Lockdown giving you the blues?
By Rhea Gandhi and Ashima Sethi
With the current lockdown in place, staying home all day and isolating from your friends and loved ones can aﬀect your mental health drastically. As cases have yet to stabilise, it’s fair to say so do our worries. You might be feeling anxious, agitated, and the restlessness of wanting to get out of the house may increase more and more as the days go by. We’re all going through the same thing, so we’ve curated a list of local and international resources we hope can help you overcome these feelings.
SATI is a new app founded by Amornthep Sachamuneewongse and his team. Completely free to download, it provides 24/7 on demand listening services in both Thai and English. After creating an account and logging on anonymously, you will be connected with an available listener who you can speak to about your state of mind and worries. For those who want to help, you can become trained as a listener after going through an “empathetic listening” training programme. www.satiapp.co
Childline, or SaiDek, provides support to any child under the age of 18. The call centre’s staff are available 24 hours a day to handle phone calls and respond to online messages. They offer help for various situations, including those related to mental health support.
DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH HOTLINE
The DMH’s helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and oﬀers online counselling from 5pm to 10pm via their Facebook page. The hotline’s consultants are not medical experts, despite their professional training, but are well-versed in crisis mitigation. The service is also fully anonymous and free from any judgement.
Ooca is an online platform that uses online video chats to connect individuals requiring mental health support with medical specialists. Patients can select a preferred appointment time and doctor, the platform oﬀers 30-minute sessions starting at THB 1,000. Their website also has a ‘personalised counselling’ feature where you can choose up to three topics that you want to talk about, and they will provide you with a streamlined list of professionals you can talk to. www.ooca.co
MindShift is an app speciﬁcally designed for teenagers and young adults who are suﬀering from anxiety. Users can select from a list of situations for which they need assistance. They are then led through a series of steps to better understand the root of their anxiety, which will then lead to being able to create a personalised plan for coping with it. You can also rate and track your anxiety levels, as well as get access to self-help resources like relaxation, visualisation, and mindfulness exercises.
Calm is a mindfulness and meditation app that includes a variety of ways to help users relax, sleep, and become more attentive. Calm provides its users with hundreds of relaxing exercises, breathing methods, and sleep stories narrated by celebrities like Harry Styles and LeBron James. You can also track your mood on this app and it also has a child-friendly interface. The app has both free, and paid options with a free seven-day trial for the latter. www.calm.com
7 Cups is a free website and app that provides online therapy and support for those who are experiencing emotional and mental distress by connecting them to trained listeners in a safe environment. The listener, who has been trained according to the app’s programme, will interact with the individual in distress via a conﬁdential chatroom to ask questions about their frame of mind and simply be a friendly ear. If you’d like to connect with a professional, the platform has monthly therapy bundles for aﬀordable prices.
Headspace is an app that was conceived by meditation expert Andy Puddicombe who calls it a ‘gym membership for your mind.’ The app oﬀers a series of mindfulness meditation programmes centered on things like health, relationships, and more. Beyond programmes, it also oﬀers quick easy-to-follow meditation if you ﬁ nd you need to calm down or ﬁ x your headspace. The app oﬀers a 10-day free period after which you can decide if you like it enough to subscribe. www.headspace.com
The creators behind Moodﬁt understand there’s no one-size-ﬁts-all approach to mental health so they oﬀer several comprehensive tools that might help ranging from customisable daily goals to set, a mood journal and gratitude journal, breathing exercises, cognitive behavioural therapy, sleep and lifestyle trackers, and much more. www.getmoodﬁt.com
WHAT DOES THE BODY GO THROUGH DURING LOCKDOWN?
Some people will be totally ﬁne during the lockdown period, whereas others will truly struggle without their usual routine. Mental health experts explain that this is because lockdowns can be traumatic and distressing for many people, activating the body’s stress responses—ﬁght, ﬂight, freeze.
If we remain in a constant state of ﬁght, ﬂight, freeze, without any release, the adrenal glands in the body will continue to pump adrenaline into the bloodstream that can result in increased heart rate and blood pressure. This puts our body into survival mode, and brings about emotions like anger, fear, and aggression.
To combat these responses, try these activities:
Boxing, lifting weights or doing resistance training, running on an incline or biking with resistance, martial arts, playing some form of a competitive sport
Walking, jogging, running, sprints and high-intensity interval training, jumping on a trampoline, walking up and down stairs, swimming, fast-paced biking
Meditating, taking a bath, videocalling loved ones, spending time with animals, gaming, art and drawing, stretching and yoga, singing, dancing, playing music, reading and writing, gardening, being in nature, being in the sun
Information gathered from abc.net.au