The exponential growth of Covid-19 cases has resulted in Nepal being shut down for the third time this year. A month and more has already passed locked inside our houses. This has left a lot of citizens; except those who are engaged in the frontline with a lot of leisure time, having nothing to do except think. The lockdown has been mentally exhausting and hardly anything is helping us feel free to even some extent. The intensity of the covid situation has made us go deep down inside the thoughts lane about things that might happen which necessarily is not positive at all times.
All the suffering happening at this exact time all over the world is a lot to take in. People feel helpless as they cannot sometimes come to the aid as the problems are far beyond their reach which certainly is difficult to cope with. This has made a lot of us self-reflect on life. We have connected with families, our closest friends, and relatives. Despite this, feeling empty is normal.
Art in the form of music is yet another best way to deal with mental stress and emptiness. Over the years, different research has been conducted which has proven the positive effect of music on one’s overall wellbeing. Music heals even when it comes to depression and anxiety. Music is not just limited to pleasure and contentment. One could experience various other psychological benefits such as energized body, relaxed mind, and so on. A meta-analysis of over 90 studies that were conducted in 2016 reported that music helped people with literal pain. It helped to manage both chronic and acute pain even better than the medication. The effect of music is far-reaching and it certainly needs to come as a reminder during these tough times.
One of the bands that inform Nepal recommends is Phosphenes. Phosphenes is an indie band. They make music from the capital in Kathmandu. Phosphenes through their years of individual musical experience formed a band in 2016 with three band members to present the art for us to feel the same, relate to it, and just enjoy. Listening to their music has changed many of their listeners mood for the better. Their music has the ability to help us escape the chaos. The three members Abhishekh Pokhrel(vocals, guitar), Aman Karna(Guitar, Synth) Prajwal Aryal( Vocals, Guitar) have presented music in multi-languages for audiences of all kind. They are currently working on the album called Sullen Days.
Another best way to feel better is to be involved with your hobby to make us feel sane during this difficult time. Cook your favorite food, play chess, doodle, and complete the painting that you had started but never completed. Several helplines provide mental health counseling over the phone in Nepal if you need one. You are recommended to immediately seek help in case of negative thoughts. The Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (16600102005) provides helpline services between 8 AM to 6 PM every day. Some other hotlines/ mental health resources are:
• MARC Nepal: 9813527732
• Centre for Mental Health & Counselling (CMC) Nepal : 1660 01 85080
• Jaya Mental Health (for frontline health workers): 9843643433
• CWIN NEPAL ( For children): 1098
• Kanti Children’s Hospital: 1660 01 10666, 9851310998