not mean that they can call you anytime. So, it is better to create some boundaries, because you are a caregiver for your family, don’t you have to care-giving all time.
Prioritise Your Sleep
As a woman, you have to take an adequate amount of sleep. So, sleeping is vital to do all the tasks you need to do every day.
Fix A Time For Exercise
Find some ways to move your body; you can start exercising or put a mask and go walking. Moving up your body and going out is an excellent way to pent-up your ongoing stress. Additionally, if someone told you something works for them to cope up with anxiety does not mean that it will work for you also.
Learn To Be Comfortable With Uncertainty
It is now vital for us to be comfortable with this unprecedented routine. So, do not plan anything which can later lead to disappointment. Instead, live in the present and make it happier and memorable with small things that you love.
The year 2020 has tested women in all ways, and we were never prepared for this. Who would have thought that 2020 will bring such stress and we will be working from home? Are you feeling mental health issues? Then, it never too late to seek out for help and take medication. The key to it is to take the consultation and find healthy ways to relieve stress.
(Dr. Anuneet Sabharwal is a Delhi based psychiatrist with extensive experience of more than 10 years. He is also the Founder and Director of The Happy Tree.)
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.