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By now, probably everyone is aware of the many hard-hitting effects of the unfortunate coronavirus pandemic. From the uncertainty about the end of this pandemic, the financial insecurity and the fear of contracting the virus to the suffocation of being unable to go to your favourite places and meet people, there are multiple ways in which this pandemic has severely affected us mentally.
This has been confirmed by a recently-conducted poll by WebMD which found that 50% women reported ‘side-effects’ of the lockdown which mainly pertained to weight gain and stress.
In the study, stress was cited as the main reason behind emotional eating and lack of physical activity that eventually also led to weight gain.
We reached out to an expert to dig deeper into this issue
From managing children’s tightly-scheduled online classes, facing pay cuts and losing jobs, to going through marital conflicts due to a sudden increase in the time being spent with the partner, there’s been a lot that women have had to deal with due to the pandemic, according to Dr. Preeti Singh, senior consultant, clinical psychology and psychotherapy, Paras Hospitals, Gurugram.
“Risk of emotional and physical abuse has increased tremendously and social distance has made it difficult to reach out,” she points out.
“Initially, the lockdown started with a lot of cooking, baking, eating and drinking with no routine, and no exercise, which is possibly why some women have gained weight,” she adds.
How can you deal with it?
Now, if you have fallen prey to these lockdown side-effects, here are some damage-control tips recommended by Dr. Singh:
1. Share responsibilities: Ladies, if you’ve taken it upon yourselves to clean every nook and corner of your house every day, cook all the meals, look after your family, and manage your work as well, it’s time to share the burden to reduce your stress. Involve your children, partner, and other family members in the household chores, so that you can get some time for yourself.
2. Take up a hobby: Engage in some activity of your interest like dancing, painting, stitching, embroidery, singing, gardening, watching movies, some DIY activities, taking care of your animals, and learning some new skills. This works as a great stress buster and can boost your mood as well.
3. Exercise: Practice meditation and engage in some physical activity to ensure that you’re mentally and emotionally healthy during these tough times. This will also help you burn a few extra calories and shed off the extra weight.
4. Stop overthinking: If the uncertainty is getting the better of you, try to focus on and live in the present moment instead of freaking out over the future.
5. Cook and eat mindfully: If you enjoy cooking, then explore a few healthy recipes. Make sure you’re eating balanced, healthy meals and avoiding junk food so that your weight stays in check.
So, ladies, the times are tough but it means we need to take better care of ourselves!