If you have found yourself in the grip of mood swings frequently in the past year, then you're not alone. 

The COVID-19 pandemic and the disruptions it has brought along, including lockdowns, have thrown people’s lives and also their moods, into total disarray. 

Psychologists define a mood swing as an oscillation in mood, particularly between feelings of happiness and sadness. A pandemic is a life-altering event, a never-before experience for most of the population. It is to be expected that everyone will react strongly and yet different to the experience. 

The uncertainty and unpredictability that dictates life right now are enough to create various changes in your mood throughout the day. Also, the isolation brought about by the lockdown and lack of social interaction has meant that people have not been able to seek comfort from these mood swings in the company of others. 

You may find yourself feeling anxious about the future upon hearing of a friend’s loss, and feel blessed a while later to be in the presence of your family. 

You may feel grateful to have financial security and a job during such difficult times, and then a news report carrying the number of daily infections and deaths from the pandemic might pull you into depths of worrying. It is natural to feel this way, and all your feelings are justified.

The lockdown has forced everyone to stay in the same space all day, with the same people, and this may lead to more issues with various moods clashing and nowhere to go. 

Everyone has their own way of dealing with major crises, and people might feel overwhelmed or deserted by each other’s ways. Try to cut yourself and everyone around you some slack, and let everyone find their pace and comfort to deal with this situation. 

Tips to Manage Mood Swings During Coronavirus Lockdowns

1. Build a healthy routine and stick to it. Maintaining a routine of a healthy diet, exercise, and adequate sleep will help you feel a sense of normalcy and control in your daily life. The nourishment and rest will also help you combat negative emotions like stress and anxiety and will regulate your mood. 

  • Walking or running outside, if it is safe to do so, will help you get some sunlight, which also helps to uplift your mood. Otherwise, try to get whatever form of exercise you can, at home. 

  • Any movement and physical activity will improve your mood and help you feel relaxed and positive. 

2. Accept the situation. Fighting that this reality is here to stay will not change anything. Accepting things as they are, will help you focus on things that you can control. This will allow you to think rationally and manage your mood. 

3. Stay in touch with people. Reach out to people around you through video and phone calls, and share your thoughts and feelings, especially when negative moods get overwhelming. 

It helps to know that everyone is facing the same situation as you are. People may also offer fresh perspectives for your situations, which may change how you are feeling. 

4. Take a mental health break. When your mood is spiraling, it is important to disengage from that moment and spend some time relaxing your mind and body. 

  • Practice meditation or yoga regularly.

  • Maintain a diary and write about the things that you are grateful for. Journaling can help you process your emotions, have a positive outlook, and help calm your mind.   

5. Focus on hope and kindness. It helps to focus on positive feelings during these difficult times. It is very inspiring to see how people have stepped up for each other in times of need.

  • Help others when you can, reach out to people who might be lonely and struggling, and exchange words of hope with others.

  • Remind yourself that there is still kindness in the world, and hope that this will all end one day. 

6. Work with your moods. The pandemic has been here for more than a year. A lot of its effects and consequences are known by now. 

  • Prepare yourself mentally for the worst that can happen, so that adverse events are accepted without surprise and anxiety. 

  • Try and observe your reactions and pattern to events, so you can know which event affects your mood adversely. This way, you can be better prepared to modify any behaviour that harms you and hence, can effectively manage your moods. 

If nothing helps, consider seeking help from a mental health professional about your issues. Remember, you are not alone, and things will not remain the same forever. 

Stay Happy! Stay Strong!

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.