Mental health refers to cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being. It is all about how people think, feel, and behave. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health includes “subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, inter-generational dependence, and self-actualization of one’s intellectual and emotional potential, among others”.
Dede used to be so full of life, you could call him the life of the party and clown of the clique. A hardworking young man that took his “9-5” job, seriously and made sure to “ball” after work, every day. Weekends were super fun for Dede, oh the weekends, how Dede loved the weekends.
Weekends in Nigeria are usually full of activities but Dede’s was extra. From The Lagos turn up on Friday nights to Saturday Owambe gang and down to Sunday “eat all you want” frenzy. Dede was the type to gather everyone together on the weekends, he made sure everyone had the “weekend of their lives” irrespective of how their week had been. Then Covid-19 hit Nigeria and social distancing began. He started working from home, he could no longer do the things he used to do on weekends, and he could no longer chill with his friends at will.
At first, it was just a phase he thought would pass but days became weeks and weeks became months then reality dawned that the pandemic was a serious issue affecting Nigeria and the whole world at large and no one knew when things would get better and if there’s a cure in sight.
Behind all of Dede’s happiness, he had deep internal struggles and conflict, he wore a mask to hide his deepest struggles and kept himself distracted with work and fun activities. His inability to continue with his normal life because of the pandemic became a serious problem for him, depression crept in and he became suicidal. His mental health was at stake. But for the swift intervention of friends and family, Dede’s case would also have been another case of suicide.
Ways to indicate poor mental health habits during Covid-19
Factors in people’s lives, interpersonal connections, and physical factors can all contribute to mental health disruptions. Below are ways to indicate poor mental health habits during Covid-19;
- Regular mood swing.
- Unwillingness to participate or concentrate in activities.
- Feeling sad or down more often.
- Withdrawal from friends.
- Reckless spending
- Working tirelessly without taking a break
- Use of drugs and alcohol
- Excessive fears or worries.
- Significant tiredness, low energy, sleeplessness or insomnia.
Stress, anxiety and pressure also trigger depression and mental illness. This is a period where normalcy is lost, no gatherings or outings, or spending time with family and loved ones. A lot of people are like Dede, They were able to keep their mental health in check before the Covid-19 pandemic by adopting a coping mechanism; hiding behind series of activities to keep them going, and now that they can’t have that anymore, their mental health is deteriorating.
For some other people, the uncertainty of the situation is creating an anxiety party in their minds and heads. The pressure and stress from trying to get things done in an environment that isn’t suitable for those activities is also a deal-breaker for some people.Thus, everyone needs to adapt to the Covid-19 situation and balance their mental health.
How to have a good mental health habits during Covid-19
There are lots of things that we can do to have excellent mental health habits during Covid-19. It is important to imbibe these habits to improve our state of mind, general outlook and performance. Below are tips that can help;
- Talk about your feelings and ask for help.
- Pick up a new skill or hobby
- Exercise regularly
- Take a break
- Keep being active.
- Manage your savings to avoid going broke
- Eat well and drink responsibly
- Keep in touch with families and friends by maintaining social connection.
- Read books or online blogs
- Focus more on positive news.
- Avoid using intoxicants to deal with stress and anxiety
We understand that it’s not easy which is why we have put together the above tips on how to keep your mental health in check during this period Covid-19.