Beat those Lockdown Blues: Pandemic problems by Dr Anjali Chhabria
Beat those Lockdown Blues: Pandemic problems by Dr Anjali Chhabria

Hi. I am 43 years old living in Mumbai. I get very scared now a days whenever I face even a small health issue. I directly think ‘what if I have got the virus’. Sometimes, it is only a headache or even acidity. But I cannot help but stress. I keep asking my wife if I have the virus or I am alright. I am unable to handle this, and it is affecting my sleep now. Please help me.

Ans: The key is to remember your own words ‘small’ and ‘directly’. ‘Small’ is indicative the problem is not alarming and manageable. ‘Directly’ means that you are jumping to conclusion without enough basis. Remember, you have fallen ill before with these exact symptoms of body ache and gastric issues, and you were fine eventually.

There is no medical reason why it will be any different now. Get involved in activities and distract yourself away from these negative thoughts. Also, pay attention to what you ‘know’ – I know these are not symptoms of the virus, I know rest and change in diet will relax my symptoms etc. If the anxiety continues to persist, please contact a psychiatrist.

Hi. I am 24 years old, living alone. I have been managing everything on my own since there is no house help now. Sometimes it gets to me and I get overwhelmed. I have not been talking to my family a lot because I am not in good mood. I just feel like keeping to myself. I even cry at times and feel helpless. Can I do something to feel better?

Ans: The current circumstances can be overwhelming, boring and frustrating. I understand it must be physically strenuous for you. Recognise your efforts of managing your home independently to the best of your ability. One of the reasons to get overwhelmed is to try doing ‘everything’ properly.

Make it easier for yourself by applying short cuts - make food for few days and freeze it, find simpler recipes, do other chores alternate days. Use the saved time in activities that make you happy. Combine ‘have to do’ tasks with ‘want to do’ tasks.

For example, watch Netflix /listen to music while folding clothes. It is very important to not withdraw as talking to friends and family can help not to feel alone in your situation and vent out your overwhelming feelings. Finally, It is okay to take a break for couple of days from home chores.

I am a 32-year-old graphic designer working from home in the current lockdown. I am finding it hard to concentrate on my work and do not sit for long hours at once. I do not have any worries or do not feel sad or anything. So why is this happening? I do not even have too much housework load as I am lucky to have an in-house maid. What can I do to improve at work?

It is easier to get distracted at home with nearby tempting activities like television, games, books, etc. Especially because there is no supervision and lack of healthy competition around (other working colleagues). So, the physical environment may not be most conducive to work.

However, you can improve your efficiency, by having a fixed work time and breaks, creating a separate dedicated corner meant only to work, and keeping distractions away such as your tablets or books.

It is also a good idea to keep yourself accountable to a fellow colleague or friend, so you feel motivated to do your best so you can give them a positive report of your work for the day. Routine exercise also improves concentration.

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