Managing Anxiety and Isolation during COVID-19 Lockdown

On May 27, 2020, a webinar was organized by MOHAN Foundation on “Managing Anxiety and Isolation during COVID-19 Lockdown”. The session was conducted by Dr. Amol Tayade. It was a much-needed session especially in the current times and truly appreciated by the participants.

 

DDr. Amol Tayade is a MBBS doctor, a mental health warrior and a Medical Advisor to nULTA, a healthcare app that connects people to a real doctor via one’s smartphone. Dr. Amol has an empathetic personality and chose Psychiatry as his specialty after completing MBBS from a government medical college. He has a keen sense of mental health issues in the community and wishes to make health accessible to all. One of the pioneering concepts he is currently working on is ‘Thought-less contemplation’.

 

Dr. Tayade shared some important tips with the participants on how they along with their families can manage anxiety and stress during these uncertain and unprecedented times. He said that the effect of lockdown, economic problem due to loss of jobs and unemployment were the three main causes of increased anxiety and stress among people during present COVID-19 times.

 

Dr. Tayade explained the difference between anxiety and stress. He said that stress and anxiety were often used interchangeably, and there is overlap between stress and anxiety. The cause of stress and anxiety are usually different. Stress focuses mainly on external pressures that are on us which we are finding hard to cope with. Anxiety, on the other hand, isn’t always as easy to figure out. Anxiety focuses on worries or fears about things that could threaten us.

 

He said stress and anxiety are both part of being human, but both can be problematic if they last for a long time or have an impact on our well-being or daily life. He then invited the attendees to ask questions or share their issues. Many participants wrote questions on the webinar chat box. To name a few:

  • What are the measures to check the anxiety level?
  • “My children are health care professionals who work closely with patients. As a parent, I am very anxious about the health of my children”.
  • “As a health worker, I am worried that I will get infected and in turn infect my family members. It causes a lot of anxiety”.
  • What is anxiety threshold?
  • How to handle anxiety of family members while working from home?

 

Dr. Tayade advised participants to focus on the following points that will help them to manage anxiety and stress during COVID 19 pandemic:-

  • Be mindful of each other and find ways to listen to or accommodate each other’s concerns. Living through lockdown is a new experience for everyone. It is important to stay focused all the time and creativity helps to stay focused.
  • Maintaining mental wellbeing during the pandemic is as important as containing the virus. A good mental and physical health can minimize the anxiety level.
  • Minimise ‘Corona time’. Stay away from the news channels that only increase anxiety and stress. If it is a must, spend only 30 minutes in the morning, absorbing news and updates about the pandemic, rest of the time should be dedicated to self, family and relationships.

 

At the end, Dr. Tayade summarized the talk by saying that being mindful was the key to managing anxiety and stress. The pandemic will eventually pass and life will move on. Return to normality can be an overwhelming experience and we all will need to pace ourselves.

 

Close to 50 people attended the webinar.

    

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