Over the past month, people are sharing their worst anxieties related to COVID-19 over text messages. Some of them cannot stop crying because they are worried about job security as there is news about many employees getting laid off.
Even the transition of work from home makes them feel nervous. Even watching television makes everyone feel depressed because the news is filled with tragedy-ridden headlines that are broadcasted every few minutes. This sudden home isolation has mentally disturbed everyone. It makes you feel devastated, stressed and very sad.
It is normal to learn that your coping strategies are not great. Sharing worst coronavirus inspired tweets, apart from the usual number of unclear clichés at one point makes you feel worse. There are no right words to respond to these tweets as you are not familiar with what you say will be harmful or helpful.
How the demand for mental health app is surging in demand?
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Social distancing demand in this current pandemic situation has made people seek mental health support via digital sources. It includes an app, text-a-therapist, and chatbox. There are a number of high profile therapy apps, which report that there is an influx in their member numbers since February. This is not a surprise because it makes sense that people are looking for remote psychological support sources.
Even though people are aware that they will be talking or chatting to a volunteer counselor and not a certified therapist, they find it a comfort to talk with another anonymous human. There is a continuous feel of concern that seems increasing with coronavirus related words like terrified, scared, paranoid, and panicked.
The mental health chat services report that in every 5 conversations there is a mention of COVID-19, coronavirus or virus. Earlier, depression, sleep issues, relationship dilemmas, and low energy were hot topics, which got replaced with health concerns, isolation pressure along with the social and financial impact of lockdowns.
It makes sense with the world struggling with coronavirus pandemic. It is hard to adapt to the sudden outbreak, where the death rate is expected to increase, the threat of global recession and a fact that your lives will possibly never regain to the way it was before the pandemic erupted. Nevertheless, everyone is feeling overwhelmed by the instant impact of this COVID-19 episode. For example, the pressure of
- Social distancing
- Working from home along with homeschooling your kids
- Sudden layoff, which increases the stress of making ends meet
- Navigating through self-quarantine in a shared space
- Not being able to embrace your immune-compromised elderly and loved ones
Besides, those already struggling with psychological conditions will find it hard to handle the pandemic situation. Social distancing can cause a kind of social recession for older adults, which can be harmful.
Will the mental health therapy app help in coping with pandemic fear?
Even though mental health therapy app will never substitute a face-to-face session with psychiatrists but in this social distancing situation, it can be useful. The work that gets done in traditional therapy needs openness and exposure of the patient in front of another person, which gets monitored through an empathic connection for encouraging change and acceptance.
On the other hand, mental health apps integrate proven techniques like acceptance commitment therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy, which addresses everything like anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, eating disorder, and more.
The majority of these mental health apps don’t have peer-reviewed research reports to support their claims but in this pandemic scenario, they are playing a crucial role by offering innovative solutions for handling mental health disorders.
People can find free mental health apps online related to COVID-19 to help them address anxiety, depression, sleep, through evidence-based meditation programs, workouts, self-management talks, articles, video games, sleep programs, CBT, and even peer chat support.
Self-coping tips to protect your mental health
Coronavirus causes a lot of worries because it is a mysterious situation and waiting for things to happen crushes everyone. Therefore, it is necessary to protect your mental health with the following self-management tips.
Limit reading or listening to coronavirus news
Listening or reading coronavirus related news makes you feel anxious, which can spiral your thoughts out of control. You may start thinking about disastrous outcomes. Usually, you can handle the situation but worries about your parents or other loved ones are not in your control. So, if you limit your time in watching things that don’t make you feel better can help.
There is plenty of information moving across the internet and news channel, so stick to trusted information sources like NHS or government websites.
Mute things that trigger
Health anxiety also makes you feel compelled in staying updated but social media can trigger anxiety. Clicking on the coronavirus hashtag can make you feel cry and hopeless. So, keep away from social media and TV as much as possible. Mute or unfollow keywords, which are panic triggers. Hide Facebook feed and posts, if you find it very overwhelming.
Wash your hands [not in OCD manner]
Obsessive compulsion disorder is increasing as people are concentrating on pandemic protection requests of washing their hands properly. Some people are so panicked of getting contamination that hand washing has become a huge trigger. Plenty of people struggling with OCD are finding it hard to leave their homes, which opens door to another challenge – self-isolation. With plenty of time staying in the house means difficulty in passing your time, which leads to boredom making OCD condition worsen.
Stay connected means go on a virtual trip to meet your friends or family. Staying in touch helps to feel relaxed, during this lengthy self-isolation moments. You can add some activities that you have been avoiding like reading a book or completing your painting. It makes you feel restful and productive.
Continue your access to sunlight and nature as much as possible. With months of coronavirus pandemic ahead, do a workout at home, eat healthy, stay hydrated, and sleep well.
Techniques to practice for coping with worries and anxieties
- Acknowledge the uncertainty as soon as you think
- Don’t react, pause and take a deep breath
- Pull back because it is just a thought and not a fact
- Let go the thought
- Explore the current moment and monitor your breathing, shift your focus towards something else
Digital mental health apps have been helping many people to feel ‘rational’ in this pandemic situation of extreme hopelessness desiring it to simply disappear.