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Indian Psychiatric Society shares tips to safeguard mental health during COVID-19

<br>Dr Aleem Siddiquee, Direct Council Member, IPS, from Lucknow, talks about how physical fitness plays a key role in one's mental wellbeing. He says, while it is difficult to play outdoor games in the current situation, one should explore or opt for physical activities staying indoors. Activities such as dancing, yoga, or using a treadmill for an hour daily can help cope with stress in a better way, increase immunity, and help develop a better sleeping pattern. He underscored the fact that physical health helps improve mental health, and that can help in fighting the virus.

Dr PD Garg, Zonal representative, North Zone, IPS urges people to keep themselves motivated and keep their self-confidence and willpower high. He also advises youngsters to bring more disciplined in their lives and take care of themselves by eating right, spending quality time for physical activities. He says that youngsters should avoid any kind of substance use to battle these uncertain times.

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Dr. Sujit Sarkhel, Zonal Representative, East Zone IPS, discusses anxiety and panic attacks in relation to COVID-19. To manage anxiety, he shares tips such as listening to soothing music, sharing one's feelings with one's friends and family, and distracting one's self from the situation to deal with panic attacks. He also educates users to look for signs such as extreme fear, pounding of heart, difficulty in breathing to know if they are experiencing panic attacks. If faced with a panic attack, one must remind themselves that this will pass within a few minutes and not too frantically look for a safe place.

For housewives, Dr. Shashi Rai, Direct Council Member, IPS from Lucknow shares tips on how they can follow a routine to complete daily household chores and manage the increasing family expectations in the absence of any domestic help. She encourages the involvement of everyone right from kids to elders in the family to partake in completing these tasks. She also shares valuable insights on how housewives should not only spend enough time doing chores but also spend time with family, look after themselves by pursuing a hobby, reading books or regularly exercising.

Additionally, she advises them on how to keep negativity at bay by not constantly discussing COVID-19 related updates during family conversations or otherwise.

Dr. Shubhangi Parkar, Ex Dean and Academic Dean, KEM Hospital, from Mumbai talks about the importance of maintaining hygiene by urging users to wear masks, wash hands and adhere to social distancing, in order to stop the spread of the virus. She emphasises that we can protect ourselves and our loved ones only if we strictly follow the protocols.

Psychiatrists from various parts of the country are talking about the importance of physical wellness, motivation and how to deal with anxiety and how one can maintain a positive mental health, on video-making app, TikTok.

<br>(Puja Gupta can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS<br>pg/tb/sdr/

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