Safeguard Mental Health during Coronavirus

Recommended Steps to Protect Mental Health during Coronavirus lockdown

Safeguard Mental Health during Coronavirus

From the month of March, after we realized that COVID-19 is rapidly spreading its tentacles in India, our lives have been plunged into uncertainty. The government-enforced lockdown that followed immediately threw our daily routines out of gear, and many of us have been struggling to come to terms with this evolving situation ever since. Due to this, the impact on our mental health during coronavirus lockdown has been huge.

For those with existing mental health problems, the problem is bigger. Constant exposure to news and social media highlighting how coronavirus is taking lives across the country can keep you on the edge and aggravate symptoms of anxiety and depression. 

Can poor mental health affect your immunity?

Health experts around the world have spoken about how deteriorating mental health can lower your immunity. High-stress levels for prolonged periods are very bad for the body’s immunity against external pathogens like the coronavirus. What this means is that stress and anxiety make you vulnerable to the virus.

Common causes of poor mental health:

  1. Unavailability of cigarettes and alcohol for those who are addicted to it
  2. Difficulty in securing prescription medications during the lockdown
  3. Financial troubles 
  4. Job loss
  5. Domestic violence
  6. Being in the constant presence of someone in the family with whom one has a troubled relationship

The obvious question now is – how can we protect our mental health during coronavirus?

Mental health and coping during COVID-19

 

  • Limit your exposure to news 

 

Let’s face it, the focus of every newspaper you read or social media websites you visit is the coronavirus and the disastrous effect it has had on our lives. Constantly reading such news raises the risk of anxiety and panic attacks. 

You need to avoid checking the news once every hour and bring it down to once or twice a day for five minutes. Set aside a fixed time for reading the news.

Also, ensure that you get your information from reliable sources to prevent exposure to misinformation.

 

  • Take breaks from social media

 

Just because you are staying in, it doesn’t give you the license to stay online 24*7. Just like the news, social media also exposes you to information about coronavirus. Besides, it has been well documented that social media in large doses is bad for your mental health.

If you are on social media groups (WhatsApp, Facebook etc.) where the information is overwhelming them consider muting them.

 

  • Stay connected with loved ones

 

If you are cooped up in your house alone and away from your family, call them up every day. Living through long periods of self-isolation can be difficult, lack of human contact can worsen anxiety and other mental health problems.

Use apps like WhatsApp and Skype to stay in touch with loved ones through video calling if possible. 

 

  • Exercise and eat healthily 

 

Both of these things are linked to your immune system. 

First, let’s focus on the diet. You are what you eat, so ensure that you stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables and follow a healthy immune-boosting diet. Avoid eating processed foods to keep your physical health at its peak. Include herbs like neem and turmeric in your diet.

When it comes to exercise, if you had a habit of going to the gym or jogging outdoors before coronavirus then it’s time to switch things. Do simply bodyweight workouts at home – they are effective in burning fat and keeping you fit.

Remember, eating healthy and regular exercise are the keys to a good immune system.

 

  • Use relaxation techniques

 

Using relaxation techniques to calm yourself is a very effective method of dealing with anxious thoughts. Multiple studies on relaxation methods like pranayama (breath control) have observed that they are effective in managing anxiety. 

And it’s very simple too. All you have to do is –

  • Sit in a quiet place in a crossed-legged position. If you can’t then sit on a chair.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Close the right nostril with your thumb and inhale from the other nostril. 
  • Block the other nostril with your middle and ring finger and exhale from the right nostril. 
  • While staying in the same position, inhale from the right nostril. 
  • Close the right nostril with your thumb, and then exhale from the left nostril.
  • Repeat the whole process for 10 minutes with your eyes closed.

 

  • Stop and reflect

 

Instead of reacting to news reports and what other people are saying, take a moment to ponder over everything you say and do. 

This will prevent unnecessary stress. It will also give you time to calmly and logically think things through and respond consciously instead of reacting.

Conclusion 

Don’t ignore your mental health during these testing times. Follow the tips mentioned to keep your mind fit and agile. Stay safe!

For more information, you can always talk to a doctor online on MediBuddy

Sources:

  1. BBC
  2. Pharmeasy
  3. Economictimes

 

Making the right choice- Hand Sanitizer or Hand Washing?

Hand sanitizer vs Hand-washing: Making the right choice

Making the right choice- Hand Sanitizer or Hand Washing?

Ever since the outbreak of the deadly pandemic, COVID-19, various healthcare organizations have urged people to take proper preventive measures to restrict the breakout and spread of the disease. However, washing hands thoroughly is one of the foremost steps that needs to be taken to keep the virus away. 

Hand sanitizer vs hand-washing, this debate has been going on for long. But before we get to that, let us understand the importance of hand-washing. 

Hand-washing: Why is it so important?

Your hands are perhaps the one part of our body that come in contact with other people and objects the most. Besides, think of the countless times you touch your eyes, nose, or face throughout the day without realizing – every time you do so, you stand a chance of contracting various diseases. Therefore, it is important to keep your hands clean at all times.

Washing your hands thoroughly and frequently helps reduce the spread of germs, viruses, and bacteria that are likely to cause a host of infectious gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases, some even leading to severe complications, particularly in the elderly and children with weakened immune systems. 

Is hand-washing more effective than hand sanitizer?

When it comes to hand-washing, many people prefer using a hand sanitizer – it is easy to carry and use. But does hand sanitizer work? Hand sanitizers containing at least 60% alcohol or more work well to keep the hands clean. However, several studies, as well as The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommend washing hands using water and soap to prevent the onset and spread of diseases.

Here’s why hand-washing beats hand sanitizer – 

  1. Although alcohol-based sanitizers can typically reduce the percentage of microbes on hands quickly, they are not always as effective as soap and water in eliminating all kinds of germs.
  2. Hand sanitizers are not as effective when hands are greasy or visibly dry – for example, after eating oily food, working in the garden, or playing a sport. 
  3. Hand sanitizers may fail to remove pesticides or harmful chemicals and heavy metals from the surface of your hands. 
  4. Sanitizers with no or very low concentration of alcohol may not be effective in removing germs at all. 

Soap and water, on the other hand, is the best way to wash your hands and keep them germ-free. They not only kill germs but work by eliminating them mechanically from your hands. Running tap water itself does a great job in removing the germs, but soap increases the overall efficacy by pulling out all the dirt and impurities from the skin. 

Hand-washing: Do’s and Don’ts

Now that you know why hand-washing beats hand sanitizer, make sure you are doing it the right way. Washing hands using the right technique is essential to keep germs and diseases at bay. Here are a few do’s and don’ts of hand-washing you must follow –

What to do –

  • Wet your hands in clean and warm running water.
  • Apply mild liquid soap and work into a lather. Rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds. The soap and the friction created by rubbing hands together loosen and remove germs and dirt. 
  • Make sure you are covering all the surfaces of your hands – back and front, between your fingers and under the nails, as well as your wrists.
  • Keep your forearms and hands below the elbows while hand-washing to prevent water from flowing from the most to the least contaminated area. 
  • Dry your hands with a clean towel or an air dryer. 

What NOT to do –

  • Do not wash your hands with hot water. It only tends to chap the skin and make it more prone to bacteria.
  • Do not allow water to spill over hands while lathering. This may wash the soap away and reduce the effectiveness of hand-washing.
  • Do not touch the surface of the sink once you have washed your hands. 
  • Do not wash your hands with a soap that has been lying loose or open. It is always advisable to use liquid soap only. 
  • Do not pat dry with a used towel or tissue paper.

 

When should you wash your hands?

Mayo Clinic recommends washing hands frequently through the day, particularly under the following conditions –

  • Before and after cooking and eating meals
  • Before and after treating wounds/injuries, and caring for an ailing person
  • Before removing or inserting contact lenses
  • After using the toilet or cleaning diapers of a child
  • After handling pets or coming in contact with animal waste 
  • After coughing, sneezing, and blowing the nose
  • After cleaning or handling garbage

 

The Bottomline

While washing hands with soap and water is a better option, you should consider keeping a sanitizer handy for certain situations. In case you do not have access to water or soap, you can always pour a few drops of sanitizer and rub your hands until dry. You can refer to a general physician through MediBuddy’s E-consultancy services to know what type of sanitizers can be used for optimal care.

The regular and frequent practice of hand-washing reduces the risk of infectious diseases. Now that you know when to use soap water and when to use a hand sanitizer, make sure you do not skip washing hands through the day. 

Get in touch with a trusted specialist doctor online, from the comfort of your home, on MediBuddy.

Sources:

1. CDC 

2.Mayoclinic

COVID-19 Homecare and Precautions!

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Homecare and Precautions

COVID-19 Homecare and Precautions!

Coronavirus has engulfed the world and pushed our lives into uncertainty. So far, the deadly pandemic has claimed more than 200,000 lives globally and left several thousands undergoing treatment. But is there a way to prevent the onset and spread of the coronavirus? The World Health Organization and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention recommend taking adequate Coronavirus (COVID-19) homecare and precautions to stay healthy and limit the spread of the disease.

Homecare for patients with mild symptoms of COVID-19 and management of their contacts

People having COVID-19 usually develop symptoms – fever and mild respiratory troubles – 5 to 6 days after contracting the infection. 

The doctor will likely recommend homecare if someone in your family has the coronavirus; has tested positive for COVID-19 or has shown flu-like symptoms – sore throat, cough, and fever. Besides, sick and ailing members of the family should stay indoors to prevent the disease from spreading to others, unless they need medical care. 

Here is how you can look after your loved ones at home during the coronavirus outbreak –

  • Help them follow the doctor’s instructions and take medications on time. For most people, the symptoms last only a few days and they show improvement after a week.
  • See if OTC medications are helping them feel better.
  • Ensure that the sick person is drinking enough fluids and getting adequate rest.
  • Make sure they do not step outdoors at all, even for basic needs, such as grocery shopping. 
  • Ensure that they are maintaining good hygiene while staying in isolation. This includes wearing a facemask or covering the mouth with a disposable tissue when talking, sneezing or coughing.
  • Wash their clothing, towel, and bedding with detergent and hot water. 

How to care for yourself at home

Caring for yourself is as important as caring for someone at home. Regardless of whether someone in your family has the coronavirus infection, you must follow certain precautionary steps to keep it at bay.

  • Cover your face with a mask or a clean cloth if you must be in the same room with a sick person.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with liquid soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after tending to a sick person. In case you do not have immediate access to soap and water, use a hand sanitizer with an alcohol concentration of  60% or more.
  • Wear gloves when caring for a sick person.
  • Clean high-touch areas, objects and surfaces (doorknobs, toilet seats, top of the table, bed-rails, TV /AC remote etc.) with disinfectant 
  • Limit contact with the sick person – use separate utensils, bathroom and bedroom, avoid using personal belongings. 
  • Use lined dustbins to dispose off masks, gloves, and other contaminated items. 
  • Track your health – watch out for the warning signs and consult a doctor if you feel unwell.
  • Eat healthily and exercise regularly at home to strengthen the immune system.

Infection prevention and control in the household is possible if you abide by the above COVID-19 checklist for homecare

A few other things you can do

Staying indoors, away from friends and family, can get a bit lonely sometimes, especially for the elderly and the children. You can boost the morale of your family members by engaging them in fun activities 

  • Stay connected with them through phone calls and video calls.
  • Let your children play games online while maintaining social distance.
  • Encourage them to pursue a hobby – reading, singing, playing an instrument. However, make sure that these are kept separate and cleaned every day.

When to see the doctor

The COVID-19 checklist for homecare is a probable way to prevent the spread of the disease. However, if you see a person getting worse, consult the doctor right away.

Look out for signs, like –

  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent heaviness or pain in the chest
  • Face and lips turning blue
  • Inability to wake up

Discuss the symptoms and seek emergency treatment. If you must accompany them to the clinic, do not step out without wearing a mask and gloves. Alternatively, you can consult a doctor online on MediBuddy.

Conclusion

Following the above Coronavirus (COVID-19) homecare and precautions, you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe from the clutches of the deadly pandemic. Children and the elderly need to be taken special care of. Keep yourself updated on the news and health advisories shared by various healthcare organizations. Most importantly, keep track of your health and stay in touch with your healthcare provider from home. 

Get in touch with a trusted specialist doctor online, from the comfort of your home, on MediBuddy.

Sources:

  1. CDC 
  2. Kidshealth 

Stay Fit During Lockdown With A Full-Body Workout At Home

Exercises During Lock down!

The lockdown may be extremely inconvenient, but it is the most effective way to slow down the spread of COVID-19. So we have all accepted it and are staying home. For most people, staying at home means living very sedentary lives, and we know that inactivity spells the possibility of weight gain.

Even people who used to work out in gyms, go for a swim or jog in the open area at a loss because stepping out of the house is no longer an option.

So what should you do? Should you resign yourself to weight gain and hope to lose the extra kilos once the lockdown is lifted? Not really, you can use a full-body work out at home to stay fit. Whether you are a fitness freak or someone who is new to the world of exercise, anyone can do these exercises to stay in shape during the lockdown.

Lockdown and the dangers of weight gain

It’s not just inactivity during the lockdown that makes it almost certain that you will gain weight. There is another factor at play. Lockdown is synonymous with boredom and to dispel boredom young people tend to binge-watch on entertainment sites, and usually, snacks accompany binge-watching. 

Eventually, we lose track of how much we have eaten and the excess calories take the form of fats deposits. The change happens slowly, but weight gain becomes inevitable.

Remember, weight gain leads to numerous health complications like hypertension, development of plaque along blood vessels, heart disorders, kidney and liver damage and diabetes. 

That is why you can’t afford to relax on exercise during the lockdown and pile on the kilos. 

Full-body workout at home

Here are a few exercises that will do wonders for your health as you wait out the lockdown-

 

  • Dancing

 

Dancing is fast-paced and gets your heart racing soon. Seasoned dancer or not, anyone can groove to the rhythm of music. If you want, you can learn choreographies from online video tutorials. Dancing has the following benefits: 

  • Increases your core strength 
  • Improves balance 
  • Helps you lose weight
  • Increases muscle mass and strength

 

  • Cleaning the house and chores

 

You may be surprised to learn this, but a vigorous cleaning session can briskly burn calories. You can burn as many as 190 calories with just an hour of cleaning.

You can try: 

  • Sweeping 
  • Mopping
  • Cleaning the walls  
  • Scrubbing dirt off furniture
  • Beating the dirt off your rugs and carpets
  • Laundry and ironing
  • Doing the dishes 

Clean up your home sweet home and burn a few annoying calories simultaneously. 

 

  • Yoga

 

The great thing about yoga is that you don’t need a lot of space to do it. Yoga works on every part of your body to help keep your weight stable. Yoga also –

  • Strengthens your body 
  • Enhances flexibility and endurance
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Inures your body to injury and infection
  • Helps your mind relax

 

  • Fitness Apps

 

You can download free fitness apps from Google Play. These apps can guide you on your path to weight loss. These apps outline daily exercise routines, which exercise you should do, for how long and set a target like losing belly fat in 30 days. 

Pick a difficulty level according to your experience. Fitness apps usually recommend –

  • Push-ups- for upper body strength and toning the chest and shoulders.
  • Sit-ups- tones the legs and keeps the knee joints strong.
  • Planks- to increase core strength.
  • Lunges- strengthens the hips and the spine.
  • Squat jumps – improve balance, mobility and burn calories fast.
  • Burpees- Improves your lung capacity and increases metabolism. 

 

  • Jumping rope

 

This may sound old-school, but very few cardio exercises are as effective as the jumping rope. Its benefits are –

  • Improves lung capacity
  • Strengthens bones and joints
  • Good for the cardiovascular system
  • Accelerates weight loss
  • Strengthens the spine 
  • Speeds up metabolism 

There is an additional benefit of full-body workout at home during the lockdown. It enhances your immunity, which may help you ward off the coronavirus.

 

Conclusion

With a full-body workout at home, protect yourself from the harmful effects of weight gain.

If you want to know which foods will complement your exercise routine to keep you

in shape during the lookdown, you can talk to a doctor through MediBuddy’s

E-consultancy services

Sources:

  1. Express