Lockdown has brought social isolation to many, particularly people living alone or those who have been shielding. Social isolation is an objective measure, which may or may not lead to the
subjective feeling of loneliness. Perhaps surprisingly, the proportion of people reporting they feel lonely often or always during lockdown has been similar to pre-pandemic, at around 5% (2.6 million) during April. But groups that have been disproportionately affected by loneliness include working-age adults living alone, those in poor health, and people in rented accommodation.
However, social isolation has the potential for detrimental effects other than loneliness. There have, for example, been serious concerns about victims of domestic abuse being locked down with perpetrators.
Good mental health is an asset and is also linked to good physical health – both of which support positive social and economic outcomes for individuals and society. Mental health disorders account for almost a quarter of the total burden of ill health . Poor mental health is strongly associated with social and economic circumstances, including living in poverty, low-quality work, unemployment and housing. There is also a well-documented burden of mental health disorders following disasters, including evidence from previous viral outbreaks. This suggests that COVID-19, and the response to the pandemic, could have a significant impact on the nation’s mental health through increased exposure to stressors. Exacerbating this, there has been a loss of coping mechanisms for many, and reduced access to mental health treatment. Here we draw together emerging evidence on aspects of the pandemic that are impacting on mental health, and inequalities in who is affected most. Many though have lost jobs or been furloughed, exercise and access to outdoor spaces has been limited, and some people have not been able to meet with friends or family. There are inequalities in these deficits: job loss is socioeconomically patterned, some groups cannot get outdoors, and some are unable to remain digitally connected to friends and family. All of this increases the likelihood that the pandemic will increase mental health inequalities. Commitment to this natural exercise with a disciplined sunrise schedule will surely have a positive impact on the body in the long run with faster healing tendencies.
The emotional distress caused by the pandemic had led to a huge psychological impact on people around the world. Practicing yoga regularly can steadily nurture health across all age-groups and revive the much-needed healthy balance between the mind and body. Yoga serves as a therapy to reinstate one’s mind to normalcy. It also serves as a self-help technique. There are several asanas (postures) in this tradition that can be practiced at home and, it also lays great emphasis on the cleansing process within the body through a proper diet.
Pranayama is an essential component of yoga and focuses on breath control. It consists of synchronizing the breath with movements between asanas but is also a distinct breathing exercise on its own, usually practiced after asanas. It is believed to have had a positive impact on patients dealing with asthma, hyperventilation symptoms, and lung disorders and help them revitalize their breathing system. Foundational postures like Tadasana, Vrikshasana, Shavasana, and the likes can be performed easily and are helpful for beginners.
The entire yoga system not only helps in lubricating the joints but also boosts energy and stimulates digestion. It has a soothing effect on the nervous system, casting out negative energy and relieving the mind from stress-disorders. The regular practice of yoga also assists in harboring a gentle behavior towards others, thereby creating a positive environment of empathy. People practicing yoga tend to be at peace with others through the spirit of kindness and compassion that the world needs at this junction of our lives. Yoga also helps in increasing the will power of the mind and concentration that can help a person navigate through emotional impulses. Yoga can enable you to take charge of your thoughts and assist in the healing process by gradually helping one come out of anxious or negative thoughts. Yoga may also be of great support in establishing stability when practiced consistently through the daily routine. Yoga and meditation are a means of connecting with our inner selves and with others through the feeling of harmony for better and healthier living. We should embrace this life with gratitude and keeping moving forward with a positive outlook.