One 12 months of lockdown: Self care and psychological well being throughout a pandemic

by Dr Aparna Joshi

“I haven’t been in a position to meet my spouse and my child for the reason that lockdown. I’m caught, away from them and preserve worrying about their security. Being caught indoors, whereas worrying about them, I’m feeling a sort of a ‘psychological congestion’”(35, Male)

I needed to transfer again house as a consequence of lockdown, it’s getting actually difficult for me right here. My father is abusive in direction of my mom and I really feel helpless, that is even impacting my relationship with my boyfriend (28, F)

Narratives like these have been frequent on the iCALL helpline since March 2020 (when the lockdown as a result of pandemic began), the place counsellors provide psychosocial counselling companies over technology-assisted mediums to shoppers throughout the nation. The quantity of shoppers reaching out has elevated by 103 per cent in comparison with pre-COVID-19 knowledge, indicating a excessive want to hunt psychosocial companies. The COVID-19 pandemic made its technique to India in late January 2020. Since the launch of the helpline in March 2020, iCALL catered to fifteen,000+ shoppers by its phone, e-mail and chat-based companies. The counsellors listened to narratives of misery actively in a secure and holding setting and labored with shoppers to develop inner assets and facilitate referrals that helped cope with their issues.

The outbreak of the pandemic itself and the following containment measures have taken a toll on the psychological well being of people. The psychosocial impression manifested by anxiousness, bereavement, insomnia, loneliness, elevated substance use (WHO, 2020) has had additional hostile penalties on different life outcomes resembling socio-economic standing, high quality of life and vulnerability to diseases, and so on.

On one hand, the pandemic acted as an equaliser affecting most people throughout completely different strata of the society; however on the opposite, it additionally served to accentuate the present social rifts by adversely affecting those that belong to weak and marginalised teams resembling migrants, aged, people with disabilities, ladies survivors of violence, folks with psychological sickness, LGBTQ people and so on. Studies have proven that throughout the lockdown, ladies, no matter their employment standing, bore the burden of home duties greater than males (Chauhan, 2020). It can be a indisputable fact that there was an exponential enhance in situations of home violence throughout this era. (Das et al., 2020).

Needless to say, the complicated set of stressors skilled by people, significantly the aged, ladies and kids, of their private, interpersonal, skilled and communal lives and the resultant misery, requires an equally multi-faceted psychosocial response. At a macro stage, this might contain preventive and interventive well being measures, financial reforms, era of livelihood choices, steps to mitigate stigma, resumption of transportation and on a regular basis life actions and so on. But at a micro-level, people additionally want help and nurturance as they proceed to battle with uncertainties, worries, conflicts, losses and isolation of their private and interpersonal lives.

The outbreak of the pandemic itself and the following containment measures have taken a toll on the psychological well being of people. (Photo: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Responding to misery: Tips, assets and duties

Remember: It isn’t `regular’ but. As we proceed to face indefinite time frames for normalcy to be restored, we should take steps in direction of self-care very like the steps we take to cease the unfold of the virus. The first step on this path is to decelerate, concentrate on our personal feelings, and acknowledge the impression of this irregular scenario on our lives. Some responses could also be wholesome and a few unhealthy. It is essential to establish/acknowledge one’s unhealthy coping methods resembling extreme publicity to digital units, use of drugs. Therefore, some wholesome methods to have interaction in self-care might embody easy steps resembling making certain consumption of wholesome meals, good sleep (7-8 hours), some type of bodily train or motion, studying books, listening to music, making certain one is ready to consciously restrict one’s time spent on-line and have a wholesome on-line expertise total. In instances of adversity practising gratitude, compassion and mindfulness-based workouts can go a good distance in holding our personal.

Resources: When coping with uncertainty, specializing in what we are able to management and what’s past our management helps. It is essential to attach neighborhood members with related help and assets. Often connecting with a liked one, and even speaking to knowledgeable counsellor at a helpline like iCALL (cellphone: 9152987821/ e-mail: chat: nULTA app) may also help in instances of despair. As many individuals more and more flip to social media, it will be significant for them to seek out related help and data on-line as properly. iCALL continues to work with consultants and social media corporations resembling Facebook to develop assets that help in managing emotional and social well being. Some of those assets embody Emotional Health, a centralised useful resource hub on Facebook, Chatbots, and well-being guides on Facebook, and Instagram.

Responsibilities: As we proceed to adapt to a brand new definition of ‘regular’, let’s be attuned to the emotional wants of our personal selves and others round us as it would go a good distance in shaping the psychological, social and bodily well-being of our society.


Chauhan, P. Gendering COVID-19: Impact of the Pandemic on Women’s Burden of Unpaid Work in India. Gend. Issues (2020).
Das M, Das A, Mandal A. Examining the impression of lockdown (as a consequence of COVID-19) on Domestic Violence (DV): An proof from India. Asian J Psychiatr. 2020;54:102335. doi:10.1016/j.ajp.2020.102335

(The writer is venture director, iCALL; assistant professor, TISS & Tanuja Babre Programme Coordinator; on behalf of iCALL Helpline, TISS)

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