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If the “news” about a major earthquake hitting Delhi is freaking you out, read this

Published on:10 June 2020, 18:04pm IST
Along with the COVID19 outbreak, Delhi is also facing the possibility of a large-scale earthquake. A mental health professional talks about how to stay calm.
Grace Bains
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Staying mentally calm can help you deal with any calamity. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2020, as a year, can be compared to a rollercoaster ride that makes us want to throw up, while we try our best to control our tears because we’re scared. Honestly, we’re all just waiting for this year to end somehow but it keeps bringing along more bad news.

It started with a pandemic. Covid-19 in a matter of months has gripped the whole world. India has seen one of the strongest lockdowns; and yet, the number of cases is rising sharply. In the middle of this, we’ve seen locust swarms, cyclones destroying villages, and the economy going for a toss. If all this wasn’t apocalyptic enough, Delhi has experienced multiple earthquakes in just a month. What is scarier is the claim that the national capital is awaiting a far more destructive earthquake.

The residents of the city have always known that they stay in an area that experiences regular seismic activity, given that it lies in a fairly-vulnerable seismic zone. However, the fact that such a calamity could take place while we’re in the middle of a pandemic has taken a mental toll on many of us.

WHO, talking about the mental health aspect of what we’re experiencing as a world, has said that “Fear, worry, and stress are normal responses to perceived or real threats. So it is normal and understandable that people are experiencing fear in the context of the covid-19 pandemic.”

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Anxiety can crop in when so much is happening around you. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

But you can’t deny that clubbing a highly-infectious disease with another equally catastrophic calamity requires us to learn how to stay calm in the face of such dangerous possibilities. 

So, we talked to Dr Bhavna Barmi, a renowned psychologist based in Delhi NCR, about how we can tame these fears and keep our sanity intact. 

We have all been shaken up by the recent earthquakes occurring in the NCR region. It is normal to feel anxious about the safety of yourself and your loved ones. And it’s coherent to feel jumpy and scared, or worried about what the future holds,” she explains. 

So, how do we deal with these dreadful feelings? Here are some tips that will help us calm our nerves during these tough times:

1. Take a break from the news
Sure, we need to stay up-to-date with what’s happening in the world. But with so many things going on simultaneously, it is also important to not go beyond the daily digest of required information. It is easy to feel extremely anxious when five different sources tell you about the impending end of the world. Says Dr Barmi: “Taking a break from the news to avoid the ruminating thoughts and uncertainties regarding the earthquake can help.”

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Stop watching too much news and prepare yourself an emergency kit. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Don’t let go of your workout routine
It is only understandable that you want to just hide in your room and not get out of your bed given the number of stressful events going around. However, it is important that you strive to push yourself to keep up with the workout routine. It will help you deal with the anxiety. According to an analysis published in the journal Anxiety-Depression, those who exercise are better protected against symptoms of anxiety.

“We should strive to squeeze in some physical activity to clear our mind and distract ourselves from the predicament,” she adds.

3. Stay away from the rumours
Recently, a lot of fake news is going around and it is easy to fall for it given how prevalent it is. And so, it is extremely important to check the source of the information read, videos you watch, as well as the forwards you receive. Not doing so and giving in to false information will only add to your stress levels.

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Don’t always believe in what social media has to say. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“Most importantly, stay away from rumours,” suggests Dr Barmi. “They spread like wildfire and only leave panic behind. This is not to be in denial of the possibility of an earthquake; rather, it is the acknowledgement of our feelings and readiness to take action that would really help us remain calm in such anxious.”

So, stay calm and be practically ready to deal with any calamity. Being mentally strong can help you tide over tough times.

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Grace Bains Grace Bains

Grace is someone who likes writing enough to make a living out of it. When she isn’t writing, you will find her having chai and reading a book.