Pandemic taking a toll on your mental health? It’s time for some ‘mental vaccine’
With the current wave of the Covid-19 crisis bringing a pall of grief, pain and suffering, staying sane has become as important as staying safe. But fear, panic and negative talk is turning out to be the biggest hurdle in ensuring one’s mental well-being. What one needs now is a mental vaccine of love, belief and hope, feels many celebs.
“Panic and negative self-talk are more dangerous than the virus. It’s not easy [to stay calm], but please don’t fear the virus. In such times, it's of utmost importance to have faith and trust in the power of the universe,” rapper Raftaar tells us.
It’s also important to stay connected and lean into the support system. “This is the best time to start these conversations and seek help when required. We need to remember that it’s okay to not be okay, but it is not ‘okay’ to not seek assistance,” emphasises actor Neil Nitin Mukesh, who himself has struggled with the virus.
Echoing similar thoughts, actor Suniel Shetty asserts that “mental nutrition” has become as important as nutrition through food.
He explains, “Jaise aapko breakfast, lunch, snacks aur dinner chahiye, ussi tarah mental nutrition bhi chahiye. It’s important to talk to people, counsel and assure them.”
And that’s something what actor Madhuri Dixit Nene is trying to do. “At this point, it’s important to reach out to your friends and family members and just check, if everything is okay, support them, and check if they need any help,” she says.
Still, there might be days when one feels low and everyone, so one should acknowledge the feeling instead of shrugging it off.
“Through the pandemic, there have been days when I’ve felt unexplainably low. On such days, I pushed myself to talk to people around me — my wife, my friends, my parents. I utilised a lot of creative distraction in the last one year and took to outlets like art, literature and music to keep my vision board alive and feel a sense of fulfilment,” Nitin Mukesh confesses.
Opening up about her trigger points, actor Shruti Haasan shares, “It’s not just the news or social media, but also the people you talk to that can make you super anxious. It’s therefore important to deal with these trigger points.”
She admits there are days when she feels she has had enough of watching negative news. “So, you’ve to be able to draw that line for yourself. The one thing which I practice and it has been very helpful for me with anxiety is having gratitude about everything,” Haasan adds.
Reflecting on his low days, Raftaar confesses, “I’ve devised self-coping strategies such as diving deeper into my music, doing yoga and meditating. During a phase I thought I was going to break down, these worked out well for me.”
Actor Mrinal Dutt, too, is meditating his way to calmness. “Today, it’s very easy to get carried away and go down the rabbit hole where you only panic. You must stay far away from fear.”
Many celeb point out various factors, which can affect mental health. All the words left unsaid, feelings unexpressed, plans unfulfilled, meetings undone and final goodbyes — these often leave scars, which might not be visible, but are wreaking havoc with the mental well-being of millions.
Actor Sarah-Jane Dias is planning to do her bit by associating with a medical professional and use social media to raise awareness.
“People are suffering from depression, anxiety, and various other issues related to mental health amid this pandemic. This month, I’ll be doing guided meditations twice a week, and a Q & A session on how to deal with grief and anxiety,” she tells us.
Having said that, it’s extremely important not to trivialise the issue. “People are struggling a lot worrying about where the money will come from, psychological disorders or weight issues or sexual trauma. I hope we can be there for these people,” urges actor Amit Sadh.
And the road to healing starts with self-love, self belief and self-trust, according to Anand Chulani, mental and emotional expert.
“We should make sure we immunise ourselves against the mental virus of fear. And the mental vaccine is available in all of us. It’s courage, determination, faith, care and compassion. We need to make sure we’re continuously mentally vaccinated,” he advises.