Beat your Lockdown Blues: All your mental health queries answered by Dr Anjali Chhabria

Hello I am a 23-year-old guy and a guitarist by profession. I used to get small gigs, which helped me pay house bills, etc. But with COVID-19 restrictions, I am not getting any gigs and have been stressed about it. My parents send money when I fall short, but I am ashamed to ask. I want to figure out things for myself and find sustainable work. How do I go about emotionally here?

Ans: It must be tough on you professionally to experience a break of this sort. Finding a different line of work involves thinking about what options you wish to explore. So to begin with listing down options you might want to try till situation improves and you go back to performing at gigs. Once that clarity is sought you might also see a way forward. Also, technology has made world come closer, you can reach out to online platforms to host you for their events and hold virtual gigs. It is worth exploring and ensuring that guitar and you don’t lose touch.

I used to live in a rented 2 BHK apartment when the lockdown started. I was recently asked to vacate the apartment due to non-payment of rent. I lost my job two months ago and am struggling to make ends meet. I have no place to go as my family lives in Rajashthan. I am facing a lot of backlash from everywhere and I don’t wish to go back home. What can I do here?

Ans: There seem to be a multi-fold problems here — losing job, house and fear of moving back home. If we break this down, finding a job would help you immensely in avoiding the other two problems. But, since that is becoming an issue at the moment and you don’t have a place to settle elsewhere, then think of this as a temporary break. Perception matters and the more you look at it from a negative perspective, the more bad it looks. You can take some time off and not worry about where the next meal will come from or whether or not you will have roof over head. Taking one day at a time and approaching this seems a feasible option here.

Last week my fiancé met with a small accident and broke his arm. A few days later, his mother tested positive for COVID-19. Last Monday, my father fell down from the stairs and injured himself. I have been dealing with one bad news after another. I am stressed not being able to care for them all, and also keep anticipating the worst. Any minute problem and I have a full blown anxiety. This doesn’t feel normal. Please help!

Ans: I am really sorry to hear about all the unfortunate events happening at your end. It must be stressful to be handling one tragedy after another. The anxiety seems to be taking over rationality as the events are continuous. Let’s pause a little and try and regain some perspective. These events are related to people you love and, thus, have a potential to create panic as it is a threat to them. With a pause here you will realize there is very little you could have done to avoid the accidents or misfortune events. The best you can do is take good care till they recover, and more importantly, also of your own well-being. Delegate when necessary and take help of those around you as well.

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