Using Alcohol, Tobacco To Cope With Lockdown Boredom Can Reduce Immunity, Warns Health Ministry

Using Alcohol, Tobacco To Cope With Lockdown Boredom Can Reduce Immunity, Warns Health MinistryRepresentative Image. (Photo by Satish Bate / Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Far from giving you relief, using tobacco and alcohol during the lockdown period may make things worse and even reduce your immunity, the Health Ministry warned on Tuesday (31 March).

"Distract yourself from negative emotions by listening to music, reading, watching an entertaining programme on television. If you had old hobbies like painting, gardening or stitching, go back to them. Rediscover your hobbies," the ministry said in a document, titled 'Minding our minds during the COVID-19 pandemic'.

Sharing tips about how to beat anxiety and stress which may arise due to social distancing measures put in place to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, the ministry urged people not to judge those who get infected by the Coronavirus.

Even those who recover from the infection may feel stress because of the behaviour of others.

"Do not shun or judge people with a COVID-19 infection. While you need to maintain a physical distance and keep yourself safe to prevent such infection, remember they need care and concern. If you know someone who might have the infection, tell them about precautions, and how to get medical assistance, if required," the document said.

"If you happen to get infected with corona, remember most people get better. Do not panic. Practise self-isolation and take medications that are advised," it added.

While simple measures like following a regular schedule, remaining physically active and having a positive frame of mind can help one to handle social isolation, those who continue to feel fear, anger or irritation should seek help, the ministry said.

"Feeling lonely or sad is also quite common. Stay connected with others. Communication can help you to connect with family and friends. Call up people whom you haven’t spoken to and surprise them. Discuss happy events, common interests, exchange cooking tips, share music," it said.

"If any of these emotions persist continuously for several days, despite your trying to get out of it, talk about it with someone. If the feelings worsen, a person may feel helpless, hopeless and feel that life is not worth living. If that happens, call at helpline number (080-46110007) for advice from a mental health professional or contact your doctor / mental health professional," the ministry said.

Even COVID-19 survivors should seek help if they find it hard to handle the stress.

India on Monday (30 March) witnessed one of the sharpest spike in the number of novel coronavirus as 227 people tested positive in 24 hours, taking the country's total to 1,251 with 32 deaths. However, 102 people have been cured.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)