“Give your stress wings and let it fly away.” —Terri Guillemets
Life has its own rough patches that every individual has to go through. The 2020 lockdown was not something that was favorable to anyone, especially college students. Steven Rathod aged 24 shares his story on how he was able to overcome his anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic and be more productive in his college work. Steven is pursuing his management degree MBA from the elite IIM Bangalore.
The sudden changes in my life and a personal loss made me extremely anxious and I didn’t have the desire to do things. Basically I was a lost satellite.
MBA as a program has its own pressure, and with classes all taking place online it can get more difficult for students to stay focused and complete their deliverables. Due to COVID, the coursework was jam-packed in a short duration of time.
During their first year, IIMB students also have summer placements for internships and this is definitely something new for most students. They usually seek guidance for this from their professors or seniors. Now that everything was online they found it tough to do this. Unfortunately in the midst of this, he also went through a personal loss as he lost someone very close to him. This led to him being aloof and was later diagnosed with depression.
“I wanted to be in a better mental state.”
This is when he knew he had to reach out for help. He wanted to feel better and be more productive and he didn’t want to sabotage his career. He got in touch with the Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Preethi Krishnan through YourDOST while also undergoing psychiatric consultations.
Dr. Preethi helped him through both mental and physical exercises. She taught him muscle relaxation techniques which helped him reduce the stress in his body and mind. Muscle relaxation does not just help in reducing stress but also helps in reducing the resulting body pain and helps a person to function better in their daily activities. These muscle relaxation techniques helped Steven to focus on himself better.
Dr. Preethi asked him to maintain a journal where he would make a note of his thoughts and his daily routine. This helped him understand the type of thoughts that he had and his thought pattern.
Initially I found it a little difficult to find time to do these exercises but eventually I was able to do these every day.
No one can see changes overnight. Even when Steven found it hard to do these exercises every day he didn’t give up. Eventually, his dogged efforts paid off. Now Steven takes some time for himself every day and he keeps track of what he has to do. This has helped him focus better on each of his tasks without getting overwhelmed. Journaling has also helped him overcome his negative thinking and he was able to cope with the lockdown better.
“It is very difficult to find someone other than our parents to guide and help us out in our journey.”
Steven credits Dr. Preethi for much of his progress. She made him feel comfortable during the sessions and never forced him to do any of the techniques that he was not comfortable with. Above everything, Steven is grateful to her for her support and understanding of his state of depression. The techniques helped alleviate his depression as well. She was very patient with him through all the sessions.
People should remove that negative conception about mental illness and normal illness.”
He would like to encourage everyone to reach out for help when it is necessary. He doesn’t want anyone to feel awkward in reaching out to an expert. It is exactly like consulting a doctor for a small physical issue. A counselor will be there to listen to you without any bias.
Are you someone who has gone through a difficult phase and emerged stronger and better, with some professional help? Share your story with us to encourage thousands of others who might be struggling. Click here to submit your story.