This blog is written with the intent of helping us cope with the exceptional circumstances we are facing as a generation. The experience of time for many has come to a standstill. Our relations with our possessions are changing. Dressing up alone in the confines of our apartments for an online zoom meeting has hardly any appeal left. Many of us have suffered from anxiety attacks and have had to reckon with an avalanche of emotions from being in lockdown with family, meeting deadlines and putting in additional hours to make up for the inability to be physically present at work. Finding new ways of connecting with the self is absolutely vital for surviving work stress during the pandemic, without developing unhealthy coping mechanisms or becoming a cynic. Here we discuss some ways that help you make the most out of the time spent alone during the period of isolation.
Hopeful for the present
Under lockdown, loneliness can begin to feel like a very palpable and undeniable reality. Allowing the mind to breathe shows the loneliness for what it is: a societal symptom of the lockdown and not the outcome of how life has been lived so far. A greater appreciation of the world around will start to filter into the mind when you pay attention to the smallest details of life.
Put on your favourite music and take a walk amidst nature. Reach out to the neighbor to whom you haven’t spoken in a while. Arrange an online meeting with the relatives who have fallen out of touch. The simplest of conversations go a long way in extending support and help lift up spirits.
This difficult period of distancing will pass and there will be time again to push forward for cherished dreams. Meanwhile, the present must be lived with care. Make time for the things that make you happy—buy that extra plant, hang up that DIY wall hanging and splurge on your favourite tea leaves.
Memories of hanging-out with friends, of travelling and going outdoors can start to bear down on the present, especially if you do not have company that can support you and guide you. It is important to remember that the warmth of the past is not lost but a reminder of who we are while we pour out that single cup of tea or re-heat a pre-packaged meal for dinner.
Approach the unique questions that each day brings rather than looking for a single answer for all the problems. Take up a new hobby—strum the guitar just to feel the strings vibrate, colour the mandala even if art was never quite your thing. Disperse yourself in your interests and you will find yourself more attuned to the world around.
It may not be possible to experience art in galleries or in live concerts, but it is still important to allow art—as music, visual media and literature—to enter into the consciousness. It will definitely help alleviate the sense of stagnation and even psychologically remodel us for doing things we would not otherwise think of doing. Writing down emotions will remove them from the blur of sensorial excess. The notes might end up being love-letters to the times spent under stress.
Few last words
Giving in to feelings of despair is easy while locked inside a private bubble of suffering. Being patient with oneself is important for being more hopeful towards the future. We hope these pointers provide effective mental landmarks while navigating these difficult times.