Beat your Lockdown Blues: All your mental health queries answered by Dr Anjali Chhabria
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Hi, I’m a 40-year-old female from Mumbai. I have two kids. Ever since the lockdown was imposed, I have been feeling anxious. I keep worrying about my kids and think what if my kids and I get infected with the coronavirus. I have been taking the necessary precautions but nothing seems to help. How do I tackle anxiety? What should I do?

Ans: It is normal and common to feel anxious given the current circumstances. The most important thing that will help is to remind yourself that you are doing everything in your control to protect yourself and family. Focus on the fact that you are following social distancing, and all the precautions diligently and also ensuring that your kids are following it. This is the key to feeling secure. Restrict watching news excessively, talk to friends and family about routine stuff, and bring up old good memories. Indulge in relaxing activities such as meditation, listening to music, playing games etc. All of this will help lighten your mood. If the anxiety continues and is affecting your sleep, work and health, then please contact your local psychiatrist or a counsellor for professional guidance.

Hi, I have been working from home since the lockdown. My work is mainly on the desktop, so managing it hasn’t been a problem. But I have to push myself harder to work, which was never the case back in the office days. Sometimes, I don’t feel like working at all. These feelings and procrastination make me feel guilty. I was never this way before, I was always dedicated and responsible towards my work. Please guide me.

Ans: Our mind has been tuned to ‘unwind’ at home and relax after we have a tough hard day at work. So it is okay to feel lethargic, lazy and less motivated to work while working from home. Try not to be so hard on yourself to be ‘productive’ as you used to be. The current situation has impacted work life and work culture of people across the globe and getting back to the ‘normal’ working track won’t be so easy. Remind yourself that you are doing the best, given the present scenario. Try to shift your focus and indulge in recreational activities. Utilise your time well. Also, avoid labelling yourself ‘irresponsible’, ‘unproductive’ or ‘useless’. Ask yourself if you have finished the given work or pending work or have you been pushing yourself to do well etc. If yes, that makes you a dependable and responsible employee.

My partner and I have been living together for a year. Everything was wonderful before the lockdown. But now, we are in each other’s faces all the time. How do we continue to have a good relationship when we don’t get space and must deal with each other the whole day? It’s getting very claustrophobic. I don’t want this lockdown to affect our relationship. Please help!

Ans: The current lockdown situation has forced us to spend more time with each other at home. This can be a difficult adjustment to make. This shift means accepting our loved ones even more than before. Try to have divided space and time where it’s only ‘me-time’ and try not to do all activities together because you are physically together. Be creative and have date nights to keep the romance going. With respect to dealing with annoying habits, remind yourself that your partner is dealing with yours too, and it’s a matter of individual differences and preferences, as nobody is intentionally trying to frustrate one another. Try to compliment and appreciate each other more. If the problems still persist, please consider marital counselling.

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