How to take care of your mental health during lockdown

By Paridhi Rathore


You know the feeling of being constantly tired? The feeling of not being able to sleep or sleeping a lot than usual; not being able to get out of your bed? The feeling of unconsciously shaking your legs until you irritate the person sitting besides you? The feeling of being tired without doing anything, the feeling of not being okay. Your brain shouting and telling you that "I am not Okay!!" Please don't ignore these signs.


We have all experienced a feeling of nervousness before a big event like butterflies in stomach, and with that nervousness comes an apprehensive behaviour of passing around, biting on our lips and nails, bouncing on our legs etc. But when this nervous behavioural pattern takes over our lives, it is termed as anxiety. Sometimes anxious people may also suffer from depression and vice versa. When a person has suffered from deep trauma or other hardships that might lead them to feel sad, lonely, scared, hopeless, unmotivated most of the time, then it is evident that they are suffering from depression.


Anxiety and depression are mental illnesses, that should be taken seriously. Cases of depression may lead a person to commit suicide. A person suffering from depression might even find it difficult to get out of their bed or do simple everyday things. If a person is having both anxiety and depression not only they lack motivation but they also live in constant fear of missing out on things in their lives which makes it even worse for them.

Talking about it to a licensed therapist or counsellor can help people to deal with it and help to a great extent in their lives.


Depression and anxiety is just like any other disease, this goes without saying ofcourse but some people need to address the fact that they are not okay and they might need help. Being scared of ourselves and our society often tends to make people keep these things to themselves.


Please talk. Talk about what you're feeling. Reach out. Talk to a friend, to your siblings, your parents or just vent out to your pets.

You know the feeling when you drink a lot or eat to the point that you can't speak, and then the moment you vomit, you feel relieved and free? That's how you feel when you finally let it all out. Talking will of course not make your pain go away entirely, but it will make you easier to live with it.

"Ghusmat Manachi Hitguj Aamchyashi" meaning "speak your heart out" is an initiative taken by Richa Bagde, Piyush Herode, Shradha Desai and Akshay Thakare and team for people like me and you stuck in lockdown with our own thoughts, with no escape. They are professional counsellors and have come to the rescue!



"It's definitely not an 'organisation' in today's date." Akshay said. "In the very first week of lockdown we started seeing red flags through people's social media activities. People were online at midnight, more. We instantly realised that this will be an alarming situation in the upcoming days, if not stopped now" he added.

So, their team started a free of cost helpline addressing issues of mental health concern. "Reaching out to people not receiving these kind of essential services was our main objective"


Divided into two modules- 1) Tele counselling- free of cost helpline and 2) Fb live with mental health experts and psychologists.


"The calls we receive are 60-70% Covid-19 related and the rest are actually related to mental health. People of all age groups are contacting us and the best part is; we are getting positive responses from our clients."


India’s public landscape has transformed dramatically over the last couple of months, with the most prolonged lockdown that the present generation can remember. Declared on March 24, 2020, the lockdown ensured that hundreds of millions of people were effectively confined to home, except when they ventured out, armed with a self-attested affidavit, to stock up on essentials.


While this may have been effective in helping to curb the spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in India, it has not, perhaps, been conducive to the emotional and mental health of some groups.

"This global pandemic and lockdown is triggering mental health issues" Richa Bagde said in the interview with The Colourboard.


Why?


Because the mindset of us fellow people has changed. Us being used to living our structured life has now rounded up and landed to survival.The world is locked down in their homes to safeguard their own lives. We are no longer living, we are surviving in this unstructured entity and vicious cycle of watching the covid-19 cases go up everyday, wearing a protection on your face each time you step out and sanitise yourself. People are losing hope at this period of uncertainty.


No jobs and financial security, people betting their crazy assumptions on when the pandemic will be over and the upcoming recession has lead to people become more and more anxious.


"What are the red flags we have to find in order to see if a person is not mentally healthy?"

- People being quieter than usual.

- social withdrawal.

- loss in appetite

- blank expression on the face. Struggle to engage in any kind of activity or conversation.

- being distant than usual.

- apathetic about things.

- no pleasure out of anything.

- finding it hard to get out of the bed.

- feeling tired.


These are some of the many signs to look out for.

According to statistics from WHO it is said that women are more prone to be mentally ill. But it's mostly because our society has always labelled men as the alpha of our house who are always understood to be macho and strong. Men expressing their emotions and feelings are told to "man up" and this frame of mind has led them to not express their feelings or seek help.

The problem is that too often teens with mental illnesses are dismissed as "teenagers" women as "emotional" and men are told to "man up." People's problems are denied. It's a huge request to all the people out there to come out, speak up and seek help if you genuinely don't feel okay. Your emotional sense makes total sense given what you have been through.


It's not always going to be your winning season. Sometimes it's your practice season. Sometimes it's your loss and refocus season. Sometimes it's even your off season. So don't you go and compare any of your seasons with someone else's and give up before it's your time to shine.

People, it's really important that you take care of yourself as much as you do of others. Make your mental health a priority. Healing looks good on you!


Paridhi Rathore is an Intern with The Colourboard, she is currently pursuing her Bachelors in Mass Media.

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