Categories: Coronavirus

Dealing with Corona Stress

Corona! Corona! Corona!

Be sensitive people. Your panic and stress is contagious too!!!

The “C” word which has become even more dreadful than the original C (cancer) word. A small virus is playing havoc with minds, body, the economy of not just India but worldwide. It has united all nations big and small, rich and poor against the fight against this virus. It seems as if all of us are walking through an unending tunnel with no possibility of sunshine. What has happened to our species so busy with problem solving and philosophy seeking, that we have suddenly become prone to paranoia at a pandemic scale? People are in a zone of “pure distilled panic”. People are concocting disaster scenarios much faster than the multiplication cycle of the virus. I didn’t know that even masks could have their own fashion show. People are mistaking your innocent sneezing for a symptom of the malevolent bug. Now no one hears “God bless you” but rather they mentally say go away “Virus carrier You”.

Each one of us is experiencing a bunch of emotions like fear, anxiety, uncertainty, phobia, sadness, anger, isolation, confusion, irritability, uneasiness and generalized body aches. It is leading to reduced concentration, productivity, and efficiency. In fact, people are also experiencing a lot of financial stress because of unexpected medical costs, losing income, less salaries and because of hoarding supplies. It’s important to accept the current state of affairs and understand that life is going to be difficult and changed for uncertain days.

Humans are social animals. So measures as “social distancing” and home or hospital “quarantine” are driving people nuts. The psychological impact of quarantine can be very high resulting in a range of mental health concerns as anxiety, anger, and helplessness to sleep disturbances, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorders. Additional stressors are infection, frustration, boredom, inadequate food and other supplies, lack of proper information, financial loss and social stigma associated with the infection to name a few. Let’s all stop judging people who have travelled abroad. All of them are not carrying the bug. Rather let them follow the guidelines laid out by the government. Please understand they are also under tremendous mental stress. Medics are focussing on physical health but I feel mental health is important too and the online help of psychological counsellors should be sought to help these people cope with these situations.

All of us have to find out ways to deal with this unexpected situation. We have to take ownership of our own health and of our near and dear ones by wearing masks, frequent handwash using hand rubs and following proper sanitization protocols. Please don’t hide information about your travel or health issues. Revealing the information will keep you safe first. You have to mask yourself and wear all personal protective equipment as per need. Talk to your family and children and explain your situation to be at the forefront. Stay in the hospital only if you are taking care of these patients. This will keep your family safe.

The first and foremost tip to well-being is self-isolation and learn to love your own company. Do self-analysis and give more attention to your strengths and ability to manage yourself. Take care of your body and listen to it. Hydrate yourself well. Have lemon water and citrus fruits. Have a protein-rich diet in a limited amount. Eat healthily and don’t munch on unlimited supplies of popcorns and avoid being a couch potato and don’t put on weight. Limit intake of caffeine and alcohol.

Use your time away from the matrix to reconnect with the wisdom within. Follow a routine. Still get up and sleep at the same time. Change out of your pyjamas and dress nicely and shower daily. Exercise daily. Download some online workout or yoga apps. Practice meditation. Listen to calming, religious or romantic songs. Watch cartoon movies. Make a list of things to do throughout the day. Finish your pending projects. Break up your days into small parts and accomplish your goals through the day in an allotted time frame. Don’t keep on sitting on your bed throughout the day but change places in the house. Enjoy rising sun through your balcony. Don’t stay indoors in AC. Fight boredom and burnt out. Dabble with new recipes. Learn to knit and crochet. Read good books. Share books. Write poetry. Improve your painting skills. Put on your dance shoes.

Have some more family time. Play indoor games with family as ludo, snakes and ladders, Chinese Checkers, Chess, word finders, carom, Monopoly or “Chidiya Ud” to name a few. Be less complaining and be more appreciative. Develop gratitude. Stop pointing fingers at children. Rather compliment them for even their minor help. Delegate responsibilities to children. Teach them how to bake a cake. Be less judgemental of your spouses, in-laws and be more helping in household activities. Develop mutual respect. Create a world of non-fault finders. Let us be more loving, more giving, more forgiving, more flexible. Help others. Find ways to support elders in your condominiums by offering to run errands and collecting supplies for them. Have extended medical supplies for routine health problems as hypertension and joint pains.

Focus on positives. Stay away from negative news reports. Stay informed but limit your news and WhatsApp time. Journal your thoughts. Keep a gratitude journal and write 3 good things that happen throughout the day. Stay connected. Call people and ask about their well beings. Send text or voice messages. Make video or skype calls. Let people know that you care for them and they are precious. Send handwritten letters. Don’t overstock household goods and give paid leaves to your house helps. Please donate money to hospitals so that better healthcare facilities can be created and they can care for you more.

Look at the stars. Walkthrough your dreams. Make your own bucket list. And please don’t waste water and keep the tap running while washing hands. Don’t waste sanitizers, masks, paper tissues and use them judiciously. And also please spare a few minutes every day to appreciate your healthcare personnel, policemen, security guards, Airforce personnel, food and medicine vendors, policymakers and government officials and many such people who are risking their own lives to protect you. My big salute to them. Take good care of yourself. Each one of you is precious. Signing off now! Namaste!!

Dr. Indu Bansal Aggarwal, Director and Senior Consultant – Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Gurugram

Narayana Health

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