Quarantine and self-isolation can be challenging for our bodies and our mental health. It is only natural to feel depressed, stressed out, and out of control with a raging pandemic, natural disasters, and constant bombardment of negative news, quarantined at home, away from friends and family.
Quarantine and self-isolation can be challenging for our bodies and our mental health. It is only natural to feel depressed, stressed out, and out of control with a raging pandemic, natural disasters, and constant bombardment of negative news, quarantined at home, away from friends and family. It can all take a toll. Here are ways we can cope with a world crisis.
Recognizing what is happening
For many working professionals, a month or two is usually more than enough time to get settled into a well-planned routine. Having such copious amounts of free time on your hands and not having the energy or the inspiration to put it to some good use is frustrating.
People have been struggling with simple tasks that they would do every day; waking up, making that morning cup of coffee, pouring yourself a bowl of cereal, and taking a shower. Unfortunately, lazing around all day has become the new normal. Many people have entirely disturbed their sleep schedules, eating, and exercise habits. a
It is harder-and-harder to find the grace in this troubling reality, especially with the backdrop of a “work hard, play hard” social norm. We find ourselves in a situation where “we don’t know what thee world is going to look like once the pandemic is over. “ Paradoxes have become an everyday occurrence. In these confusing times, how do we manage and prioritize our time effectively?
Things we can control
There was a certain kind of and quality of lifestyle we were used to before the pandemic struck. Many of us had school, college, or work to go to every morning, work hard, come back to a cozy house and sleep our troubles away. There’s a particular way ambitious social circles used to lead their lives; being on point, getting work done, running businesses, or performing in highly demanding careers. Know they are all dealing with job losses, sudden purposelessness, and even dealing with family or friends who have contracted the virus and are getting better or worse under its effects.
Rather than allocating time and taking a calm moment to acknowledge and realize those feelings, there is an unrelenting forward propelling energy in us to: apply for unemployment and other federal business grants, volunteer at the local hospital, sew copious face masks, start new and online digital businesses, attend hundreds of webinars in a fortnight and keep checking up on guidance that you’ve given to a family member or friend in their times of crisis. It sure seems like a lot. We are doing way too much in way too little time. This time, all this free time we should use for making ourselves better. That is what popular media, social media channels, and celebrities suggest. This time must be used to better yourself. Learning skills online, practicing things you had taken up ages ago but never got around to doing them diligently, and getting fit. They’re not wrong. But they’re not entirely correct either.
For people who are getting paid for sitting around the house, all this might sound fascinating. But for most of us, stressed people who have lost their jobs and do not have means of livelihood, people this is not the time to focus on things that hardly matter. It is time to tend to the things that matter in real life; mental health and happiness; financial security; and a sense of calm and a stressfree lifestyle.
What it feels like
We hope that we speak for everyone when we say it feels like the world is upsidedown. This upheaval is a recipe for a complete mental disaster and spiritual collapse. Making it is hard not to implode. People have been asking themselves why they can’t stop doing stuff that feels so abnormal.
People stuck at home are now just wishing that things went back to normal and that they become well-positioned and ahead of the game like always. However, the addiction to control every aspect of our lives does more harm than good. In situations like the raging pandemic and natural disasters like flash floods and hurricanes, we do not have much under our control. Letting go is an art, and not many people are proficient at it. The drive to make life more meaningful is understandable and productive; to make life controllable and predictable is not.
What is right and wrong?
There’s no right answer to what folks are supposed to be doing right now. You can find a creative outlet, learn how to code, or hone your photoshop skills. Or sleep for 10+ hours a night if you need to play catchup after years of hustling and sleepless nights.
The key here is to check in with yourself. Put your phone down, turn off the news. Go outside, get your body moving. Take a deep breath. Feel the air on your skin, enjoy nature while exercising, and getting your heart rate up.. Try meditation or read a book. Give your mind a mental break.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to reach out. Talk to a friend, zoom with your family, or call your pastor or therapist. Keeping connected with others will get you through this tough time.
At this moment, we have an excellent opportunity to resist the pull toward urgency and action-for-action-sake and reimagine how we can best utilize our efforts/gifts toward a more sustainable and workable world, whether that’s our micro-world around us or something for the greater good. The truth is that this global situation we’re in is going to be a longish-term one. Let’s not exhaust our reserves in the first sprint.
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