Image: ShutterstockThe coronavirus pandemic has brought with it stress and anxiety. According to a new global Covid-19 survey by Ipsos, a global market research company, anxiety, depression, overeating and physical inactivity have emerged as top concerns among urban Indians during the crisis. "Even people who have never dealt with anxiety or depression are suddenly experiencing those," Shaheen Bhatt, author and public speaker, said during a live Instagram session with Forbes India called Mind Matters—a three-part series also involving Neerja Birla, founder and chairperson, MPower, and Raj Mariwala, director, Mariwala Health Initiative. Work from home is adding to the stress and Ipsos says in India, more women are impacted than men. According to Birla, reaching out for help always helps. "Some of the red flags include insomnia, binge eating or not eating, mood swings, not wanting to get out of bed... the best thing to do is seek help." She added that certain practices like having a structure to the day, but with some flexibility, and creating a space in the house that becomes your workplace can help control both anxiety and stress. Exercising regularly is also beneficial mentally. "Some 'me time' is necessary, even if it means 30 minutes of either talking to your friends, catching up on a show or reading. It rejuvenates you," she said. Businesspeople are suffering too. "Entrepreneurs take failure personally… in such times, it is important to remind yourself that it is not a personal failure," said Mariwala. “These global events are completely out of anyone's control." It’s important to build a strong community or peer group to share issues. Often, entrepreneurs are not able to talk to their families about the strains at work. “Entrepreneurs need not be islands that are going through this journey on their own… some of the best help and solutions can come if you can build your own community," Mariwala added. "It is okay not to be okay. But it is not okay to not seek help," said Birla.
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