I’m an aspiring actress. At the beginning of the year I came to Mumbai with big dreams. I managed to rent a friend's apartment. I am a nobody and did not even get to speak to anybody regarding shoots, commercials or a job when the lockdown happened and now I’m stuck in this city without any option to go home. I barely have money; it’s an expensive city and my parents are wiring me money whenever they can, but we do not have much. I’m worried about their safety and mine and I don’t know if I can go back once everything opens. I’m scared of getting infected.
Ans: It appears that you are caught in a web of fear regarding survival in the city as well as staying healthy. Being alone at this point in time could be quite overwhelming. With some relaxations in the travel within the country, you can think of moving back to your parents so that you feel more at peace amidst chaos. The current situation is quite unpredictable and regaining some balance in these times is very essential. It might sound like a delay but you can always come back once the city opens up and things resume and go their usual way of functioning.
I’m a freelance photographer. My career got a boost last year after some of my shots on Instagram went viral. I was doing well until the lockdown happened, because my staff and I got separated and all the shoots were cancelled. I’m trying to find work online, but it's very less. I’m worried about supporting myself and have already taken a loan to start my career so I cannot do that now. I am using up my savings, but I do not know what to do after it gets over. I am feeling extremely anxious.
Ans: I can understand that the work scenario must have taken a toll on you during the lockdown. With more relaxations in lockdown you can now think of venturing out briefly with all necessary precautions in place to kickstart your work again. Looking at the situation a little differently, this time might be of help than trying to replicate how things were earlier. Your work might look different and also be slow right now, but some beginning is still a beginning. Along with this looking for some alternative profession could be of help as well. This way you can feel at ease when things are slow on the photography front.
My father tested COVID-19 positive last month and my brother and I scrambled to get all our savings to treat him. With difficulty, we managed to find a bed in a hospital for him and he fought the virus. However, our funds have depleted and I do not know how to support other medical bills if any of the other family members are at risk. I am feeling helpless.
Ans: Financial struggles could lead to a lot of stress, especially, when there is uncertainty looming around. There are few government schemes and organisations that are run on non-profit basis to help fund those who are going through a tough time financially. Additionally, worrying about 'what if' you will be unable to pay the bills when the time arrives might lead to further stress. Focus on what’s possible at the moment than on what may or may not happen in future. You can also discuss with other family members to understand the financial situation better and where can you bring about few changes in expenditure as well. This evaluation will take away some stress and allow you to think beyond the confines of anxiety.Beat your Lockdown Blues: All your mental health queries answered by Dr Anjali Chhabria
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