– Dealing with the devil’s workshop

Dr. Usha Nandini M

PG in Psychiatry

Tirunelveli Medical College

Tirunelveli, Tamilnadu

One moment we are working hard in our routine lives and even enlisting our goals for the year 2020 and the next moment we find ourselves locked within our homes. If a fortune teller had predicted that (none did, though) we were going to be living our lives within the premises of our house like this for the better part of the year, that the whole world would come to a halt, that we would miss that ‘boring routine’ of our lives; we would have rejected their prediction with a haughty derision. On one side was this fearful virus propagating throughout the population like a wildfire and on the other side there was this boredom, loneliness and irritable mood of being locked in(Of course, some people had it undeniably worse). This being a crisis in multiple arenas, while people who were responsible and capable found ways to resolve the actual crisis (the virus pandemic), the others were left to find ways to deal with the unacknowledged crisis-
the boredom.

An idle mind is a devil’s workshop but we often don’t let the devil work because sometimes we tease the devil by doing the devil’s job ourselves. Now that the devil was busy trying to destroy humans using biological weapons, we couldn’t even rely upon the devil to keep our minds
occupied. So we took the job ourselves.

We found various videos, movies, series, and books to binge on. We were so excited with it in the beginning but slowly began even hating it. We never would’ve imagined that a day would come when we were fed up of these. But miracles do happen. Once we reached this saturation point, we take a break; go to social media pages, find new video/movie suggestion and go back to the former state. Thus forming a vicious cycle.

When we did break off the cycle, we found interesting challenges to do. The saree or traditional wear challenge, the cooking challenge, the hand washing challenge, the fitness challenge, posting old pictures’ challenge were few of the many. These challenges may not be fruitful ones in the
eyes of the general population but it did give us something to do and took up at least few hours of our time. It was the real challenge- passing time.

The work from home or study from home seemed comfortable and even exciting at first but became tedious very soon. The fraction of population who always pushed themselves found this time as a gift and tried to find a new hobby, learn a new language, and find better ways to boast themselves and to criticize people. They succeeded in the latter arena better than in the former.

The age old practices of board games, cards, caroms etc became the new family routine. The shops for the first time in the history of mankind ran out of stock of these items even in small tier cities.

Jokes apart, humans being social animals found it difficult to deal with isolation. While the fear of contracting the disease and anxiety associated with it kept us inside, we began acknowledging the unacknowledged crisis. And found our own ways to deal with it. Various defense mechanisms were at play to get us through it, some better than the other in distracting us but
most importantly we did surf through the tide so far. The real question is: In some point in the future(near or distant), when we get back to our boring routine, will that be another crisis? Now that we have learned to ‘live with it’ like we hope to do with the virus, hopefully we emerge out without much psychological damage. We may not be COVID warriors in the literal sense, but we are all warriors fighting to stay sane more than just alive.

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4 Responses

  1. Chellappandiyan Ramasamy says:

    Very Nice article, let’s hope going back to old routine will provide new beginning to all of us

  2. B Vishwanatha Rao says:

    Well written. A state of confused mind trying to find a balance. I think the story doesn’t end here, it is still evolving. Till then let’s keep our fingers crossed…

  3. Umarani says:

    Nice article. We got some ideas to improve ourselves to tackle this restless leisure period. Thank you 😊

  4. Umarani says:

    Even in your busy pandemic schedule you want others to take care of themselves positively. Take care Doctors

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