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Lockdown is taking a toll on our sanity. What can we do to guard our mental health?

We know that people are dying because of coronavirus and the number of deaths continues to rise. We also know that social distancing and lockdown are temporary measures to slow down the spread. But why are we seeing people die because of lockdown, the solution?

News of suicides during this period when the world is trying to survive the pandemic has left the entire country in shock. Citizens are panicking and are scared; this emotion, in turn, is leading to desperation. Reports suggest that suicide is the leading reason for over 300 “non-coronavirus deaths” in India due to misery triggered by the lockdown. This is an alarming threat of a mental health calamity.

Health experts are recommending everyone to self-isolate in order to avoid risking one’s life. But in isolation, many people cannot help but feel low. Stress, anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, frustration, and mood swings happen to be rather common these days.

COVID – 19 has had an impact on people from various countries. And all of us need to take care of our mental well-being while continuing to protecting ourselves from getting infected. Here are a few tips for staying mentally healthy during the pandemic: 

1.       Zero in on your own needs and feelings. Take up healthy activities to keep yourself occupied. Engage in activities you like doing alone. You can use this time to build a more healthy routine, exercise regularly, sleep well, and eat healthy food.  You can learn a new skill or simply excel in that video game you love. Watching movies can not only help you kill time but also it can help you be positive. You can watch motivational movies about survival to help keep up your spirit.



2.      Helping others can benefit both the one receiving support and the helper. You can contact your neighbor to ask about their well-being and can enquire whether they need any extra assistance. Helping others while taking all precautionary measures can help create unity as well as solidarity in addressing the pandemic together.



3.      Try to create a daily routine and follow it. Create a timetable and fix your time for bed, meals, exercise, and work. Limiting your physical social contact is vital, but stay connected to others via telephone, social media, or video conferencing. You can schedule a zoom call with your friends and family every week. Don’t forget to add this to your timetable.    



4.      Minimize listening to news about coronavirus outbreak that makes you anxious. You could fix how often you would be seeking updates; I would recommend limiting it to two to three times a day. We often come across fake news and rumors, and so it is important to get the facts from trusted sources.



5.       Be kind to all those who are affected. These people require our support. These are people who are simply ‘being treated for COVID-19’. We should be careful not to refer to them as ‘diseased’ or ‘victims’ and instead, we must do out bit to reduce the stigma as these people will continue to live with their family and job after recovering.



6.      Take up the task of amplifying positive images of people who have experienced COVID-19 and recovered. If such a member is willing to share his experience with the community, try to spread the story. Optimism is contagious. Pass it on.



7.       Respect the healthcare workers who are risking their health to support the people affected with COVID-19. Recognize the role they play in saving lives and keeping your loved ones safe.


-Ishani Singh