Beating The Pandemic Blues

Dr. Danesh D. Chinoy is a leading Health and Wellness Coach, Sports Physiotherapist and Psychologist. He is dedicated to helping all to heal holistically and remain fighting fit for life. Providing eye-opening and ground-breaking insights into Wellness, Dr. Chinoy’s two-decades’ rich expertise has won him innumerable awards, nationally and globally. His mission is to empower you to reach your highest levels of wellness/fitness. You can connect with Dr. Chinoy at: 

Already experiencing pandemic fatigue, many of us feel ill-prepared to endure another lockdown. With no clear end in sight, coronavirus is having a massive negative effect on mental health, with many experiencing stress, anxiety and insomnia. With the new variants spreading even faster, people’s emotional health is likely to give way under the strain of continued restrictions and casualties of this virus. The pervasive effects of the pandemic, and the restrictions imposed to contain it, harm our mental health, cutting us off from the things that bring meaning and pleasure to our lives. 

In normal circumstances, everyday occurrences inadvertently nurture mental wellbeing – like chance encounters with colleagues; the boost of energy from meeting new people; the sense of awe when visiting a beautiful place; the excitement of a night out with friends; the warm feeling of going to the cinema with a loved one; the anticipation of a holiday abroad. Lockdowns prevent us from experiencing these things. When our activities are restricted, our lives are diminished. The best way to prevent succumbing to anxiety, depression, substance abuse, or other signs of emotional strain is to consciously maintain a healthy mind in a healthy body.

Maintaining A Disciplined Routine: When jobs and schools shifted to working from home, schedules went haywire. In the absence of our old daily routines, many of us feel like an unmanned sailboat, subject to the winds of the day. The result? A gradual build-up of hopelessness. By contrast, those who’ve developed a routine feel more in charge. Creating a schedule helps getting through your days easier.

Explore Purpose And Meaning: Dedicate time to thinking about what gives life meaning. What is most important to you? If you are religious, ponder on how you can elevate your faith into getting you through these challenging times. Explore the opportunities available to you to reflect on or discuss what is meaningful about life? Just finding time to discuss this through with dear ones can make a big difference. With your demanding professional life and duties, when was the last time you sat with your children, understood what matters to them or what’s really going on with them and taught them important life lessons? Spending time to play their games increases trust, accelerates their learning, improves your parenting skills and opens vital communication lines for the future. Having said this, arrange for personal time too. While you might finally have the opportunity to spend quality time with your spouse, you might also have way more of it than you really want. Keep in mind that it is alright to want alone time and that it’s important for your health as an individual and for your family relationships.

Healthy Eating And Exercising: Should be a priority! The last year of our experience with lockdown and work from home has made us pile on the kilos. If we do not take this issue on a war footing, it could be disastrous. Chalk out a plan to get in shape. 

Maintain Your Sense Of Autonomy: Despite the lockdown restrictions, try including opportunities to learn something new, or achieve fitness goals. You don’t have to master a whole new language in this lockdown, but allow time for learning and personal growth. When setting your goals, set achievable targets so you can monitor progress and celebrate successes. Instead of having just one long-term goal, set yourself sub-goal targets. 

Get Your Quality Sleep: The paradox of staying indoors and not knowing how to spend the extra time is making many stay awake till late nights – on WhatsApp or binge watching TV, and thus less of sleep. Quality sleep is the elixir for modern life. Evolutionary mechanisms in your body encourage movement. In a lockdown when these activities are suppressed, you may be lethargic, irritable or depressed. Cabin fever is a radical repercussion of such lockdowns and confinements. Stay sane by getting fresh air, sunlight. If you’re lucky to have a small garden in your building, or even your flowering plants in the balcony, spend time amongst greenery. If nothing else, just simply look out of the window, up at the skies.

Embrace Your Lows: We often blame ourselves for feeling low. It’s very easy to say, “I feel bad but I know that’s silly because people have it worse than me.” Someone will always be in a worse situation than you – you’re still allowed to feel bad. For most people, our own lives are the main frame of reference that we have. The new normal has brought massive changes, some of which have been for the worse. Don’t feel guilty if you’re feeling bad about not being able to go out to meet friends and socialise. You’ve had things taken away from you, and it’s ok to grieve the loss of certain things. Embrace your lows but don’t get stuck there. 

Compassion And Kindness Always: Most importantly, we must acknowledge that these are challenging times – whether we or our loved ones are directly affected by the virus or indirectly impacted by the implications of the pandemic. Everyone, in their own way, is doing their best to cope with the enormous challenge of COVID-19. The most positive and human way that we can respond is with compassion and kindness to ourselves as with others. Take advantage of lockdown by getting to know yourself better. Identify your own strengths and take time to appreciate them. Likewise, also work on your weaknesses to emerge stronger and better from these very challenging times. The age old saying still holds true: ‘Tough times seldom last, but tough people always do!’

Keep sending your emails with your thoughts, suggestions and concerns. 

God bless us all with Tandorasti and smiles!

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