An International Webinar on "COVID-19 & Stress: Strategies for Coping" was organized by the Department of Psychology on the 23rd September, 2020. The program was started with a welcome address by Dr. Rinpari Ralte the Head, Department of Psychology, Pachhunga University College. The Chairperson Dr. Saichampuii Sailo introduced the Speaker Dr. Parvathy Varma, Program Director at the Graduate Programs in Psychology, Assumption University, Bangkok to the participants. Even though there were 310 registered for the webinar, the actual number of attendees was 440 which exceeded the total number registered for the webinar.
The address made by the Speaker was very informative. From her presentation we know that public health actions, such as social distancing, can make people feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety. However, these actions are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Coping with stress in a healthy way will make us and the people we care about, and our community stronger. Taking care of your friends and your family can be a stress reliever, but it should be balanced with care for yourself. During times of increased social distancing, people can still maintain social connections and care for their mental health. Connecting with others and talking with the people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling is very important. It is important to focus on the positive and not on the negative. People need to embrace the present in order to have empathy for oneself and others. Maintaining a gratitude journal at this time of crisis is an useful tool to help us cope with the situation. Understanding the risk to yourself and people you care about can help you connect with others and make an outbreak less stressful.
A relaxing mindfulness exercise was done by the Speaker with the participants. Questions from the participants were answered by the Speaker at the end of her presentation. A concluding remark was given by the organizing secretary and host Dr. Lalropuii. The program was ended with a vote of thanks from Miss Lalrinawmi.