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COVID-19 impacted many lives around the globe, leading to a nationwide lockdown in India from the 25th of March 2020. Home confinement, physical and social isolation, the spread of false news through social media, fear of contracting the disease, lack of physical activity, and work-from-home situations have affected the mental status and sleep quality of individuals during the lockdown. We intended to identify the effect of belly breathing exercise in reducing the depression, anxiety and stress levels in individuals who work-from-home during the lockdown. A hundred participants were identified through snowball sampling and were divided into two equal groups. Group A received a health education program and belly breathing techniques, whereas group B was provided with a health education program alone. DASS 21 and single item Sleep Quality Scale was assessed before recruitment and after three weeks of intervention in both groups. Significant reduction in depression, anxiety, and stress levels were observed in group A (p<0.001) than that of group B. Participants who underwent belly breathing also reported significant improvement in sleep quality after three weeks of intervention. Belly breathing has found to be an effective and simple technique to instruct and perform, which significantly reduces depression, anxiety and stress levels in individuals who work from home and are in need of medical advice for their mental health status. We suggest the use of belly breathing in improving the mental status in any black swan events such as home quarantine or strict physical isolation measures, and even during any stressful situations.
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