Quarantine Hits You Hard; Dealing with Negative Thoughts

s
@saurabh
17 Apr 2020

Everything starts in the mind. We need to take care of our Mental Health to make sure we are physically healthy.

Hello Hello Hello!

By now you are exhausted and tired of all the news and feel like there is no ray of hope. You are beginning to believe that things will get worse, the longer the quarantine lasts.


Welcome to the new world of forced confinement!

We are all worried about the Coronavirus and death but add to that the worry of my kids’ studies, my business, my investments and not knowing when it will all be ok. With the situation of the world now and lockdowns around the globe, it is natural to feel anxious about the quality of life post the chaos.

These are the common thoughts that are crossing everyone’s mind. I am with you, I just lost 70% of my stock investment in 5 days. Whenever it shifts let’s be honest nothing will remain the same.


How do we make sure anxiety does not impact our mental health?

Anxiety comes from the fear of the unknown. In medical terms, it is a feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as palpitations, sweating, feelings of stress, restlessness, a feeling of being “on-edge”, uncontrollable feelings of worry, increased irritability, concentration difficulties, and sleep difficulties

Over the coming days, we all will see an increase in behaviour issues as we can only hold on to our resolve for a certain amount of days. The one day of Junta Curfew followed by the ringing and banging at 5 pm led to release of the built-up pressure for that day (a good exercise for keeping us sane.)

Now, multiply each day of the 21 days.

It’s going to a many-fold pressure - it will happen; be it meltdowns, tantrums, and oppositional behaviour.

This is normal and expected under these circumstances because we as human beings are naturally connected to everything and thrive in physical connections.

In fact, till recently we were being asked to switch off the devices and get into the real world. That rule remains the same.

So, at the end of this all we may end up with issues of weight gain, bad eyesight, depression, diabetes, arthritis, kidney issues…. The list goes on.

Here is where the quiet leaders in you need to show up, to help you and people around you feel loved and comforted.


Now the Silver Lining

While in quarantine we are compelled to be on-line, it is important to disconnect and express yourself while enjoying at home.

Remember when you first entered the home and thought about all the beautiful memories you will make. Well, now you can!

A Simple Exercise

It is pretty hard to let go of control and in these times the state of helplessness can also lead to negative thoughts that can spiral you out of control.

The simplest method is to:

  1. Focus on your breathing for a minute.

  2. After about a minute just observe all the things around you.

  3. Then after a minute listen in to what you can hear.

  4. Then about a minute just observe your tongue, what can you taste?

  5. And after minute just feel what you can feel. If you are sitting how is the seat? And if you are standing how does the floor feel.

  6. And finally, focus back on your breath. This 5-7 minute exercise will ease the anxiety.

Self-Expression

Unleash that Physical Self-Expression

  • Create exercise times for adults and

  • And running and jumping time for kids

Unleash the Mental Self-Expression

  • by creating Family Talk time (time and space that allows for every family member to speak without being judged)

  • by joining online support forums like www.nowandme.com to express your feelings with like-minded people

  • create a daily schedule (include things like I will do nothing for 1 hour in it) for the whole time being awake

  • speak to a Mental Health expert

  • write down your fears and read them again and again. Initially, it may seem the fear is rising (do the breath exercise explained above if that happens), but by the 8 or 9th read the fear will lose its power and you will start relaxing

  • It's ok to grieve that first date you missed, the interview that got postponed, the exams that are not happening…so if you feel like crying, do so

  • Take care of the home-maker, he/she are not used to so much chaos at home


Other Simple things to practice (technology breaks)

  • Use the home phone to talk rather than your cell phones

  • Stand on balconies and enjoy nature (the advent of summer is creating big changes)

  • Write anything using pen and paper


Family Activities that can be done

  • Play make-believe games or board games with your family

  • Make a person (adult or child) in charge for the day and let them delegate duties (won't it be nice if daddy becomes the kitchen king for the day and mommy runs the tv remote

  • Bake Bake Bake!

  • Don’t compete in what others are doing. Find the right pace for your family.

  • Maybe your child can take over your home office for a day and do their school work there

  • Candlelit Story Times

  • Make the daily chores fun (Kids can have a ball if you allow their imagination to go wild)


Food Hygiene

  • Focus on simple foods (dal-chawal) to allow your digestive system to process, as your daily activity is reduced.

  • Drink plenty of water


If I can leave you with one thing, it’s this: at the end of all of this mental health will be more important than financial or academic health. And how we feel during this time will stay with us. And know this time shall soon pass.


I am Saurabbh Bidani Mental Health Professional with over 11,000 global clients, and an expert in 25 modalities and over 19 years of experience in working with people. My mission is to help 10 million people get over their mental blocks and exceed their potential as human beings.

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