Rise in cases, curbs, curfews, and a sense of being stuck indoors...all of this has left many in the city feeling low at the start of the year
By December, sound engineer Anish Ponnappa was extremely thrilled to get back to gigs and doing what he loved most, creating music. But with Covid-19 cases on the rise and with the night and weekend curfew kicking in, he feels like we are back to square one. “With the curfew and cancelled gigs it feels like 2020. No meeting people, no live shows...now I’m just stressed sitting at home,” says Ponnappa, who is currently in Kodagu but travels to the city for work.
Not just Ponnappa, the fear of stress and anxiety is turning out to be a common feeling for many. Swati R (name changed), who was excited to start college last year, is back at home once again. “I was so thrilled when physical classes resumed in 2021, but that was short-lived,” says Swati, adding that she started feeling ‘hopeless and uncertain’ about the situation. “While I was in denial, I realised I needed help,” says Swati, who started her sessions with a therapist in the first week of January.
Dr Sujata Shenoy, a psychologist for the last 35 years, says the feeling is quite natural. “Since the situation has been ongoing, it is testing the resilience of everyone,” says Shenoy, adding that mental health issues are often neglected. “Underlying mental health issues are now surfacing again. People are more conscious of loneliness, and social media adds to this feeling of hopelessness, which leads people to panic attacks,” says Shenoy, adding that the biggest task is recognising the need for help.
Some in the city are opting for various kinds of therapies to deal with stress. “The cave syndrome as it’s called stems from being locked in at home. It could be sometimes about stagnant energies too,” says Mita Vinay, founder of Bodhasara Wellness & Studio. She adds, “In pranic healing we try to unknot those energies so that the healing could be from core.”