Beat your Lockdown Blues: All your mental health queries answered by Dr Anjali Chhabria
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The extension of lockdown has started to get to me. I feel so scared because there is so much news everyday. Half of them aren’t even true. So many different opinions about how long this will go on, what services will open up or not. I want to stop thinking about all this. And just try and have a regular day. What should I do? Please help me.

Yes, receiving so much information daily can be overwhelming especially when it involves speculative news. We are facing this pandemic for the first time, and there will be trial and errors, change in plans and improvisations along the way. So, expect the unexpected, and do not fix your mind on a particular date or week for the lockdown to get uplifted. Also, turn off your news app notifications, do not believe any news until confirmed with official sources, take a break from news completely like a weekend off and return back with a fresh mind. Consciously change the topic from pandemic to other lighter conversations with friends and family. Use Internet to watch fun stuff and learn a new skill, instead of keeping an eye on what’s happening or trying to analyse the future.

I’m a 24-year-old freelance writer. My boss used to be very happy with my work, but now snaps at me a lot. And even passes snarky comments. I have been so co-operative, working without even getting paid last month and I don’t even know if I will get paid next month. I’m feeling low, but I don’t think leaving the job is a good idea during this time. How do I deal with my boss?

I understand working hard and sincerely without pay and boss’s current behaviour is probably making you feel under-appreciated. This is a difficult time period for all of us, including employers as well as employees. His/ her emotional reaction could be a sign of stress. Perhaps having a frank conversation with your boss could help. Even empathising with her/ him that you notice a change in their behaviour and asking if things are okay, can lead to better understanding between you both. Remind yourself his/ her comments are not a reflection of you as a worker. Vent out to friends or write down your thoughts and feelings to help you further.

Hi. I’m a mother of a 15-year-old and an 11-year-old. My son who is younger seems to be fine, but my daughter is having a tough time being stuck at home and not able to meet friends. She misses her friends a lot specially because they were in same school, tuitions and met atleast once a week at someone’s home. How can I help and cheer her up?

Social distancing is especially difficult for a teenager as typically, their life revolves around spending time with friends. You may want to go easy on her screen time so she can spend more time with her peers virtually. Also use this time to bond more as a family in light hearted activities such as games, movies etc. Indulge in things typically she would do with her friends like make up nights, themed sleepovers, Bollywood conversations, sharing secrets, and so on. You could even plan a surprise of videos from her friends or encourage your daughter to talk about and re-live some happy memories from the past with her friends. Make use of physical affection even more than usual. Share with her how you miss your own friends and what you are doing to feel better.

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