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As Uncertainty And Boredom Take On Everyone’s Life Again In The Pandemic, How Do We Cope?

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

It feels as if years have passed, worlds have changed and the reality is that everything is so messed up. Although things in our lives do get chaotic, yet, this is a new messed up era. If you have still not got it, I’m talking about the tiny monster who has devastated everything around us, the coronavirus, of course.

While there is nothing to be happy about, there are still multiple things we all can be grateful for. Things that have been the most affected are our mental health, peace and harmony. It used to be so easy to fix our mood by hanging out with our friends and family, or other times, just by going on a walk alone. And if it wasn’t something huge, you could get yourself your favourite junk food and the mental pressure would subside for some time.

What is this all about?

It is about the activities we all might have taken up at some time or the other in our past to run away from our harsh reality and layer up our emotions with materialistic pleasures. It is quite evident that most of us are not really mentally at peace in the current situation. Habits, routines and time schedules all have changed or been modified to a large extent.

Representational image.

Being quarantined has proved to be negative for the mental and social health of human beings. The closure of educational institutions, workplaces and entertainment venues has demanded people to stay at their homes to help break the chain of transmission. Separation from their loved ones, loss of freedom, boredom and uncertainty of the future have caused a deterioration in an individual’s mental health status. It has been observed that not just children, but even adults and people from all walks of life are distressed by the same. Each one of us is dealing with a fatigue, some physical and mostly mental.


According to a recent WHO survey, the coronavirus has disrupted mental health services for 93% of the countries. The demand for mental health services is increasing, while helping resources remain stagnant. This is the data that is open to the world, but statistics and graphs are just a method of getting closer to the problem, realising its repercussions and brace ourselves for the crisis management.

It is not the reality in most cases.

There are countless cases that are not being reported because of various factors. The aim is not to fill data sheets with the number of anxious and depressed individuals we have in a country, but to proudly mention that there are no cases of unhappy, depressed and stressed individuals on record or otherwise.

What is happening is uncontrollable, but we can accept it as reality and change the methodology of keeping ourselves healthy and at peace while we stay home for some more time. News channels, phone applications and incessant notifications on our gadgets would tell you to eat healthy, wear a mask and not to go out so that you remain fit.

Sad, but true. Not many talk about our unhealthy mental state. As it is of utmost importance to eat healthy and follow all Covid precautions, it is equally important to feel healthy from inside. We might be feeling helpless in stopping the outburst of Covid-19 cases, but we can surely try to tackle what’s going on inside us.

We need to distract our minds towards something more positive, productive and peaceful for ourselves as well as others. It might sound impossible at first, but trust me, we all can do it.

Here are some measures that might help us during this tough time:

  • Pamper yourself: It has been so long since we took notice of our needs and focused on self-care. We have been so much worried about our work, studies or household chores that we have hardly been able to give time to ourselves. Nature is giving us that time now. Take out this time for yourself, focus on having an amazing skin care routine, relaxing and sleeping well to give your eyes a break from our phone screens.
  • Schedule your time: Most of us are not able to adjust well to our environment, perhaps because we do not have a schedule. Try to make a time table, include self-leisure time, activity time, physical fitness time, and everything you wish to do. Making a schedule will help you in building healthy habits and sticking by them.
  • Talk to friends and family: I know we are not allowed to go out and party, but times are such that if we and our family are happy, healthy and together, going out can wait. Whenever you feel anxious, call your buddies and have a chit-chat, plan a virtual party, plan video calls and embrace the fact that we are privileged enough to still be seeing them because we have an internet connection.
  • Relax and meditate: Our life was way too fast-paced earlier, but now we have got time to relax and simply just do nothing. Isn’t it fun? Till we have time, we should ease out our body and mind, let them breath too. Think positive, meditate, try to recollect your thoughts and find yourself again. Hold the belief that everything is going to be fine, it is just a matter of time.
  • Rejuvenate old fun habits: There were a lot of things we all used to do to take a break from our jam-packed pre-Covid daily life routine, such as dancing, listening to music, watching movies, cooking, baking and many more. Don’t let these sparkles of fun go away from your life during the pandemic. Now, when we have ample time, we must make the most of it.
  • Find happiness in little things: Things that make us happy do not need any label, time is tough and so are we. Try to find happiness and pleasure in all big and small things around us. Value what you have and be positive that the things we are missing, we will get them back very soon.

This is my version of keeping myself physically and mentally fit. You find yours and enjoy this journey, explore new things while being at home. Be grateful for everything you have, while you have it.

Stay healthy and stay positive.

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  1. Piyush Malhotra

    Amazing post👍

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Find out more about her campaign here.

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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.

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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
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