Is pandemic limbo making us more stressed?

Published: Tuesday, October 13, 2020

WellnessCurrent AffairsSocial Medical

Prioritise your mental health this World Mental Health Awareness Day

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While the current national lockdown is being incrementally eased, we have all been forced to reduce our social interactions. This has left many of us in a state of limbo, putting untold and unknown strain on our mental health. On a national, and even global level, the consequences of this mental and emotional strain could prove catastrophic. That is unless we do something about it. 

In light of World Mental Health Day (10 October) and Mental Health Awareness Month (October) experts from Momentum Multiply urge South Africans to understand that the lockdown has already taking a serious toll on our mental of South Africans. The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) reported receiving double the amount of calls about anxiety, stress, and depression than before the pandemic.  

Although level 1 of the lockdown has created a more open economy with increased freedom of movement, it has also brought with it an unsettling state of flux as many of us straddle between going back to the office, working remotely, juggling changing school schedules and curfews as well grapple with news from abroad of “second waves” happening right now. 

Only 5% of our national health budget is spent on mental health. While this is slightly more than the global average, it leaves much room for improvement and also means that we have a responsibility to prioritise our own mental health. We need to start attending our impending mental health crisis and collectively find a way for healthcare spend to be distributed fairly. 

Multiply emphasised the benefits of proactive efforts to cultivate mindfulness – one of which is through activities like yoga. Yoga is not the exclusive preserve of wealthy housewives in the northern suburbs. It’s about poses not posers.  It is about being present in what you are doing, understanding your own mental turmoil and finding a way to keep it centred and grounded. 

Multiply experts are available to discuss how well South African are mentally adjusting to the new normal and share tips on how to properly prioritise your own mental wellbeing. The following topics can be discussed in detail:

• How to prioritise your mental health while juggling the shifting pandemic environment 

• The role of yoga, exercise, and nutrition

• The role of rewards programmes in helping members maintain mental wellbeing 

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