Take care of your mental health during lockdown
The frustrations of enforced isolation often fueled by use of alcohol and looming poverty, aggravates tensions or creates new ones. As the COVID-19 lockdown deprives them from much needed social support and outside distractions, both the abuser and victim are facing unparalleled versions of domestic nightmares. The innocent, passive victims are the children who encounter the brunt of this situation.
What to do if you feel frustrated all the time?
It’s natural to sometimes feel helpless when there too many demands on you. Getting to the bottom of your emotions would be a good starting point: If it’s any of the following, try these options.
- Difficulty to get your daily essentials sorted – try using online grocery stores and e-pharmacies. Planning and ordering ahead might help too.
- Traveling constraints: It’s important to adhere by guideline set by authorities. If you still need to commute, reach out to the nearest police station and give your cause.
- Need financial assistance: Reach out for help from anyone you feel would reach out.
- Difficult to pick your next action: Find a quiet place at home and concentrate. This will help you pick your thoughts and improve your mood.
Are you going through the following patterns?
Stress, fear and anxiety are normal during these times. If you encounter poor sleeping patterns, fluctuating emotions and bouts of inactivity, first tell yourself this is normal and temporary.
However, if any of those persist then you need to talk to someone you trust or seek professional help. Prolonged periods of extreme mood swings, detachment from loved ones and alcohol/drug addictions are signs you shouldn’t ignore. Thoughts of suicide or self-harm, sexual drive changes, and excessive anger or sadness are clear symptoms of poor mental health. Immediately seek help.
What to do if you feel unsafe at home?
If you feel insecure or compromised, you might want to seek regulatory help immediately, being on the receiving end of unkindness isn’t fair on you. But it’s also wise to objectively analyse the situation at hand and you may want to consider the following steps initially:
- Attitude – Your tone of voice or constant complaints may be the cause of someone’s negative reaction. Control your rage when the other is angry and try talking politely with them once they’ve calmed down. Use eye contact, a calm tone of voice and spend more quality time with your family members. Make them laugh and feel happy.
- Mindfulness and meditation – These can change your perspective. As a result, you might even learn more patience and empathy. This isn’t advisable if you feel you are in danger.
- As the next step, reach out to a trusted contact and share your problems with them.
- Help hotlines are still in operation. Use this if you’ve tried all the above options and now know this to be the ideal course of action. In case you’re unable to discuss over a phone call, use texts or online chatting to pass the information to the right people. Refer to the list of numbers at the end of the article
Looking for the light at the end of the tunnel
People worry about job insecurity and taking care of the elderly with diabetes, cholesterol or other critical illnesses such as cancer. If your income has been affected you might face difficulty to afford medicines for them or your children with special healthcare needs. You can:
- Focus on the possibilities of using your skills and assets to generate income from alternative sources. If you persistently seek with a positive attitude, ideas and opportunities will come where none existed before.
- You might need domestic help or to find certain supplies. Sri Lankans are known for their ability to rise to the occasion through generosity and kindness, thus look for community pages on social media to seek help. Someone will surely have the answer to your concerns, especially if you mention the urgency of your situation.
- Use online pharmacies to procure medicines on time. Leave a message to retailers with your requirement. Use meal planning in advance for those with special dietary needs in order to shop accordingly.
How can you help others?
- Stay in touch with friends and family who you suspect to be victims of domestic violence
- Build a community to organise food and essentials for those facing financial hardships
- Sometimes all they need is someone to listen to them actively, not your help or advice
- Use positive thinking to build their confidence that this too shall pass
- If there are ways to help them earn a sustainable income, do that
Don’t lose hope. Recovery is possible. Stay strong. Good times will be here soon.
Meanwhile, these are useful contact numbers if you need to share your worries with someone confidentially:
Contact the authorities in case of an emergency. Call 0112444 444 or 119
- Sri Lanka Sumithrayo
+94 11 2692 909 / +94 11 2696 666
- Child, Adolescent and Family Services (CAFS)
+94 76 406 7004 / +94 11 744 6919
- Safa Counselling Centre
+94 72 0115 115