Ups & Downs of Living in a Pandemic
COVID-19 has forced us to acquire new knowledge and skills to assist with generating a new way of thinking that accommodates our current, ever-changing times. We never know when or how our everyday life is going to be changed. What may have made sense last year, may no longer be the case now. The world we live in today is characterised by unpredictability and uncertainty. Hence, we must revamp our abilities and engage in different activities to help us survive the ups and downs of living in a pandemic.
Altered the way we live…
The pandemic has altered the way we socialise, work, interact and learn, some of which have turned out to be for the better. COVID-19 has created greater work flexibility in which working from home has become easier and more beneficial for some individuals. It has led to a more virtual existence both professionally and personally, increasing online and tele-based communication. This has allowed education, work and health to be more easily accessible in reaching out to others. There have been reductions in flu and cold cases, along with a decrease in air pollution due to less traffic and tourism. This has improved respiratory based health issues, especially for youths and elderly. There has also been a fall in some areas of crime such as robbery and theft.
However, each of these advantages has been met with a disadvantage. Much of the population lost their job, causing a new high in unemployment rates. There have been increases in alcohol and drug use along with more calls being made to suicide/crisis hotlines. There are also increases in other areas of crime such as domestic violence and drug-related crimes.
These downsides have constituted to an overarching downfall caused by the pandemic: the triggering of a wave of mental health issues. These range from an increase in people feeling anxious, depressed, lonely or stressed. Many are feeling overwhelmed due to the uncertainty of everyday life. Additionally, Google trends have revealed a massive uptick in the rise of searches related to anxiety and panic attacks. It’s therefore important to be aware of these issues and stay connected with oneself and others to continue living healthy and active lives.
Staying Healthy During the Pandemic
Lifestyle changes have been one of the most predominant focuses during the pandemic. People are recognising the need to adopt healthier routines by engaging in more indoor + outdoor activities, along with better eating habits. Examples include new hobbies, exercising outside (jogging, cycling or even gardening), consuming less processed and fast food. Other methods of staying active include yoga, zoom exercise sessions with friends and utilising Youtube for in-room workouts. Discovering new ways to achieve healthy changes have helped create a shift in the monotonous environment the pandemic has brought.
Improved Health Awareness
COVID-19 has increased awareness surrounding certain risk factors for health issues. Society is paying more attention to mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression. There have been increases in the obtainment of mental health plans along with more contacts made to helplines such as Lifeline, Beyond Blue and Kids Helpline. Decrease in common colds and flu suggest the importance of hygiene which was highly enforced via sanitisation and masks. Recognising the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and making the big step in reaching out for help feeds into improving your health awareness. Campaigns such as the national covid-19 mental health campaign and vaccine advertisements have been conducted to better understand these issues. Information on both topics are accessible online.
The pandemic has forced many to become increasingly isolated from friends, family and work colleagues. This has decreased the ability for individuals to be supported during the adversities that come with COVID-19. To improve your wellbeing and to keep yourself in check, make sure you maintain contact with friends and family while complying with lockdown restrictions. Schedule in regular phone calls, video calls or face to face outings. Put effort into nurturing these relationships as they’re your support network. This will help your overall mental wellbeing which is of utmost importance during the pandemic.