•  
  •  
 

English Title

Self Care, Mental Health And Covid-19: An Exploratory Study

Keywords

self care, mental health, Covid-19, India, autism, caregivers

Disciplines

Disability Studies | Psychology

Abstract

COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease-19), an infectious condition was first identified in December 2019, in Wuhan, in China. It has led to a worldwide pandemic with millions of people affected—not just health wise, but also economically and psychologically. The uncertainty associated with it, has caused immense anxiety, stress and trauma to people all over the world. India’s response to COVID-19 has comprised of a series of phases of Lockdown and subsequent Unlock. In mid-March, India announced a nationwide Lockdown, that led to the closure of educational institutions, factories, work places, transport, cinema halls, hotels, malls etc. The only places that were open during the Lockdown were essential services. Over the next few months, India has entered the Unlock phase, with most services opening to business. The Lockdown and the subsequent Unlock phases had an immense impact on the lives of the common people, who were confined within their houses, or with some flexibility, within their gated communities. In such a context, the researcher made an attempt to understand how caregivers of individuals with Autism coped with the changes brought on by COVID-19, how it impacted on their self-care and mental health and the creative strategies adopted by them to keep their children on the Autism spectrum, engaged. To this end, a Qualitative approach was adopted and a small sample of five (5) parent caregivers, were selected through Purposive Sampling, in the city of Hyderabad, in south India. A Caregiver Self-Assessment Checklist (developed by the Parkinson’s Foundation) was administered to the participants. An open-ended questionnaire was constructed and telephonic interviews were conducted with the participants. The detailed interviews were then thematically analysed. The study revealed the following—First, the pandemic and the Lockdown was stress inducing (and had far reaching impacts on the caregivers and their families). Secondly, although bogged down by the stressors, the caregivers focused on the positives that the situation brought. Thirdly, the caregivers went above and beyond to creatively engage with their children, even with limited resources at hand. Fourthly, the caregivers tried to engage in self-care activities to improve their mental-health. Fifthly, the scores on the Caregiver Assessment Checklist ranged between ‘Excellent job at taking care of yourself’ and ‘Room for Improvement’ and Sixthly, the caregivers believed that technology provided an important sense of connectedness during the pandemic.

English Abstract

COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease-19), an infectious condition was first identified in December 2019, in Wuhan, in China. It has led to a worldwide pandemic with millions of people affected—not just health wise, but also economically and psychologically. The uncertainty associated with it, has caused immense anxiety, stress and trauma to people all over the world. India’s response to COVID-19 has comprised of a series of phases of Lockdown and subsequent Unlock. In mid-March, India announced a nationwide Lockdown, that led to the closure of educational institutions, factories, work places, transport, cinema halls, hotels, malls etc. The only places that were open during the Lockdown were essential services. Over the next few months, India has entered the Unlock phase, with most services opening to business. The Lockdown and the subsequent Unlock phases had an immense impact on the lives of the common people, who were confined within their houses, or with some flexibility, within their gated communities. In such a context, the researcher made an attempt to understand how caregivers of individuals with Autism coped with the changes brought on by COVID-19, how it impacted on their self-care and mental health and the creative strategies adopted by them to keep their children on the Autism spectrum, engaged. To this end, a Qualitative approach was adopted and a small sample of five (5) parent caregivers, were selected through Purposive Sampling, in the city of Hyderabad, in south India. A Caregiver Self-Assessment Checklist (developed by the Parkinson’s Foundation) was administered to the participants. An open-ended questionnaire was constructed and telephonic interviews were conducted with the participants. The detailed interviews were then thematically analysed. The study revealed the following—First, the pandemic and the Lockdown was stress inducing (and had far reaching impacts on the caregivers and their families). Secondly, although bogged down by the stressors, the caregivers focused on the positives that the situation brought. Thirdly, the caregivers went above and beyond to creatively engage with their children, even with limited resources at hand. Fourthly, the caregivers tried to engage in self-care activities to improve their mental-health. Fifthly, the scores on the Caregiver Assessment Checklist ranged between ‘Excellent job at taking care of yourself’ and ‘Room for Improvement’ and Sixthly, the caregivers believed that technology provided an important sense of connectedness during the pandemic.

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.