Mental Health Tips From Psychologist Kavita Yadav: Dealing With Isolation During Lockdown
The total number of Coronavirus cases in India increased to 29,435 after 1,543 fresh Covid-19 cases were reported in the past 24 hours. The rate at which the positive cases are increasing in India is a matter of great worry. People have been staying indoors for many weeks now and it isn’t that easy to stay at home as we thought it to be. Especially, when you’re fully aware of what’s happening outside, how so many people are going through this global deadly pandemic, right? At this time, if there’s something that’s getting affected the most is our mental health but nobody really talks about it. Therefore, we talked to a Psychologist Kavita Yadav from Delhi NCR to understand how this situation can impact our mental peace and what all we should do to deal with it.
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What Is Anxiety?
Psychologist: See, it’s not very difficult to find out if a person has anxiety. Especially at this time, when everyone and everything is under lockdown. Staying at home for long and that too with a restriction can affect a person’s mental peace a lot. Right now, people are really worried about what’s going to happen next like what will happen to their jobs, what if they also catch this infection or someone from their family does, mainly for those who are staying away from their loved ones, and children are worried about their exams, results. So it is being manifested in various ways in individuals nowadays. So we need to make sure that we are taking care of each other and keeping them engaged at all times.
What Major Change Has Lockdown Brought To People’s Lives?
Psychologist: There are many. But the foremost thing is people have started feeling lonely, even if they are staying with their families. They are feeling lonely and isolated since this lockdown has brought a drastic change in their daily routines. Now they are missing their morning walks, meeting and chilling with friends, going to malls, parks and family outings, exercising, seeing new faces at different places and a lot more. Basically, their social life has come to a standstill. This pandemic has come all of a sudden and people were not prepared for something like this. So that’s the reason that everyone is feeling shattered with what happened.
What Should People Do To Take Care Of Their Mental Health During Lockdown? Can you Suggest 5-6 Ways?
Psychologist: Since we’re not going out at all, our physical activity has completely stopped. Therefore, it’s good that people take out at least 15-20 minutes in a day and just do some exercise.
1. Exercise Every Day
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By exercise, I don’t mean that you have to do full-fledged exercises or do it for one hour or so, what I mean is that people should do something to bring out a movement in their body. See, everyone has a biological rhythm and biological clock, which, during this lockdown has badly disturbed. So everyone should ensure that they do some stretching, breathing exercises on a daily basis. Even walking in your room for a certain time is good. This will bring a rhythm, a movement in our body and ultimately, our body releases happy hormones which take away all our stress.
The way Coronavirus has taken over the world, news channels and digital channels are not left with any option, but to focus on this topic and give updates on the same 24*7. But I want to ask ‘Why be on social media all the time?’ It’s good to stay updated and follow the news and developments but spending a lot of time around social media or TV can actually disturb you mentally. It’s better to stay away or at least spend less time there for your own mental health.
3. Make A Routine
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Before lockdown, everybody had a particular routine of going through the day. But after lockdown, most people are not following any routine. Please create a timetable and a schedule for yourself and understand that this is not a normal extended weekend where we have come for a vacation. So make a schedule and follow it thoroughly. Most of us have to work from home. It’s good to keep yourself busy. Just get ready in the morning like you used to do earlier and sit in your dedicated space where you can do your office work. Apart from that, this is a good opportunity to spend time with your family and kids. And about watching news, fix a time in the morning and evening that you’ll watch the news, that too just to update yourself. Having a routine is very important to get through this.
4. Do Not Overthink & Panic
I understand that the situation is getting worse day by day. But please understand that overthinking won’t help. Stop thinking excessively or being pessimistic. We all are together in this and the situation is the same for everyone. Please try to spend every day with happiness and hope within you and if you’re making plans about the future, then make some real and productive ones. Work on something which you can commence after the lockdown ends. Do something that keeps you happy and engaged in this period.
Remember that this is the time we can make most of, for almost everything. It’s the digital era and we should be an active part of it. With the help of technology, we can see each other without even meeting. For those who are staying away, they should do video calls to their family and even friends on a daily basis. This will bring them positivity and strength to get through this tough time. Also, with the help of technology, how easy it’s become that those games which we used to play in our childhood are now available in the form of apps. If your children don’t like playing those board games and they’re more interested in playing them on mobiles, or ipads then you can also join them there. Playing online has its own fun. Then there are games that can be played with your extended families too like there’s an app called ‘Play Antakshari’. You can indulge in all those activities with your family, your kids and you’ll see how the time passes by. Doing such things will make you feel energized and rejuvenated and moreover, you will relive your childhood. It’s time to be a kid with your kid.
6. Best Time To Learn A New Skill
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Let’s try to look at the positive side of this situation. This lockdown is giving us opportunity to learn and teach many new skills. As they say ‘It’s better late than never’, so learn that skill that you always wanted to learn but didn’t get time. It can be anything like cooking, painting, decorating your room, writing a novel or a book etc. We won’t get this time again and therefore, let’s make most of it, right? Also, it’s very important to be thankful and grateful to God for providing us food, family, good health and house. We should all have an attitude of gratitude.
When Will One Know That It’s Time To See A Psychologist?
Psychologist: See, everyone is irritated right now. But if you feel alone and sad in the morning and by evening, your mood gets better then it’s understandable and there’s no need to worry. But if ten days or weeks passed by, and your mood is still the same. You’re sad, feeling lonely and getting angry over anything then it’s high time that you see an expert. There are people like me who are working into this field, you can call and talk to us and understand why you’re feeling like that and how you can get yourself out of this situation because even today, in a country like India, there lies a big stigma about mental health. And people feel shy and embarrassed talking about it. But let me tell you that there’s nothing to be ashamed of. This is just like any wound on your body for which you should immediately go and see a doctor. It’s time we take mental health seriously.
Any Word Of Advice?
Psychologist: Just one piece of advice. I’d like to leave with a thought that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s just stay positive, take care of each other and follow the guidelines that are being given by the government and experts from time to time. Stay home and stay strong!