For well over a year, the world has been battling the pandemic caused by the Coronavirus. Millions across the world have been infected and an equal number have lost their lives across the globe. Covid-19 has caused immense distress and stress not just to the people who are infected but also to their near and dear ones. It is never easy to watch a loved one in suffering, and that causes a degree of anxiety, stress and impacts the mental balance of a person.

Mental Health Social Worker, author and translator Pooja Priyamvada explains the need for proper sleep to overcome the stress caused by the current pandemic.

“Adequate sleep is important for both physical as well as mental wellness. How much sleep each person needs or gets varies from individual to individual. Not just the duration of sleep but also the quality of sleep matters,” said Priyamvada.

With just about every State imposing a lockdown or a curfew, a vast majority of citizens are behind closed doors for an elongated duration. This extended incarceration of sorts upsets the mental balance of a person, especially in an urban setting where being outdoors and commuting is an integral part of their daily life.

“Restriction and loneliness can bring in anxiety and depression. One must stay connected with family, friends, peer group, via calls, and other media. Do things that are screen-free. Indulge in whatever means self care to you,” says Priyamvada.

She adds, “Meditation works for some, prayers and gratitude practices work for most. Keeping a journal, deep breathing, trying to help someone in whatever way also is good for your mental health.”

Another pitfall of the lockdown is the over exposure to social media while being confined indoors. Most people fall for the viral videos that are forwarded widely and mostly without verifying the facts. This causes or rather adds to the stress levels and induces panic.

“Social media is a double-edged sword, while those who feel lonely do feel connected and informed with it others might feel triggered and saddened by the voyeuristic nature of social media. In all cases keep usage under a limit and don't let it affect your ‘real life’,” says Priyamvada.

And it’s not just social media that adds to the stress levels. Television News channels also play a big role in creating a depressing situation. In such times, while having information is important, overindulging in news consumption can be a problem.

“Some people like to get updates from time to time and having that info makes them feel better, others might feel distressed. Same rules apply for social media,” says Pooja.

>> Focus on breathing

>> Focus on what you can control and not on what you can't

>> Stay away from triggers- Whatsapp groups, news, social media anything that distresses you

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