Episode 16 – Mental Health during Lockdown Pt.1

This is that episode where Peter Pop and Nadir Pop barely spoke because the two guests who shared the stage gave us such a thought-provoking perspective on the India lockdown that we are still pondering on a number of things.

We start the podcast with our first guest, Sudha Ravishankar who has been associated with KC College – Media Dept for close to 20 years. She shares her unique experience as a parent, but we’ll come to that in a bit.

Very lucidly Prof. Ravishankar highlights the chasm between different sections of the Indian society keep the Social Economic Categorisation as the marker. What it’s like being a privileged person vs. a middle class family vs. marginalized sections (house help, daily wage labourers, etc)

Everyone has their own quarantine and lockdown concerns to deal with. The salaried person wants to know if he/she will have their jobs or take deep cuts in their salaries. The daily wage person is trying to figure basic survival tactics. On the flip side corporates are doing their best to quell the concerns of the employees regarding salaries and businesspersons/households/factroy owners are putting in all the effort to ensure that daily wage persons get their dues.

But what really moved us was Prof Ravishakar’s deeply personal story, which involves her son’s Asperger’s Syndrome and how everyone is coping up during the lock down. I urge everyone to listen to her experience considering that she ended her conversation on a very positive note “We need to keep our mental faculties occupied and keep doing something to keep ourselves happy and work from home for the benefit of the organisation”

Dr. Swati Deepak, is a practicing psychotherapist and counsellor for over 20 years and she also conducts seminars in schools and colleges. She explains the effects of the lockdown on mental health and also shares valuable information for parents.

She breaks down the current situation into three parts:

  • Our current exposure to the various forms of media, especially the internet is changing our anxiety levels
  • We are locked indoors for a really long time, which is great if you have your entire family with you but there might be certain members who have different stressors and they might experience something that they are not used to
  • We have started appreciated our house helps much more now that we are doing daily chores all by ourselves and hopefully pass it down to our kids and not take things for granted and learn to respect basic and simple things

She also advised that this is the right time for parents to listen and not just talk or order their children but understand them and see what is going on in their minds.

News consumption needs to be brought down tremendously especially when you have children around because the kids can read you and understand that something is off.

Boundary blurring is very much real, especially for children – work time vs. personal time. Relaxing the screen time is absolutely fine but are you as a parent engaging with the child too or are you setting a timer.

She also spoke about creating a daily rhythm for the children, like start your day with household chores then move to playtime, screentime, etc. Then move to lunch, and some other activities and finally dinner and sleep. Because children need consistency, it cannot be dependent on the parents’ mood.

There were so many interesting aspects of the parent and child dynamic that she brought up in this episode. Listen to it to get a better understanding.

An eye-opening and thought-provoking episode to say the least. Have a listen and let us know what’s on your mind, is your kid driving you up the wall? Or are you the warrior who is managing it all?


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