Covid-19 world: Young medics take to poetry, music, cooking to de-stress
The pandemic has posed quite a tough task for young doctors, who have taken to hobbies such as singing, cooking, cycling and more to keep their morale high.Updated: Sep 18, 2020, 17:18 IST
Amid the pandemic, with increasing patient load and long working hours, doctors have been reporting emotional and physical burnout since quite some time. And for young medics, who are either on duty to attend Covid-19 patients or deputed around hospitals, it has become all the more severe to balance emotional and physical stress at such a en early stage of their career. And to not to let the pandemic get to them, many have taken to unexplored hobbies to unwind, relax and work towards a semblance of work-life balance.
Take for instance Dr Vyomika Tekchandani, who works at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital. She had just started her post graduation when the world went indoors, and there was a flurry of patients at the hospital. Staying alone, she decided to seek comfort in music. “This is the first time that I’m staying away from my family. I don’t remember the last time I had a meal with them. One day I downloaded and watched the film Luka Chuppi (2019) at around 3 am because I was missing my mother so much that I couldn’t sleep through the night,” says Tekchandani adding that she then decided to take to music, and now regularly posts videos of herself singing some of her favourite melodies online. “It takes my mind off of all my worries. I’m honestly not that confident when it comes to recording videos because I haven’t really learnt music, but I guess the amount of peace I get while recording urges me to do it over and over.”
Tekchandani’s colleague, Dr Arpit Garg, a PG resident in the department of Radiology, has taken to Instagram to showcase his skills in the kitchen. “Even when I am tired, cooking is such a stress buster, and gives me immense joy! My grandmother, who is an amazing cook, has been my inspiration. With so much stress around us these days, and immensely long duty hours, I decided to take respite in cooking Idli Sambhar and Rajma Chawal. I think I’ve perfected at least these two recipes,” says Garg with a smile.
“I was losing hope so easily... so I took up a lot of activities. And in between all of them, I keep cycling so that the newness of these activities keeps returning.” – Dr Noopur Gupta, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Delhi
For Dr Noopur Gupta, who is posted at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, takes to de-stressing after a long day by writing poetry or taking to the mobile to learn Spanish or a course in coding. She has lately bought a bicycle as well. Gupta, whose both parents are doctors too, says, “I was losing hope so easily... so I took up a lot of activities. And in between all of them, I keep cycling so that the newness of these activities keeps returning. I’m trying so hard to focus on trivial things, and away from work that I’ve been writing poems on things like graters, female moustaches and almost every other thing in my life!”
Collecting samples, accomplishing contact tracing, and going to the hospital daily while hoping that they don’t get infected, some hostellers are having a tougher time. Dr Shriya Mungi, one such hosteller who is on Covid-19 duty at JK Hospital and Medical Research Centre in Bhopal, says, “Everyone is coping in different ways. My friend introduced me to roomscaping, which involves decorating one’s room and I’m hooked to it! I’m also pursuing a course on Justice and World Religions and have been journaling my daily experiences, which helps me keep the negativity at bay.”
“Sakshi Gill, my batchmate, finds new ways to use old cartons, paints them, and breaks old CDs and makes them into showpieces to decorate the walls of her room.” – Dr Shriya Mungi, JK Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Bhopal
Mungi’s colleagues have been indulging in new hobbies for psychological support. “Sakshi Gill, my batchmate, finds new ways to use old cartons, paints them, and breaks old CDs and makes them into showpieces to decorate the walls of her room. Shruti Bobde, my co-intern, has started growing plants, her mogra plant flowered recently. And Manu, a doctor who lives in a flat with friends, regularly cooks to de-stress.”
But, isn’t it exhausting to keep up a brave front always? “Yes,it is,” says Dr Noopur Gupta, adding, “A major challenge for most of us is to find out ways to deal with the emotional burden of giving care to patients. We are all figuring it out together because we chose this profession; we wouldn’t have it any other way.”