Many of us have leaves or work from home, bringing family members closer than ever before but where is the happiness? Does it really feel like we are on a leave? Not really, because leaves are what we take voluntarily. However, this situation is a compulsion and has a lot of uncertainty attached to it. We don’t know the course of this pandemic, a lot of us are not able to deal with financial uncertainties and some of us are staying away from the family and are dealing with increasing levels of boredom, fear and restlessness. During this exceptional situation that has never been faced across generations before us, these are the possible challenges and some possible ways to reduce the impact of stress
1. Follow a daily routine
a sense of order by following a routine. Include daily activities such as work,
exercise, cooking or learning even in isolation.
2. Don’t consume news from
the sources from where you get your news. Avoid media coverage that spreads
panic or causes hysteria. Get accurate news from official health organizations
of your area.
3. Stay connected virtually
has enabled staying connected with everyone even when you’re confined. Use your phone, email and social media to
connect with friends. You can video call family members to check on their
4. Educate yourself
questions and clear any doubts that you may have with a medical health
practitioner. The best way to end fear is to learn more about the disease and
any real risks you may have.
5. Stay healthy
consuming alcohol or drugs to cope with the anxiety of isolation. You may feel
good for some time but in the long run, you will end up feeling more
depressed. Instead, follow a healthy
diet and exercise or meditate for a calmer mind and fitter body. You will feel
Important habits to sail through the new
work-life balance during work-from home
accept your home as your workplace and communicate the same to your family
regular office timings as much as possible. Ensure to get off work on time and
spend time with your family. Often there is an inclination to work long hours
from home because of frequent breaks.
in touch with your colleagues. Consider taking virtual coffee breaks or even
lunch to avoid feeling lonely or to fight boredom.
drink and exercise. Take a short break after every hour, stretch, make sure you
remain hydrated. Try to maintain a healthy diet.
are very useful for making to-do lists and to prioritize work as it can get
difficult to focus while working from home.
your home environment includes physical space conducive for work. Avoid working from spots that are intended
for relaxation like your bedroom. It is
much easier to focus when physical spaces for work and relaxation can be
distractions at home while you’re working.
Avoid watching TV or logging onto social media. When you’re taking a
break, engage with your kids, chat with your roommate or play with your pet.
Differentiate between ‘Burden’ and
Replace burden with choice,
meaning when you feel I don’t want to but I have to, you face two negative
thought lines, the moment you say I decide to do this because it’s good for my
life, half of the problem is solved as you treat the restriction as your
decision and not a compulsion.
Converting challenges and
limitations into opportunities-
Cleaning your home- cleaning
cupboards, fridge, old papers- all are therapeutic. As the funda goes- “cleaner
the house, quieter the mind”. When you remove unwanted stuff, imagine your
unwanted thoughts and beliefs are also getting removed with that. it also helps
in removing the pent up or dead energy
New learning and unlearning too
We are living in a world where the
internet gives you the option of possibly learning any hobby that you want to
– we can use this opportunity well, and
we may never get this much free time again in future. Unlearning of old patterns,
habits which serve no longer functional purpose to us is also one task we can
do during this period, one can formulate strategy and ask family members to
support the same
Reconnecting with others and yourself too
Call your friends who are staying in
other parts of the world, 90% of the time the communication is very rewarding
and relaxing, and often gives you a new perspective.
Reconnect with yourself
During busy routines sometimes we
really forget what our inner self actually wants! You can have much needed “me”
time now. Meditation helps you connect to your higher self. Writing your
thoughts, goals – are some of the effective ways to find your purpose in life
Creativity forms a base for happiness and channelling
out your anxiety
It is said – any happy person you
see will be in the process of creation and it’s absolutely true! Be it making
new dishes, to drawing simple rangoli every day, making paintings, teaching new
things to your child all channel out anxiety and give immense satisfaction
Attempt to create a positive atmosphere around you
Prayers, chanting, watching
inspirational, humorous movies with your family, reading good books, using
positive affirmations loudly.
When to take professional help
If you or anybody you know is experiencing the following, it may be beneficial to seek professional helpPersistent lethargy and easy fatigabilit
Lack of focus
Overwhelming anxiety and preoccupation with imaginary worries
Lack of sleep, appetite disturbance
Impulsive indulgence in alcohol, smoking or other drugs
Recurrent thoughts of helplessness, hopelessness, worthlessness – all these for minimum 2 weeks
Suicidal ideas (warrant immediate attention)
If you are a known case of psychiatry illness.
Authored by Dr. Pallavi A. Joshi, Consultant – Psychiatrist, Columbia Asia Hospital Whitefield