Indore: Coronavirus outbreak has taken a toll on our mental health and the most affected individuals are parents followed by children and teachers. Most parents are facing double the stress due to covid-19, which begins from worry about their family to everyday tasks.
On World Mental Health Day, we discuss various issues and bring in expert suggestions.
This year’s World Mental Health Day, on October 10, comes at a time when our daily lives have changed considerably as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Given past experience of emergencies, it is expected that the need for mental health and psychosocial support will substantially increase in the coming months and years.
This is why the goal of this year’s World Mental Health Day campaign is increased investment in mental health.
As per figures of National Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Sciences (NIMHANS), there is a 70 per cent increase in the number of patients suffering from depression and obsessive compulsive disorder due to the coronavirus.
Uncertainty about the future and worry about their family members is first to contribute to this rising stress. Other than this, parents are tackling several responsibilities resulting in poor mental health and extremely low patience.
Parenting troubles, possible outlets
“Troubles seem never ending, I don’t even realise when the day flies away leaving me feel exhausted and yet not satisfied,” Jhanvi Khare, a homemaker, shared. She added this is not just her but the struggle for her entire group.
“Being homemaker already means taking care of numerous tasks and roles, and now, we have addition of playing secretary to my husband, friend and teacher to my kids and nurse to my mother-in-law,” Jhanvi said.
Sharing the situation of a working women, HR manager Ananya Misra said, “It’s like a battleground in my home, because all of us are working from home, children are studying via online classes…Often, it feels like I have no time to breath.”
However, struggling with the situation, she took advice from a psychiatrist and is incorporating delegation of tasks to every family member.
“Working from home feels like working without a break, wherein I shutting out my family leaving me with guilt and sadness,” Himanshu Dhiman, chief executive officer at a private company, said.
Taking a break from his work and winning over coronavirus, owner of an IT firm Avinash Sethi is working in the kitchen and on canvas half the time in his day. “I am trying to spend more time with my daughter, as that’s truly relaxing for me,” he said.
New Normal for Teachers
Teachers have adopted the new scenario of teaching online. However, it comes with the challenge of not only teaching students but also proving their knowledge in front of parents.
“Conducting online class is very tedious task. Generally, we teach with personal touch in offline classrooms,” Neeraj Motwani, a mathematics teacher, said. He added that there are times, when kids are in bed attending the class.
“Sometimes, they just wake up right before the class and are yawning throughout. These moments were unimaginable for us, and now are challenging,” Motwani said.
A PGT teacher Dilip Sawaner said, “I have been working as a teacher since 20 years. Online classes and coronavirus outbreak has been a big crisis for most teachers.” He added that students are not attentive, network fails, limited access to laptops and e-technologies, etc.
What was challenging in the beginning is also a motivator for teachers now.
“As a consequence of online classes, parents are praising efforts of teachers. Parents can also see how teachers are working hard and ensuring effective teaching. Parents didn't know how a teacher teaches until now,” Sawaner said.
“I am studying in class 9th and this is one of the most important years to build my base knowledge for class 10th board examination, but it is difficult to comprehend mathematics in online classes,” Pratham Sarkar, said. He added that screen time also results in headaches for him.
“I am not accustomed to watching television for hours either and with spectacles, it is difficult to stare at the screen most the day than into books,” Pratham said.
Another student who wants to become a doctor Prerna Chouhan said, “This is my board year and though, I might get concession and clear CBSE board, but what about the entrance!” She added that studying without guidance from teachers in offline classes is taking a toll on her study plan.
“I feel like everything is messed up around me, I am not sure how to study, balance my life and all this is aggravated as I cannot even relax and de-stress with my friends,” Chinmaya Shreenath said.
Suggested stress outlets to de-stress…
· Segregate work space and organise your home in a way to have peaceful and fun corners
· Practise yoga and meditation with your children
· Set an hour free every day where work talk is banned
· Listening to music is very relaxing. Reading can be rewarding for many. Enjoying a hobby can make life more fun.
· Research has shown that exercising several times a week (even just a walk) can reduce tension and stress.
· Don’t rely on your memory. Write down appointment times, when to pick up the laundry, when library books are due, etc. This will allow your mind to be free.
· Relax your standards. The world will not end if the grass doesn’t get mowed this weekend.