Docs offer tips to beat stay-home anxieties

Docs offer tips to beat stay-home anxieties

Confinement at home is causing panic and stress among many. The trick is to stay focused and calm, say mental health experts

After the state government announced a shutdown due to a rise in Covid-19 positive cases, many Bengalureans are staying indoors. Many professionals have been given a work from home option till March 31 and schools are closed. The uncertainity and fear is causing stress among many citizens, and can also strain one’s relationships.

Akash Mathew (name changed on request), an IT analyst, has been working from home since the last week.

“On a daily basis, I used to spend more than two hours in traffic but now I have more time to spend with my children and family. But my productivity and emotional well-being are suffering as I am not able to balance things,” he says.

Akash adds that all of his office and family WhatsApp groups are “flooded with news about Covid-19, which is tiring”.  

Apoorva E, a psychologist, points out that “so much of our energy is focussed on negative thoughts and possible threats that we are forgetting to focus on the fact that we are safe and away from the virus”. The stress is eating people out, she adds.

“There are people who are panicking about the situation. Such fear-mongering is not needed. One should focus on following precautions and basic hygiene,” she says.

When one has no control over their situation, it is bound to be frustrating. “The uncertainty of when the situation will be under control is adding to it. Just stay calm, healthy and prepare yourself to get back to your packed schedules soon.”

“As a family, keep aside other conflicts and motivate each other through the tough times. If one is feeling anxious, reaching out to a mental health professional is a good idea,” she says.

Social media is a great place to stay connected but do not fall for fake news or conspiracy theories that are doing the rounds, she adds.

Dr Neeraj Raj B, consultant psychiatrist, Aster RV Hospital, says that being confined in a space can disturb a person.

“You cannot visit the places you used to on a daily basis, which can be frustrating. So it is important to focus on some productive activity, like yoga or a workout session,” he
says.     

An outlet for venting out your emotions is also necessary, as crisis situation take a toll on one’s mental health.

“Watch out for signs. Check on a family member who is not eating or sleeping or making conversations. Also watch out for those who are getting irritated or binge eating. People who are vulnerable to anxiety could get stressed or get panic attacks during these times,” he says. 

Seeing the confinement as a way to reconnect with family is the best way, says Tasneem Nakhoda, psychotherapist for emotional well being at Tattva Counseling. 

“In the last few weeks, many have spoken about how they are more productive while at home. Couples are making use of this time together. Larger families are following a pattern: the working hours of an individual should be strictly followed, after which time is spent with family,” she says.     

Along with balancing your personal and professional life, it is also important to carve out some me-time. “One should devote some time to doing things that they enjoy. Everything doesn’t have to include family,” she says. 

There is enough information available online, which helps with how to keep
children occupied, adds Tasneem.  

Most families have members who are worried about the pandemic, however, it’s important to stay calm. “Understanding how the virus is spreading and following precautions helps a lot. A line has to be drawn though. One should not constantly keep sanitising themselves as that could cause more harm. Accept the situation and avoid researching too much about the disease,” Tasneem says.

 

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