Emotional 1:

A screen grab of the program that was organized in Southern California by Excel Foundation, where Indian American speakers provided information and advice on coping with stress during the ongoing pandemic. (photo provided)

NORWALK, Calif. Excel Foundation USA on Apr. 8 held a virtual program entitled, “Emotional Well-Being – Live Happy and Contented,” aimed at explaining and educating people on how to cope with the stress and fears caused by the ongoing pandemic.

Dr. Rangaesh Gadasalli, an Indian American psychiatrist and research physician fellow at UCLA-Harbor-Psychiatry, explained why it was important to ask for help. He emphasized the importance of communication between family members, even if it was through Zoom. Dr. Sirisha Potluri, ageneral physician and an expert in lifestyle medicine, spoke of the importance of a plant-based diet. She said vitamins from food are better than popping vitamin pills and that certain food groups help immunity and coping with stress. She also emphasized the importance of exercise and social connectivity.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Victoria Smith provided insight on stress management through a combination of life style changes, relaxation breathing tools, and avoiding toxic environments.

The topic of dealing with loss and death was also dealt with. Kewal Kanda, who is active in the Southern California Indian American community, said acknowledging the pain and moving on plays an important part in the recovery process and avoids sliding into depression. Rani Kuusto, a registered nurse dealing with the passing of her own mother, said it was important to generate positive emotions leading to good feelings.Getting quality sleep, healthy physical habits and social connections would help in coping, she added.

Other speakers included Ramesh Thalli, Charu Shivakumar, Pastor Sunil Kathramalla, the western region coordinator for the Church of South India; and Yatri Shukla. They pointed to yoga, meditation, the practicing of gratitude and respecting the values of others as going toward improving one’s well-being. Students Mega Arun, Jasmin Shivakumar and Swarit Srivastava spoke of the need for down time and mindfulness.

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