This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Sandeep. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Here’s How We Can Ensure That Social Distancing Doesn’t Affect Our Mental Health

More from Sandeep

This post is a part of YKA’s dedicated coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak and aims to present factual, reliable information. Read more.

India observed a nation-wide, self-imposed curfew on 22nd March 2020. It was the biggest social distancing exercise in the world. Now, 32 States/UTs, are under complete lockdown, covering 560 districts. The sole objective of lockdown is to ensure social distancing as it is deemed an effective way by medical experts to give a blow to the transmission chain of coronavirus.

However, prolonged social distancing can affect people’s mental health, as found in a recent study conducted by a reputed medical journal. The study states that quarantine can leave a great physiological impact on people: anger, anxiety, and sleep disturbance are just a few mental health concerns to mention. It also notes that stressors linked with quarantine, such as boredom, frustration, infection fear, and inadequate supply can inflame mental health concerns.

So, one should try to fight common stressors of quarantine, social distancing to safeguard your sanity:

Here are some tips that can help:

1. Stay In Touch Virtually 

Humans are inherently social beings. So, we always want to socialise with others. Any restriction on that can hurt our mental state. Social distancing and quarantining doesn’t mean that you cannot stay connected to our family members and friends. 

Thanks to technological advancements, we have multiple ways to socialise now. Phone calls, texts, social media messages, and video conferencing have made it easier to get in touch with our loved ones. Pick your phone and call at least 10 friends/family members whom you haven’t contacted for months. It will certainly boost your mood. 

What’s more, you can try playing online games in which multiple players participate to bust the feeling of social isolation. 

2. Try to Practice Your Daily Routine  

Social-distancing doesn’t mean you that you have to stay in your pyjamas and grow your beard because you’re not going out to meet people personally. Instead, you should try to follow a daily routine in order to give a sense of ‘normalcy’. Follow your regular morning routine – get out of your bed on time, have breakfast, complete the tasks that you can do in social distancing. If your company has allowed you to work from home, try to complete the daily work schedule on time. 

In the absence of professional engagement, you can try to complete an online course to enhance your life skills during this period of social isolation. Being productive will help you feel a sense of accomplishment and kill the boredom that may creep in your life while you are staying in self-isolation. Burnout often causes anxiety and stress. So, you should set strict limits to your work and make time for relaxing. 

3. Take Care of Your Health 

Eat healthy, exercise regularly, and try to get plenty of sleep. All of these will help you keep stress and anxiety at bay.

What we eat has a direct impact on how our overall health is. People in social isolation tend to eat either more or less than they normally do. You should not let that happen. Eat healthy, exercise regularly, and try to get plenty of sleep. All of these will help you keep stress and anxiety at bay. 

Some foods such as fatty fish, dark chocolate, bananas, and nuts and seeds are known to uplift mood. Including these food items in your diet can help you stay in the pink of mental health during social distancing. Also, you can practice meditation to ward off stress.   

4. Don’t Watch The News All the Time 

You are going in isolation because of the COVID-19 outbreak. So, it is natural that you want to stay abreast of everything related to the pandemic. And the only way to do so is by checking the news. However, doing so all the time can overwhelm you, and make you more fearful of the infection.  

Limit your media intake, and make time to also watch your favorite movies and TV shows. This will help you stay relaxed during self-isolation. 

5. Look On The Brighter Side 

There is no point in constantly complaining about not being able to meet friends and family members during this time. Instead, you can focus on the positives, which can boost your spirit. 

You can amplify good news stories, spread awareness, and honor caregivers online. Doing so will not only uplift your mood, but also help others stay feel positive about the situation.    

Social isolation or quarantine is the only available strategy right now to stop the spiraling of the COVID-19 outbreak. But this can also have an impact on a person’s mental well being. We don’t know for how many days we will have to maintain social distancing. So, doing things that can help us stay in the pink of our mental and physical health is the need of hour to ensure victory over this virus.  

You must be to comment.

More from Sandeep

Similar Posts

By shreya ghosh

By Charkha Features

By Kashish Singh

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below