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‘Relive special moments’… A doctor suggests ways to take care of your mental health during Covid-19 lockdown

Self-motivation is good but that is not all. One needs to take some steps to remain positive during the lockdown. Mental health expert Dr Rachna Khanna Singh addressed queries and shared tips on how one can keep their mind calm during this lockdown.

July 1, 2020 11:16:40 am

Amid the continued lockdown, many of us may be experiencing stress and anxiety, for reasons ranging from the fear of contracting the Covid-19 virus, challenges in work-life balance to simply the feeling of confinement. This is also giving rise to negative emotions that affect our well-being.

“As the days go by, things are getting tougher… because we are coming to an understanding that this (coronavirus crisis) may take a very, very long time before we all go back to a normal life,” Dr Rachna Khanna Singh, HOD of Holistic Medicine at the Artemis Hospital in Gurgaon and director of The Mind & Wellness Studio in New Delhisaid in a LIVE Facebook chat.

“We must take advantage of the lockdown and utilise the opportunity to detox our mind and body and bond with our family,” said Dr Singh. “We are all learning to become better versions of ourselves,” said Dr Singh, who is also a relationship, lifestyle and stress management expert.

Dr Rachna Khanna Singh addressed queries from readers during her Facebook LIVE

Dr Singh went on to suggest some important steps to boost one’s mental and physical health during this time. Here are edited excerpts of her Facebook LIVE broadcast:

Q: How do you stay positive during this time?

A: Self-motivation is good but that is not all. You need to take some practical steps to remain positive during these challenging times.

* First, you need to follow a proper schedule through the day, including maintaining a proper meal time and sleep routine. If we mess too much with our body’s circadian rhythm, it can increase stress levels.

* Take out 15-20 minutes of time daily and do some chanting or meditation. This will help you release stress and keep you motivated.

* Planning to do something that makes you happy will give a reason to look forward to the day ahead. Learning a new skill can help.

* Listen to some nice music, which can lift your mood.

* Breathing exercises can help you release stress.

Watch the full video here:

Q: How do you make sure you sleep well at night?

A: Avoid going to bed late. Sleep on time, latest by 12 am, and wake up by 8-9 am. When you go to bed late, it negatively impacts the release of serotonin, a key hormone that stabilises our mood and feelings of well-being. Besides, exercise is a must to improve the quality of sleep. Ideally, you should exercise twice a day, for about 45 minutes each–one time for yourself, and the second time with a family member. Having a workout partner will motivate you and prevent you from quitting.

Q: How do you keep yourself fit?

A: Apart from exercising, one should avoid binge-eating, something many of us many be guilty of at the time. More often than not, we tend to binge on comfort foods, mostly junk foods, as a way to cope with stress and negative thoughts, or what is known as stress eating. Follow a healthy diet plan and eat on time.

Q: How do you get rid of negative thoughts?

A: Make sure your mind is engaged in something positive. This can be achieved by learning new skills or pursuing some hobby. Treat the lockdown as an opportunity to spend some time with yourself.

Q: What do you do if you are feeling lonely?

A: Try and create a “buddy system”: Look for a friend or family member and talk to them every few hours. Bonding activities are key at the time. You can play online games with friends or engage in other leisure activities.

Q: How do you bond as a couple during this lockdown?

A: Instead of finding faults in each other, try to look for positive aspects. Exercising with your partner can also help you bond further. Do activities together, learn a new skill from each other. Make sure to spend some quality time with each other; make your partner feel special. Plan a good meal for your partner, share feelings with each other and have conversations you may not have had time for earlier. Relive special moments–look at old albums or share positive memories of a holiday you took together.

Also in this series | Making a connection: The young paramedics of Assam who are on call to answer your Covid-19 queries, 24/7