Lockdown Blues: Minding Our Minds

Lockdown is meant to prevent the spread of infection from one person to another, to protect ourselves and others. However, staying at home for such a prolonged period can be boring, restricting and saddening. Here are some tips to combat the loneliness of physical distancing and stay positive and cheerful.

Create quality time: If you share your home with others, why not make a special occasion of every day events, like dinner, or even tea time? Encourage everyone to make an effort, perhaps dress up.

Go old school: Play board games with those you are in lockdown with, or cards, chess, checkers. These help you bond more closely, and feel less alone in a way no computer game or film can.

Break bad habits: Do your phone conversations with loved ones, especially your parents/children seem repetitive? So change: why not read a book aloud over the telephone with them, a few pages at a time? You can take turns, so that in a little time, you've read an interesting book and become closer.

Gather the whole family - online: Almost every social media platform now allows you to set up conference video calls with family in far flung places. Give people notice, allow for time differences, and don't forget to support elders who may need a little tech help.

Count your friends: Seriously, make a list of all those people you have considered your friends over the years, and you'll realise there are people you have lost touch with. Reach out to them, chances are you will both be pleasantly surprised.

Volunteer: Join a group helping those who need assistance. That way, you can both feel good and make new friends.

Pets are therapy: Spend time with your own, or offer to walk a neighbour's dog. Don't be shy, your neighbours and their dogs will thank you.

* Based on inputs from Dr. H. S. Aditya, a consultant neuropsychiatrist and Medical Director of Manasa Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Bangalore. He is an NHS consultant and has served as Clinical Director in a Scottish health board. He is a graduate of the Scottish Clinical Improvement Leadership program. In 2019, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK.

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