Beat your Lockdown Blues: All your mental health queries answered by Dr Anjali Chhabria
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Hi. I’m 25 years old and stuck in another city away from my home and parents due to the lockdown. Sometimes I feel so helpless and sad because I’m all alone and cannot meet my friends/ family. I do everything that I can to keep busy. I am working from home and that takes up lot of time. But my mood is still very low. Please help me.

Social distancing is hard in itself, and facing it alone can become overwhelming and frustrating. I understand you miss your loved ones and the support from your parents in person. While physical presence is irreplaceable, it’s probably useful and consoling to focus on how virtual platform is keeping us all connected through this. It’s important you share positive and light moments with your parents on video calls and move away from discussing virus related topics and routine things. Spend time with them playing online games, watching movie together and having fun conversations about childhood, etc. Practise ‘self-hug’ together on video to experience more warmth and affection. If the problem persists, please contact a counsellor to help you through this.

I’m a 48-year-old empty nester. I worry that I spend too much time on screen. How much is too much? Everybody tells me it’s okay, but I have had such a good routine like going for a walk, meeting friends regularly, shopping for home, etc. Now that I’m home, I don’t know what else to do. Will I get addicted to the screen this way? Please guide.

Since the times are changing, we must adjust our lifestyle choices too. Some things which were not acceptable before, are now the new normal, like work from home, etc. So it’s important that you consciously change your patterns and find alternate ways of doing activities at home that you used to do before, for example, exercise at home. Form new habits such as reading, art, music, etc. to reduce your screen time. Furthermore, gadgets are the only way to keep in touch with loved ones, so your in-person time has merely turned into ‘virtual time’. As long as you are attending to your daily responsibilities and forming a new healthy routine off and on gadget, there is nothing to worry.

I get angry when I read about people taking it so easy and roaming on roads as if nothing has happened. How can they be so ignorant? Or take it for granted? Can’t they see what’s happening to the number of cases? I can’t help and think we are all going to die and no matter what I do, I’m not going be saved from this. I want to stop thinking this way. It’s consuming me. What should I do?

I understand your frustration and worry. The reality is you are doing all that is in your control. The rest is not your choice nor in your control. So, acknowledging that there are all kind of people out there — frontliners to protect us and also ignorant who put us at risk — will help accept that what’s happening is part of life. It shows that situations are not perfect. What you can control is follow lockdown rules strictly and stay away from areas where people roam freely. You can also channelise your anger into spreading awareness and influencing others to follow social distancing. Moreover, watch stories of the kind and brave individuals who are positively contributing to aid this situation. It’s important we look at things objectively and in totality and not just one side.

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