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The Wellness Mantra: Balancing Mental and Emotional Health During the Lockdown

“Mental and emotional health problems are the biggest risk at present. Mental health is relating to thoughts while emotional health is feelings. These in turn lead to physical health problems. To manage the emotions of people it is important for people to have someone to listen to them without bias – their family members, friends, their healthcare provider or somebody who is ready to listen. We have certain tools and techniques for our patients to beat the present situation and maintain their mental & emotional health”

Dr Reshma Sagari

Wellness Doctor

With very few souls on the roads and social distancing being the only mantra at the moment, many of us are now experiencing the pangs of being inside the four walls.

And this is natural, as suddenly the people are living a life that is dramatically different from what they lived about a month ago – the life before COVID-19.

Who had ever imagined that the world that was running nonstop in its mad rush for survival and ambition would all of a sudden come to a standstill!

While we all are aware that staying indoors is inevitable for our health and that of others in slowing the pandemic and breaking the chain, it is also true that the lockdown has impacted our life in a big way. It has particularly affected the mental health of those who are clueless about what they should do with the ample spare time at their disposal or of those who are struggling to balance the blurring line between personal and professional time. Even if most of us are working from home, our travel time and interaction with people have been cut down completely.

Besides, there is constant fear of not being able to cope up with the situation, availability of essential items, increase in unemployment, financial crisis, rent, EMI…the list is endless. All these are taking a toll on the person’s mental and emotional health. Not everyone is able to face the lockdown and keep themselves occupied. Mental health of people is hindering, especially those who are away from home, living alone and are unable to go back home.

Stress is getting aggravated due to a change in routine that people have been following since years and in addition some may have no one to talk to except for on social media. People are panicking also because of excess information through news and social media that is causing different feelings such as loneliness, fear, anxiety and uncertainty.

In such a situation doctors need to be equipped with tools and techniques to help patients face the current challenge. Doctors can introduce their patients to many such methods like different breathing techniques to calm them down, writing gratitude journal, positive affirmations, positive self-talk and the like. Such methods can help people manage their emotions and keep mental and physical health in check. We also recommend meditation, yoga or some light floor exercises.

Techniques for Calmness and Emotional Balance

The benefits of breathing right are aplenty. Different breathing techniques or pranayama help in maintaining peace of mind as well as heals or prevents many physical ailments like body pain. Deep breathing supplies sufficient oxygen to our brains that we normally don’t get due to stress. Generally, when we are stressed or frustrated, we take shorter breaths which do not supply sufficient oxygen to our brain cells making the panic even worse. In such a case, you can try techniques like Anulom Vilom (Nadi Shodhana Pranayama) and Kapalbhati to start with.

Another great way to keep your emotional health in check is writing a gratitude journal. Writing a gratitude journal can be very helpful and can initiate positive feelings in these trying times.

Come on, we all have many things to be grateful to. Many people may be wanting to live the life we are living. Take a notebook/diary/notepad and a pen, sit comfortably with a cool mind and start writing about your blessings and gratefulness. After writing about one or two blessings, the rest will flow in. That is the power of positivity and attraction. Say,

I am grateful for all the comfort I have at home. I am grateful for my and family’s safety in all situations. I am grateful for all the frontlines that are working round-the-clock for our health and safety. I am grateful for the long naps, I am grateful for the netflix, I am grateful for the fresh air I could breathe today and so on

Continue writing each blessing in this manner. Count your blessings, recall happy memories and moments that are special to you.

How often have you uttered negative words or made negative statements? Now is the time to consciously convert them into affirmations.

For e.g. – Convert the statement – ‘After the lockdown the economy of the country will become poor and we may lose our jobs or manage meagrely’ into – ‘The country will start working hard towards economic growth after the lockdown and a lot of manpower will be needed to contribute to that growth’.

Instead of saying ‘I cannot…’, ‘I do not…’ say ‘I can…’, ‘I do….’, ‘I will….’ ‘I have abundance’. You may write these affirmations and read it every day or simply say the affirmations every day.

Use positive self-talk in every sentence – ‘I am healthy, my family is healthy and we are free from all diseases and microorganisms’, ‘I am capable’, ‘I am efficient’ and so on.

Meditation is another brilliant way to have peace of mind, focus, concentration, enhance performance and for a healthy body.

Do practice the Indian way of life – Yoga. Exercise to keep your body healthy.

The fast-paced world may have come to a standstill all of a sudden with a number of restrictions, albeit for the safety of people. But that does not mean you should lose your sanity. There are a number of things to do.

As the door to the outside world remains shut come explore your skills, talents, passions and explore ways to keep yourself occupied so that you emerge as a visibly new person ready to take on anything and with grace.

During these challenging times patient interaction is of utmost importance for us. We at Nth Sense, understand the importance of mental wellbeing and are striving to provide all possible ways to keep people engaged and entertained.

Follow us on @nth_sense_ for more such interesting tips and stay engaged!

Dr. Reshma Sagari.

Wellness Coach

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