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Mental Health & Wellbeing in COVID-19 Times by Alaknanda Past-Pupils

By Father Babu Varghese
Mental Health & Wellbeing with Dr. Samir Parikh
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New Delhi, Jul. 29. Past Pupils of Don Bosco Alaknanda, New Delhi organized a 01-hour Facebook live talk on 'Mental Health and Wellbeing' with Dr. Samir Parikh-Director Mental Health, Fortis Memorial Research Centre, Gurugram on 26 July 2020 from 7 pm to 8 pm. The session was moderated by Father Davis Maniparamben, Dr. Kenshuk Marwah and Varun Sawhney.
Dr. Samir Parikh, the leading Psychiatrist and expert on Mental Health, in his crisp and informative talk, stated that there is no need for anxiety in COVID-19 times. Instead, he said, ''we need to score 100/100 on preventive measures and create a fortress to prevent the enemy from entering into our homes.'' As the future seems uncertain due to the pandemic, Dr. Parikh gave his mantra to face the pandemic: ''Don't look at tomorrow, look at today.''  

Positivity, productivity and connectivity are the 03 words with which Dr. Parikh exhorted everyone to face these challenging times. He invited everyone to ''be agents of positivity by positive bombardment of good thoughts, spreading positive awareness and shunning negativity.'' It is important to create a 'work window' and have a demarcation between work time and free time. More bonding can take place in the family through sensitivity, encouragement, compassion and empathy. Kids are to be exposed less to aggressive videos and games, and encouraged to talk to their peers and take up hobbies. The pandemic time is a time to rekindle lost connections and bring back bonds. It is important to have a good lifestyle, hydrate oneself well and eat healthy. The members of the family have to come together to give confidence to each other.  Physical activity has to be increased, Caffeine intake has to be reduced, breathing exercises to be done regularly to improve the quality of sleep. Dr. Parikh requested everyone to continue to communicate with the elderly in the family and connect the elderly to their friends. It is a time to enjoy togetherness. In these times of increased social distancing, we can still maintain social connections and care for the mental health of each other. Video chats, phone calls and messaging can help to feel socially connected and lessen loneliness and isolation.



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