Insomnia, restlessness, backaches, tension and anxiety are some of the side effects that people experience as they reached the fifth week of the lockdown implemented to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus from prolonged work from home.
Many businesses and firms shut down office operations following the announcement on March 25 of the countrywide lockdown. The lockout was initially enforced for 21 days and then extended to May 3, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country increased. Now it’s been further extended until May 17.
Madhushree Ghosh, a Kolkata-based corporate employee, said that she spends most of her time in front of her laptop or on her phone.
“After I finish my office work, I cook, eat and sleep. Even after this, the day does not seem to end. This is taking a toll on my mental health. There is no interaction with anyone. Everything is online,” she said.
Rahul Sharma, a Pune-based techie, said that work from home had blurred the line separating his personal life from his own life. He added that since he stays alone, he has to finish his office work on time and do all the housework, for instance, cooking and cleaning by himself.
Rahul complained that he has trouble falling asleep at night and suffers from frequent headaches.
According to reports, many major IT corporations have between 90% and 95% of their workers working from home. Health experts have urged people to meditate and do physical activities to keep their minds and bodies healthy. People can also take advantage of this opportunity to pursue their hobbies and de-stress, they said.
Some health experts have also said that distressing reports about the novel coronavirus pandemic are also taking a toll on people’s mental health.
The President of the Indian Institute of Health Management Research University in Jaipur stated that meditating early in the morning, reading books, and participating in spiritual activities will create positive vibes around you and your family. Keeping the house clean and walking on the terrace will enable people to remain mentally safe during this tough time. He also recommended individuals to restrict COVID-19 news intake as it leads to anxiety and insomnia.
The government has introduced toll-free helpline number-08046110007-for individuals who might face mental health issues due to the on-going countrywide lockdown to prevent the virus from spreading.
The Union Health Ministry said in a document titled ‘Minding our minds during the COVID-19 pandemic,’ that staying at home may be very pleasant for some time, but it may also be boring and restrictive.
By listening to music, reading, watching an enjoyable programme on television, following hobbies and doing basic indoor exercises, people can stay active and remove themselves from negative emotions.
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