The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the mental health and well-being of people. This is because mental health plays an important role in one’s life. It involves one's emotional, psychological, and social well-being. And, it is as important as physical health. When people heard about the COVID 19 virus for the first time in the year 2020, it scared them to the core, since they were not aware of it. And, a lot of uncertainty developed among the people of the nation, as they were afraid of the pandemic, and they felt helpless regarding their future.
In my opinion, the youth of the nation has been affected the most due to this pandemic, coz the students around me got anxious and stressed as their entire routine got disrupted with it, since what felt like sitting at home for some days due to the shutdown of college got converted into a lockdown that was filled with online examinations and no job opportunities. The college students didn’t get placed and that caused a lot of uncertainty in their minds. They even faced issues while adapting to the online mode of learning and some of them took more time than usual. And, there were people who were working and lost their jobs due to less pay and at times no pay at all. All of this has led to immense anxiety among the youth. It has been a stressful time for all of us since we have faced a lot of difficulties to accept the new normal and deal with it effectively. Even though there is uncertainty towards the pandemic, yet there is still hope for better days to come. It is extremely vital for the youth to address their issues and especially the issues pertaining to their mental health, since they are unable to manage their thoughts and feelings, and in turn affecting their daily routine.
During this crisis situation, there are various self-care activities that can be practised in order to enrich one's well-being. These include:
• Practising yoga and going for a walk to calm the mind.
• Taking breaks from one's daily routine, in order to relax the soul.
• Pampering oneself by going shopping or outings, etc.
• Watching one's favourite movies and shows.
• Listening to good music in order to relax the mind.
• Ensuring a good amount of sleep at night to remain active and healthy.
• Going for several outings with family and friends.
• Taking things one at a time, and not pressurising oneself.
• Cooking one's favourite food that in turn enriches one's mood.
• Setting a schedule to manage time effectively.
Even there are times when the youth wants to express their issues towards their mental health, yet they do not get the necessary support and care, due to the lack of awareness and acceptance. And, this shows that there is a need for acceptance towards mental health issues and for the youth to seek help and support from a mental health professional, in order to achieve wellness and growth. At the same time, it is important for the parents to normalise mental health issues and help their child who is going through the mental health issue, by seeking support from a mental health professional. As a Counselling psychologist, I have always felt that there is a prevalent gap in society towards mental health issues, coz people just don’t want to accept the fact that mental health issues do exist and it should be dealt with the same severity, as the physical health issues.
Often, seeing a doctor is considered normal, but seeing a therapist is not? Why this disparity in views? This is exactly the reason the person suffering from mental health issues doesn’t address their issues, coz there is always this fear of “what others will think about them”. And that’s where the change needs to arise, because if people don’t address their issues, how exactly will their issues be resolved. We as individuals go through a lot of health issues in our lives, but we eventually heal from those experiences and move ahead in life. The same should be done with mental health issues, and it is possible with the necessary support and care, coz all a person needs is someone to be there for them, in order to help them rise from where they’re stuck. And, this indicates the importance of mental health and how it is vital to ensure the well-being of the youth.
Further, seeking help from a mental health professional is vital for the youth’s mental health issues to be addressed properly. And, getting the necessary support and care is the major step towards the acknowledgement of their issue. Moreover, it is essential that the person is heard in a non-judgmental manner, and is shown the necessary empathy and care by the therapist, coz only then the person would be able to talk about their issues freely. Therefore, developing skills in therapy is important for the youth and will help them deal with their issues in an efficient manner. Hence, we should be there for each other and provide the necessary support and care in order to enhance our mental health and well-being.
Counselling Psychologist @ Serefe