Pandemic brought us all down in different ways, be it loss of someone close, living became surviving and had a huge impact on the mental health of people. Behavioral, lifestyle changes to watching or binging on shows/series and binging on food were now not just leisure activities, they became coping mechanism for some people. We got to discover our hidden or suppressed talents, from singing, playing any instruments to paint, or finally pulling out that book you brought years ago but never read. At the same time, you juggled the day-to-day work/college/school/daily life.
Binge became a familiar world with an infinite number of memes and videos on how almost every second person on social media handles is dealing with pandemic and lockdown while binging on shows and food.
Mental Health Awareness and Pandemic: Isolation, job loss/unemployment, fear, loss of someone close, all such uncertainties have contributed to an increase in the number of people dealing with anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues. As the number of people dealing with anxiety increased, so did its awareness. In countries where even talking about these things is considered a stigma, it has helped people get aware of the issue and the problem that comes with it. We need to emphasize empathizing with people going through it and being mindful about how you treat others, what can trigger someone. This self sensitization drive has impacted how we used to think and talk about mental health.
Binge it away: The anxiety and isolation have had a treacherous impact on the increasing number of people having & getting eating disorders and anorexia. Coping mechanisms differ from person to person and are further classified into positive and negative. Positive - cleaning your room, listening to music, playing with pets, painting, or engaging in other creative activities, negative ones being the ones that affect our mental and physical health - Binge eating developing into eating disorder habits.
Acknowledging the binge: Knowing and accepting that things have been bothering you and your health, recognizing the reason for the significant changes in your lifestyle becomes the first step in being kind to yourself. It becomes helpful in ones’ journey towards loving themselves and accepting themselves.
“Loving yourself” - Everyone is different and unique in their way; we cannot just become a carbon copy of some constructed ideals and rules that society and people in power have created for their benefit. Learning to love ourselves, our body, caring and putting our needs first to be healthy. The negative beliefs that we end up creating for ourselves pull us down deep into the abyss; learning how to reduce/eradicate these false beliefs and replacing them with love, care, and kindness for you does help in creating better mental and physical health. Like Tom and Donna (from Parks and Recreation), “Treat Yo – Self” and take days to celebrate ‘you.’ That also gives us the courage to face our fears, work on ourselves, and acknowledge the help we require only helps in loving yourself.