- Many have put on ‘covid-19 weight’ because of snacking all day at home and yet others have neglected their bodies by idle lifestyles.
- You must exercise regularly for both your physical and mental health.
- Walking for 30 minutes daily five days a week is an excellent way to stay healthy.
“What is the best way to deal with cabin sickness? I also can’t stand the stress of being indoors much of the time”
Cabin fever is what you clearly want to know about and like many others, will have heard the term recently in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the requirement that people stay at home. Few heard of it before the pandemic.
The origins of the term are, however, not clear but some speculate that it might have started life in the 1900s in the USA where people stayed at home for extended periods of time during winter. Others have speculated that the term is somehow related to isolation of persons with typhoid fever. Whatever way you look at it however, the term does not exist in formal classification systems in psychology and is therefore not a formal mental illness in spite of its common usage and recognition.
In May last year, the World Health Organisation released a report that warned the world that mental illness would be on the rise during and after the pandemic. Indeed the message was more dramatic than that as it said just as there is a big wave of viral infection during the pandemic, we were told to expect a new big wave of mental illnesses in the world. Many ignored that message in part because the threat of death from the virus seemed more imminent than any harm that could come from increased mental disorders.
That cabin fever is now in full swing and the effects are now being felt globally. There are now numerous scientific reports that indicate a rapid increase in the number of cases of many types of illnesses including depression, anxiety, alcohol and other drug use disorders among others. Mental health facilities in particular suicide prevention hotlines are overwhelmed exactly as had been predicted last May.
Recent reports from South Korea suggest that the country, which already had high suicide rates, is in crisis mode as a result of sudden increase in the number of suicide cases related to Covid-19 and cabin fever is at least in part to blame for this increase. Many other countries including Ethiopia have published similar reports. Kenya is no exception and the large number of suicides and homicides might be related to the fact that people have been forced to live in close proximity to each other without the opportunity to vent their energies. This proximity has been made worse by increasing financial worries due to reduced incomes brought about by reduced economic activity. Without much evidence, there is speculation that the school unrest may be traced to the life of frustration during the pandemic.
What is, however, true is that showing burning schools on TV and social media fuels such behaviour through the ‘copy cat phenomenon’.
This however is not your question......
You want to know exactly what you could do in a foreign country to reduce the impact of the pandemic on yourself. Two approaches are important and might be of help when implemented together. The first is to be a law abiding citizen and follow the regulations in place in the country of your residence. This first step is often forgotten but is important.
The next set of things that you could do is important and relates to things under your control, and apply whether you are in a foreign country or at home.
First and to the extent possible create and stick to a daily routine. Take charge of when you wake up, shower eat breakfast and so on making sure to remove your pyjamas and to groom yourself. Sounds silly but many stay in their bedrooms all day feeling sorry for themselves. Work and have leisure at home just as you would without lockdown. Some suffer due to working without breaks.
Many have put on ‘covid-19 weight’ because of snacking all day at home and yet others have neglected their bodies by idle lifestyles. You must exercise regularly for both your physical and mental health. Walking for 30 minutes daily five days a week is an excellent way to stay healthy.
Remember to keep in touch with friends and family. Man is a social animal and whatever government says, you must make contact with others even if it is via social media.
Look for the silver lining to the pandemic. First, remember it will come to an end sooner or later.