Speaker: Dr. Harish Shetty, MD- Psychiatry, MBBS at Dr. L.H. Hiranandani Hospital in Powai, Mumbai
Facilitator: Priyanka Deo, Youtuber, New India Junction
Compiled by: Deepshikha Chhetri
Date: 15th April 2020
The first question, and one of the most relevant ones in today’s time, was regarding dealing with the fear of catching coronavirus despite being inside the house. To this, Dr. Harish mentioned that human beings have a constant conversation going on in their minds. Nowadays they have a conversation regarding what will happen to me, will corona enter my house. Remember, corona cannot fly! So, whenever you are having such a conversation, you can rewire your brain. Self-talk, i.e. what you talk with yourself after getting up in the morning is very important, according to the speaker. You are not rewriting a program, but you are correcting the conversations in your mind. So, you should constantly remind the brain that you won’t get affected if you stay healthy, clean, and indoors. If you take precautions, nothing will happen to you. So, you have to rewrite the negative conversations. Now, connect to positives and not poison. The speaker beautifully cited the cricket analogies too. He mentioned that the future is uncertain, but it is important to keep a pacified mindset where you keep a balance between your body and mind. It is not important to know from where did this virus come, rather it is important that we fight against it properly. This lockdown should be utilized properly by improving the immunity quotient, by having a proper diet and by exercising daily.
One of the participants raised a question related to studies and the fact that students have not been able to concentrate on their studies due to the postponement of the overall exam and study schedule. So how can they focus on studies and make a schedule is what the question highlighted? Mr. Harish addressed to the class X students that it is not the time to study for long hours. It is time to make connections, especially with parents. The speaker feels that this connection gets a bit hampered during this stage and that child prefers to stay with friends’ company rather than the parents’ company. So try to assist your parents in these times. When you do these things, its when you feel relaxed and the bonding gets stronger than ever. One cannot live one’s life by lamenting over negative aspects. Mr. Harish strongly advises everyone to start thinking and having self-talk in a positive manner. Students can even opt for online courses in these times so as to gain some skill which will in turn benefit in the future. One must have such a positive attitude to learn something new.
The next question was on the stress that one feels when one thinks about the uneducated poor living on the streets. Even the speaker expressed this as one of the biggest issues of our country. India is an expert in altruism. The joy of giving is impeccable. There are many free services going on in our country, people should join such services and volunteer. If you are from an affluent background, try to volunteer by donating money. There are immense activities one can start doing so as to do good for society. So one can volunteer through these ways and can feel positive.
Ms. Mandira asked the next question one personal financial well being and the stress which one may go through due to this. Mr. Harish said that there will be ups and downs in business. It’s important that you understand this and plan accordingly. Again, you have to gain control over your mind! That is the most significant action to do in such times and is actually the best way to cope up with any sort of problem. Watching TV and especially new channels 24*7 is a risk to mental health. Withdrawal symptoms will come after leaving such news channels. One should rather read books, talk to people, and do some creative stuff. The speaker advises not to use too many mobile phones. Watching news 24*7 is also an addiction. Remember, those who send the WhatsApp messages containing fake news are not in the news reporting team.
One of the participants asked for some tips to stay balanced as he/she stays alone. Mr. Harish described the situation as a big challenge. One may be alone, but one would not be lonely. You have a door, a window. Look at the sky for an hour and calm your mind. Use phones and talk to people, talk to those whom you could not interact much earlier. If you are a student or doing a job and living alone, talk to friends and family members. That is the real essence of life. Moreover, the speaker said that listening to music is another great way to remove the solitude factor from life.
It was indeed a great session where Mr. Harish gave us various insights as to how to keep calm and stay safe and happy in these crucial times.
Key Highlights of the Conversation:
- Self-talk, i.e. what you talk with yourself after getting up in the morning is very important.
- The future is uncertain, but it is important to keep a pacified mindset where you keep a balance between your body and mind.
- This lockdown should be utilized properly by improving the immunity quotient, by having a proper diet and by exercising daily.
- Students in this pandemic period have not been able to concentrate on their studies due to the postponement of the overall exam and study schedule.
- One must try to volunteer for some donations or may help someone in these times.
- There will be ups and downs in business. It’s important to understand this and plan accordingly.
- Try to maintain social well being by connecting with different people.