Novel coronavirus has indeed augmented the already stressful human life. While COVID-19 in itself a serious disease as it has forced millions of people across the world to stay inside their homes it has also contributed towards elevating mental health issues. We might be amusing ourselves with the virtual zoom parties and frequent cooking experiments, but the reality is that nobody knows what’s yet to come, and this is enough to push us in a pool of anxiety and doubt.

While there’s not much we as the common public can do apart from following the rules to control the situation, there’s one thing we can ascertain – taking care of our mental health. So, what should you do? We spoke to two mental health professionals, here is what they have to say.

Talk To People Around You

Netflix and Chill are cool, but while you’re battling the anxiety posed by this pandemic, so are people around you. While there’s uncertainty all around, feeling anxious is natural, and hence, frequent positive conversations might be helpful. Dr Shushil Gupta, a psychiatrist in Kanpur who deals especially with depression treatment, says, “Many times, smiling faces make us infer that the person is happy, and hence they do not get the type of support they need. This is where small, frequent conversations play their role. Since many who need immediate assistance for mental health might not be able to access it, all of us have to work as a counsellor for each other. That’s the best you can do.”

Also Read: Cut Down The Extras: Boosting Personal Health During COVID-19

Stay Away From Movies/Shows That Augment Anxiety

With the lockdown being imposed throughout the country, many of us got the much wanted Me-Time. But how we use it also affects our mental health. My idea of watching movies like Bird Box and Contagion was disastrous. Believe me, I experienced the worst form of anxiety after watching these two movies, and hence decided to re-watch shows/movies I love. “Movies are definitely the best medium to spend your time in this lockdown. But the type of content that you expose your mind to is also important. I would suggest watching the comedy genre specifically, while this might be genres like romance for many. Reading books too is a great idea, but again, genres like philosophy might do well for your mental health. Strictly stay away from horror movies/ movies that depict the possible scenario of a pandemic like COVID,” adds Dr Gupta.

We Need More Responsive Mental Health Doctors

During this time, when the country is in a state of lockdown, mental health takes a backseat.  Dr Padmini Jha, a psychiatrist based in the Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh says, “Most of my patients are young boys and girls. Owing to the ongoing lockdown, they couldn’t visit me, and given the current situation, their mental health is getting affected. So I started Zoom sessions with them, along with speaking to them on voice calls. I believe, more mental health doctors should come forward and reach out to the people in need. The trauma of this pandemic will be much more dangerous than we’re anticipating”

Also Read: Dr Breen’s Suicide: Let’s Talk About Health Care Workers’ Mental Health

Eat healthy

“The COVID-19 Lockdown has highlighted the worst things that can take place in someone’s life. Not only have people lost their jobs, but some kids aren’t going to schools anymore and there are youngsters, who either lost their jobs or are waiting for one or the other exam results. Amidst all this, it is obvious for a person to feel anxious. But at the same time, you must train your mind to unhook from unkind thoughts. Eat healthily and think positive,” adds Dr Jha.

Picture credit: HT

Also Read: Could I Have COVID-19? How This Thought Led Me To Constant Anxiety

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