Lockdown – Unlocking Happiness
From the Desk of the Counsellor:
Dr. Venika Krishna talks about mental health in the lockdown.
As we all know that the only way to combat this COVID-19 virus is ‘social distancing’, and our country is presently under Lockdown for 21 days. This means being trapped inside our houses, away from our peers and the world outside.
For most of us, these are unusual times, bringing mixed emotions, for it can be tough to sit at home 24*7, especially when we are out of the habit of sitting with our family members for such a long period. Elaborating mixed emotions, this lockdown may prove to be a challenge to our mental health, leading to anxiety, frustration, anger, irritability and eventually making us run out of patience! For those at home, the lockdown period can be like the family-time we often miss out on, but for some, it can be like the time brought upon you only to test your patience. In the latter case, things can be stressful when we might be checked upon all the time, our waking – sleeping time being under constant scrutiny, and being flooded with several queries regarding our habits and at times the dreaded ‘future’.
“Things are becoming quite boring and irritating. Only NETFLIX and Instagram are fun! My parents are so fed up with me that they find humour in anything I say. Any mistake and they say it’s all because of this phone of yours.” – A student at home.
“I´ve been reading a lot. Also, baking keeps me happy and I am helping Papa in his garden.” – A student at home.
“I don’t like staying at home for a long time and it’s a pain, surrounded by people, who neither understand you nor try to, even in this time. Still, I am working, doesn´t matter how much, in such conditions. I’ve completed an online course in SQL.” – A student at home.
“I can´t sleep, eat, study and I am mentally exhausted. I usually handle things but since the lockdown, I noticed that I am losing myself.” – Student based in P.G.
“I have always been interested in fashion, so I have started a project on that. During arguments with my dad, I have been able to confront him when he is being unreasonable. This has helped me a lot.” – A student coping with an aggressive father.
These are the testimonies of a few students on how they are coping with these circumstances. We need to accept the things as they are. We can feel down but not defeated. The only option we have is to come up with coping mechanisms and enhance our patience, which can prove to be the toughest victory of ours. Sharing a few tips to cope with this unprecedented situation and be in good physical and mental health:
- Set up a daily routine- Start your day with greeting your family members, followed by a lukewarm glass of water and then practising yoga/meditation/exercise.
- Set your daily goals – for course studies, work from home, reading novels, NETFLIX time, video-chatting, Instagram, virtual games. Engage in activities like music, dancing, playing Ludo and chess with your family members or even giving rest to your mom and taking charge of the kitchen for a day!
- Try to work out for 20 minutes in three slots, daily.
- Identify the triggers that make you feel low- This is the right time to reflect on your mental health and identify any triggers. Reach out virtually, someone you trust and who could be non-judgmental and lend you a patient ear. One such person is your Counsellor.
- Do not spend much time in news viewing and discussing the same.
- Stay connected with your friends, virtually.
- Eat healthy food, sleep more and smile – Most of the time, we undermine the value of these, but these play a significant role in our mental well-being.
Be grateful to small things, the big things and everything in-between. Remember, it might be stormy right now, but it can’t rain forever. So, let´s be strong and happily count our blessings for being with our family members, for there are people who are struggling to get back to their respective homes at this time. It can be the best time to connect with our value system, invest in our family bonds and initiate some life-time memorable happy moments.
Hence, a symbolic time for unlocking our happiness!