You can find some of the finest blogs written by the top mental health specialists, which will enrich your knowledge and help you have better mental health along with clearing some of the rumors.
Many people are experiencing grief during the COVID19 pandemic. It is very hard to accept when loved ones dies due to pandemic because their death was possibly sudden and you might feel overwhelmed and unprepared this will bring additional challenge, Working through the grief process is difficult whenever we lose someone close to us. Dealing with the loss of a loved one at any time is distressing But coping and healing after a death related to the COVID 19 is even more complicated and this pandemic makes even more worsen, Grief is normal response to loss during or a after a traumatic event, Grief can happen in response to loss of life, some people may experience multiple losses during a pandemic. People who have lost loved ones will have to contend with the additional; trauma of not being able to give them a proper “Send off”, as funeral changes dramatically in the short period Adapting or accepting the new changes itself is a great challenge, This loss could have been compounded by not being able to be with the person who you love when they die, You might be angry, frustrated or upset not to have had the chance to say good bye in person or to be there when your loved one passed, Lack of social support, Social distancing and important of lockdown restriction affects the physically venting out and mourning ones emotion, , Sometimes even friends, relatives or neighbors might feel very guilty when they are not able to participate or be with their loved ones during their hard times, Also due to stay at home orders and shutdowns the usual ways we coping up with stress- hobbies, self care, shopping, or physically being with family or friends is not possible.
Therefore these kinds of changes might affect ones mental health. It is normal that we go through tough times ups and downs are expected, but at the same time it very important to take care of our mental health; Social connectedness is a powerful healing when you engage in a conversation with others who knew and loved the person, Think about setting up a phone call or virtual gathering through Zoom or Google meet, Reaching out for support is very important whom we feel they will listen rather than judging, Just validating and being with them is very important during these times, Seeking out to a mental health professionals or reaching out to a hotline to guide through this difficult times might help us to overcome easily.
We need to remember that grief is a natural and ongoing response, Grieving period differs from each person. Trying to understand that a funeral during COVID 19 will be different, Adapting and accepting the new changes and trying to cope up with the virtual life and feeling that we are not alone might encourage us to seek help.
Conversations are on-going throughout a child’s life. When tackling tough topics, it’s a conversation. It’s not “The Talk”. It’s one of many talks. This mindset can help ease some of the pressure we might feel to get it perfectly right the first time, include every nuance, or answer every question. Keeping the conversation developmentally appropriate is ok. This allows us to revisit and discuss different aspects of the topic as our children mature.
Create space at home for these kinds of conversations. This can mean sitting down or going for a walk and communicating and sharing thoughts. When we create a habit of letting everyone’s voice be heard, it gives us a chance to know what other people in the family are thinking. We don’t always have to agree, but we should respect each other’s dignity and give each other a chance to speak and be heard. Throughout our lives we encounter great ideas and terrible ones, good advice and bad advice. When young children and teens are exposed to a variety of opinions at home, they learn to navigate them in a safe environment.
Our differences shouldn’t stop us from relating to each other. It’s normal for us to be drawn to the familiar and the similar. One way to expand our children’s universe is to broaden the kinds of stories and lives that populate their worlds. Meeting people who are different from us can be important and helpful. This isn’t always feasible. We can include narratives with characters that are superficially different but in so many ways the same. We can make it a regular practice to point out differences and similarities, strengths and weaknesses. This can help us become comfortable with our own range of abilities. Our heroes may not always look exactly like us but they can still inspire us. As we include toys and stories that our children may relate less to, it’s ok if this action figure or that book isn’t their favorite. It still exists in their universe and they are exposed to it.
It’s hard to prepare your child in a world that’s constantly changing. As the saying goes, the only constant is change. So perhaps that’s what we’re actually learning and teaching. One way to handle this is to explain the circumstances under which these rules apply. Just like tearing up colorful paper is frowned upon most days, we may gleefully encourage it when unwrapping presents. For example, “I love that you want to hug me. I really want to hug you too. But during the pandemic, we need to keep each other safe by having a certain distance from each other. When the pandemic is over, we can hug again! I can’t wait to put my arms around you!!” Here, I acknowledged how we both feel and the receipt of the loving intention of their gesture. I named the boundary and stated it’s beginning and end as a fact. I also provided a simple reason for the new rule.
I imagine there will be resistance when certain things go back to a more familiar rhythm, so it’s worthwhile mentioning it in other situations. For example, “I miss going to birthday parties with my friends too. But right now, you get screen time twice a day! When we can go do activities again, we’ll go back to screen time on Saturday mornings only.”
Childhood and adolescence look different right now. We all have treasured memories from childhood that we hope to facilitate for our children. We had our own dreams and hopes about what parenthood or grandparenthood looks like. This season of our lives has been profoundly disrupted. It’s ok to take the space to grieve this loss. And then create space to experience the childhood and parenthood that is happening right now. Sometimes we are so caught up in what things should look like, that we’re blind to what is. It is worthwhile practicing this for ourselves first.
Being able to transition to a new view point is a valuable skill for kids to learn. As parents, we’re so eager for our kids to feel better, we sometimes don’t validate how they feel right now. Before we can change, we must first know where we are now. In order to help facilitate this for our kids, we may include creating space for them to talk about what they wished their lives looked like right now. Maybe even fantasize together about how great it would be. Naming the emotion of loss, anger, grief, frustration, disappointment, fear and beyond can be powerful and profoundly validating. Maybe we can even grant this wish in fantasy (“It would be amazing to go to camp this summer and spend tons of time with your friends and cousins. If I had the ability to make this virus go away and have it be safe for you to be so close with so many people, I would make it so!”) Maybe in a different conversation, we talk about what is now. What’s frustrating? What’s surprising? What’s cool? Younger children may respond well to enthusiasm. Older kids may appreciate a more gentle approach that highlights what you’ve appreciated about how they’ve creatively tackled the challenges of our time. (ie. “I love that you noticed grandma was feeling down. Mailing her a card is a great idea. Can I help you write her address on the envelope?” or “That gif you sent to the group chat made me literally bust out laughing. I really needed that today.”)
It’s okay to be uncomfortable. It can be very powerful to acknowledge uncertainty, and that as parents we don’t always have all the answers. We’ve weathered tons of difficult conversations with our children (ie. wearing pants in public, not hitting or biting, wearing seatbelts, not running into traffic, etc.) What makes these conversations unique is that they’re difficult for us. This can be a powerful learning opportunity for children to learn how to do something they need to, but may not want to. We can try acknowledging how we feel (“This is a tough topic for me to talk about because I’m not totally comfortable with it either. But let’s try to have a conversation anyway.”) If your child asks a question you don’t have the answer to, you can always say: “That’s a great question. You know... I don’t know. Let’s look it up together.” You can also say: “I need some time to think about that.” Bravery is not being fearless. It’s doing the right thing despite being afraid.
There is immense amount of pain in the world, there are people struggling every single day and most of them are not open enough about the way they feel due to the generic thought that “I know what people are going to say so what’s the point?”. This is exactly where the problem lies – we as individuals fail to recognise the way we put across our words, the way we use our words towards another individual who may be at their lowest point. We are trained to believe that Mental Health Issues and even experiencing any kind of negative emotion is “just a phase”, is just a person being “too sensitive” or being too “dramatic”. We may not recognise this but we tend to invalidate an individual’s feelings to an extent that they become self-critical of their own emotions, they begin to feel how they are or were feeling is irrelevant and somehow their fault, they jump into the cycle of self-blame and eventually begin to believe that there is something wrong with them. There are several things to keep in mind when you are trying to be there for someone – we believe that giving someone advice or comparing their emotions and problems to those of other people who “have it much worse” means being there for someone but it’s literally the opposite. In fact, when you start telling a person who is already falling apart that they indirectly don’t deserve to fall apart or feel so negatively about a certain aspect of their lives because “other people have it much worse”, you’re basically claiming that just because their problems aren’t as bad as those of others, they are not allowed to feel upset. This will lead to nothing but a downward spiral in terms of the individual’s Mental Health.
When someone is sharing about how they’re feeling regarding something you may have done or said to hurt them or just some aspect of their lives which is making them feel low and upset – most of us have a tendency to start talking about ourselves, our problems and how we are feeling. Now imagine being in a situation like that. This person trusted you enough to open up to you, they probably opened up to you because they felt that you would understand – however, if you begin to take away their perception towards the situation and how they felt by making it all about yourself, chances are this individual will never open up to you. It’s imperative to remember that it’s not a competition, it’s not about you in that very moment – it’s about the person who was strong enough to be honest and vulnerable with you. There are also instances where our automatic response is to tell someone how they should feel and how they should not feel: “be positive”, “chill out” , “don’t overreact and over-analyze, just let it go”, “stop overthinking” – such terms are toxic to use when you’re trying to be there for someone, how can we tell someone how to feel?You’re basically taking away their power to experience their emotions completely, you’re taking away their response to a situation or a thought. In such instances, the individual does not even want your advice, they just want you to be present, they want you to listen to them in a space which is created to be non-judgemental and non-bias – that’s all that people are looking for, a safe space where they can express themselves without being made to feel invalidated or criticised.
After reflecting on our misconceptions and mistakes, let’s throw light on the effective ways to genuinely be there for people who are struggling. Let’s keep in mind that you don’t know the extent of someone’s suffering and you never will but you have the power to use your words in an appropriate manner to instil a sense of courage and hope within the individual – “I can’t imagine what you’re going through but I want you to know that I am here to listen to you”, “I know it’s hard to see strength in oneself when you feel hopeless and this may not matter, but I do see strength and resilience in you”, “Don’t feel bad for feeling the way you’re feeling but I want you to know that you will get through this and I will be here”. Such words are validating and depicts the idea of you being present with the person. Regardless – focus on their positive qualities, focus on their courage and their strength, help them find hope again amidst the words that you use while you’re trying to help. Don’t project your “sympathy” towards them, instead practice empathy – try to understand what the other individual may genuinely be feeling and how this feeling could be affecting their emotional well-being – don’t jump to conclusions and don’t make assumptions. Just be there for them empathetically. A person who is heard and understood is a person who will begin to heal.
We all know sleep is one of the most important biological functions and a basic need for everybody. During sleep, our body and brain repair, restore and heals.There are somestages of sleep that weundergo every night. Memory consolidation and restoration happen during our sleep.Sleep recharges our brain at the end of each day. We all know when a phone battery is low, we need to charge the battery. Likewise, we need to maintain a regular sleep-wake cycle pattern in order to give rest to the body and function well the next day. The quality of sleep is necessary to have optimal health and functioning. For instance, sleep quality means initiating sleep for some but for others, it may be having a sleep without waking up in the middle of the night and feeling refreshed in the morning.
We all benefit from a good sleep quality. It gives us better health, greater well-being, and better psychological functioning. Everybody requires 7 to 8 hours of sleep in order to function well. For many of us, the amount of sleep needed varies according to our age and genetically inherited sleep needs from our ancestors. We all have experienced poor quality of sleep due to changes in lifestyles, increased use of technology, an increase in work demands, physical health problems, financial problems, loss of job, interpersonal relationship problems and life stress.Our sleep quality and sleep duration vary across age and gender.When we lack sleep, most of us experienced decreased attentiveness, increased nap sleep, slow psychomotor response, emotional problems, poor work performance, impairment in working memory and other cognitive problems. It is important that we get the good amount and quality of sleep.
Sleep and psychological well-being are closely related. A deprivation of sleep affects our mental health, physical health, psychological well-being and overall functioning. When we persistently experience a loss of sleep, we are at high risk of feeling depressed, anxious, restless and insomnia. Some of the psychological factors affecting our sleep are stress, anxiety disorder, mood disorder,distress, crying spells, overthinking, over worrying, family problems, etc.Sleep is challenging even more for shift-based work people. Basically, a shift work means work outside the 9 to 5 business hours.
As we all know, India is developing each and every day with new challenges, demands, competition, success and many more. Most of us work beyond the business hours, facing deadlines and demands which one day eventually affects the quality of sleep and mental health. When we don’t get proper sleep, we feel tired, fatigued and suffer from poor concentration in work, may face accidents, ortake off from the work.
Depression has a way of replacing your confidence with anxiety and self hatred. The scariest thing I found about suffering from a mental illness is the effect it has on every aspect of your life: it’s not just what’s inside your head. For me suffering from depression became debilitating as we couldn’t find happiness in the little things we used to enjoy doing. Usually without any reason depression would cause peoples to sit and cry.
Depression can also sap your ability to experience joy, connection, or meaning, making life feel like a miserable experience. It can also lower your threshold for dealing with life; people who struggle with depression are often more impatient and less emotionally stable. Depression can also render a person quick to anger and easily frustrated. This can have an impact on their ability to recover from those emotions.
One of the most impactful symptoms brought on by depression is the feeling of hopelessness. Those suffering from depression often feel that nothing will ever improve, as if they are doomed to be miserable forever. Sometimes, depression can even drive a person to consider suicide, as they feel so hopeless that they believe there is no better solution.
Everyone experiences negative thoughts and emotions; we all feel a little anxious or stressed, especially when there are triggering situations in our lives. When those emotions persist and worsen, affecting your ability to live your day-to-day life, this may be a sign of depression.
People who don’t have anxiety or depression don’t get it they don’t understand what you mean when you say you cry for no reason, they think your first emotional. They don’t know how it feels to have your heart pumping out of your chest and to be short of breath and can’t control it, or to feel like the whole world is tumbling down on top of you can’t fix it. They don’t get that anxiety and depression are both illnesses, not a birth defect; it’s not your personality either. It’s just taken over it.
Life is waiting for us on the outside of our comfort zone. And it will get better as long as we keep fighting.
Physical activity is important to every individual because it help us to improve our physical health and reduce the risk of developing medical conditions like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Doing physical activity not only helping to reduce the risk factors but we can gain more health benefits in other aspects. Most importantly, regular physical activity can improve our quality of life. It helps to reduce risk of a heart attack, manage body weight better by improving metabolism that helps to look young, helps to maintain lower blood cholesterol level and lower blood pressure. Coming to the aspect of Mental Health, physical activity helps to prevent the development of mental health problems. If the person is undergoing through depression exercise is the powerful fighter to the depression, physical activity will help the persons to block their negative thoughts and feel more relaxed and positive about them and their lives, and it provide an opportunity to increase the social contact. Normally person with stress always feel the physical symptoms like neck-pain, headache and feel tightness in muscles these factors keeps the person more stressed in this matter physical activity will help to relives tension and stress. Doing physical activity help the person who is facing sleep difficulties it’ll regulate the sleep patterns and mood swings. There is no need to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits, modest amounts of physical activity is enough to make a difference. Most importantly no matter what our age or fitness level, we can learn to do simple exercise to feel better and improve your physical and mental health.
When we hear ‘woman safety’, we instantly think of daunting incidents like Nirbhaya or visualise women being harassed on the streets. The mainstream perception is that women are unsafe outdoors, maybe this is why there are early curfews for women. This could also be the reason why women have been domesticated over years and a supporting belief to the norm of women being house-wives. In the current time and space of a pandemic and a lockdown that was announced since March 24 th , has further moved women indoors. However, with empty streets and women back to the kitchen with more meals to make in a day, it is a though worth a wonder- the lockdown has made women safer?
The irony is that the situation of women safety has only gone downhill! There has been an increase in gender-based-violence, which as described by the United Nations is ‘Any method that results in the possibility of women being physically, sexually, mentally or emotionally traumatized, including any form of intimidation, coercion is a form of violence, whether then it is done in public or private.’ NCW (National Commission For Women ) chief Rekha Sharma said “Domestic violence cases have doubled than what it was before the lockdown.’’ This is because every woman facing domestic violence has been locked in with her abuser. With women’s limited mobility during the lockdown, those who are reside with abusive partners/ family members, aren’t able to go out to seek support from friends, colleagues as well as are unable to spend time away from home. Social distancing is withdrawal of social safety nets and limited access to protection services, making women even more vulnerable to intimate partner violence.
Intimate partner violence is also mental and emotional abuse towards one’s partner putting her down, gaslighting, making her doubt herself, playing mind-games, making her feel guilty. Intimate violence can be identified by the ‘control and power’ the abusive partner practices- by controlling where the partner goes, what she wears, whom she speaks to and making life decisions without her consent- whether it is her choosing to do a job as well as control over her reproductive organs. Some other behaviors of intimate partner violence can look like- threatening to leave and commit suicide. It is also causing intimidation by looks, gestures and using ‘jealousy’ as an excuse to control whom she speaks to, is also ‘intimate partner violence’.
Going through such violence can leave the affected person with inability to trust others, feelings of guilt and shame and a low self-esteem. Physical and emotional abuse is not only distressing but also, makes women prone to mental illness. Women who face intimate partner violence are higher risk of experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide. ‘The Conversation’, an academic journal talks about review studies that found that women who have experienced intimate partner violence have seven times higher chances to experience PTSD, 2.7 times greater likelihood to develop depression, and anxiety four times greater, than compared to women who have not. Intimate violence is more than physical violence and has a deep mental health impact. So, if you spot the risk factors of depression and anxiety in a loved one, or signs of abusive behavior in your neighbourhood, make sure to reach out to the aggrieved! It’s important for us to remember that not every act of violence has a physical manifestation and keep in mind the mental health impact and signs of intimate partner violence.
Rahul: My boss at work scolded me for a little thing. I know he has a habit of blowing things out of proportion but today was a pathetic day at work. I felt like shouting back at him. But, I somehow controlled myself. I was irritated throughout the day. I felt like crying. I couldn’t eat my lunch properly. I have been thinking about the incident ever since. I am still mad at him for blaming me for Ravi’s fault.
Priya: Hmm ... I know.
Rahul: Priya, are you listening to me?
Priya (Irritated): Yes! You felt bad because of what has been happening.
Rahul: Out of 30 minutes of venting, this is what you deduce? You don’t understand my point. This is not what I meant.
Don’t we all sometimes do the most unheard between the ones we love the most?
An article titled ‘You’re Not Listening. Here’s Why.’ published in the New York Times, mentioned that ‘the closer we feel toward someone, the less likely we are to listen carefully to them. It’s called the closeness-communication bias and, over time, it can strain, and even end, relationships.’
Closeness-Communication Bias occurs because we have a tendency to ‘zoom out’ of conversations with our close ones because we feel we know they are going to say. It can lead to growing distance between two people. For instance, someone might feel that they don’t know their partner any longer.
These difficulties in communication arise when we presume that our loved ones ‘know us well enough’ and we can skip the little details describing our thoughts and emotions. On the other hand, when we meet an acquaintance, we reveal more information about ourselves because there is no closeness – bias. This arises because of an ‘illusion of insight.’ This means that while having a conversation with a loved one we create an illusion of understanding.
What can be done to reduce closeness-communication bias and have meaningful relationships with people who matter?
STOP. PAUSE. LISTEN.
As simple as it sounds, it is the most difficult thing to do. Being mindful of the time spent with our loved ones and engaging in meaningful conversations goes a long way.
Being a student is difficult enough – with classes, assignments, projects, exams, stress etc. Now, due to COVID-19, there is the added challenge of navigating student life virtually. Some of the common difficulties of being an online student include but are not limited to – procrastination, distractibility, lack of motivation, over-accessibility and over scheduling
It is now, more than ever that time management and organization skills are essential to ensure success as a student as they can help overcome many of the above mentioned hurdles.
Here are some helpful tips and strategies:
Switching from in-person learning to online school can be demanding. It makes it even more challenging to stay organized and to use time efficiently. Try incorporating some of these tried and tested strategies to help you stay on track and continue climbing the ladder of academic success!