Take care of your mental health wellbeing especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
I am one of 15 PhD students working on Pan-European Training, research and education (PETER) network on the subject of electromagnetic risk management. The PETER project consists in joining a research team in another European country to share the ideas of researchers across Europe. I joined the project a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic began in Germany in November 2019 and have only been able to visit my family once in the UK since then.
Of course, we have all had such a difficult time in our lives since the COVID-19 virus spread around the world, and I am not the only one left behind from family reunions and normal social life.
During this inconvenient time, I referred to my memory and remembered a colleague of mine who sadly took his own life because of depression in the UK.
Then I started thinking about how I could take care of my sanity before my black dog’s shadow took over my whole body. Winston Churchill popularised the term Black Dog to describe the bouts of depression that he experienced for much of his life. The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a video on YouTube that summarises “Matthew Johnstone’s” book on depression .
After that, I read more about causes of depression and how to avoid the trap that might drag me there. At first I thought it can be so difficult to deal with issues like this. And as I got into it more, I found that there are simple and workable solutions that I can follow myself.
At first I went for walks around the local lake more regularly, of course keeping social distance according to the protocols of the German authorities.
I have also tried drinking more water to avoid dehydration . I also added more fruits and vegetables, which are high in nutrients, to my diet .
And finally, I used facetime more often to communicate and talk to my family and friends more often, which helped me a lot to get connected with others.
To deal with the stress of life at this critical time when our social wellbeing is being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, I have taken a few steps including:
- Physical activity
- A more comprehensive nutrients in my diet
- Drink more water
- Stay positive
- Get help from family and friends if needed
In addition, related organizations offer hotlines and professional support when people need help.
References Depression, I Had a Black Dog: His Name was, “Matthew Johnstone,” 2005.
 Liska D, Mah E, Brisbois T, Barrios PL, Baker LB, Spriet LL, “Narrative Review of Hydration and Selected Health Outcomes in the General Population. Nutrients.,” vol. 11(1):70, p. doi: 10.3390/nu11010070. PMID: 30609670; PMCID: PMC6356561, 2019 Jan 1.
 Głąbska, D.; Guzek, D.; Groele, B.; Gutkowska, K., “Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Mental Health in Adults: A Systematic Review. Nutrients 12, no.,” vol. no. 1: 115, p. doi.10.3390/nu12010115, 2020, 12.
About the Author: Arash Nateghi
Arash Nateghi graduated in electrical and power engineering MEng from University of Bath, UK on 2016. He has previously worked for the UK electrisity transmission system operator (SO), National Grid, as a SCADA and data intefrerences engineer from 2014 to 2015. He also worked for National Grid electricity transmission owner (ET) as a system desgin enineerer from 2016 to 2018. Then he joined Burns & McDonell T&D as a power system consultant working mainly on smart energy solotions from 2018 to 2019.