“You don’t have to be positive all the time. It’s perfectly okay to feel sad, angry, annoyed, frustrated, scared and anxious. Having feelings doesn’t make you a negative person. It makes you human.” – Lori Deschene

“Sometimes self-care is exercise and eating right. Sometimes it’s spending time with loved ones or taking a nap. And sometimes it’s watching an entire season of TV in one weekend while you lounge around in your pajamas. Whatever soothes your soul.”Nanea Hoffman

Busy lives. Busy people. Busy schedules. Busy calendars. Hectic. Bustling. Hassle.

Sister calls; cut the call, swiftly text back with a “I’ll call you later, busy now…”

Mother messages; no time to listen to her woes, send an emotionless emoticon.

Friend emails about a luncheon you skipped; type back a rapid response, “Sorry. But surely next time. I promise”.

Children call you to join them in a game of checkers; the presentation lies half done, work-life balance questions, work automatically a priority.

Oh, just so busy, busy, busy. The best excuse ever. Of course, people will understand, we are all so busy in today’s world with things to do, things to see, things to take care of, travels to plan, places to visit, work to finish, umpteen unfinished oodles of tasks, jobs all left, high strung, personality workaholics waiting at the edge of our seats, ready to lift off, jump and surrender passionately into this rat race.

Very few, understand the implications of the fast pace on our health, physical and mental and the rush of disasters it brings along in its wake. We grow old each day; the telomeres shorten each day, and every breath we take is reduced from the whole lot granted to us. Sometimes, the pace becomes a habit and we tag along, adapting and building to the torment of stress in ways that might surprise us, loving that feeling, loving that thrill it brings us, but eventually, someday, the band snaps and we are out of breath, figuratively and literally.

Coronavirus, bless that virus’s tiny soul, guessing it has one, seemed to escalate its outreach at an apt time to teach us the means to reduce, slacken our breakneck lifestyles and decline into more relaxed, slumberous ones. Those ones that would give us the means to calm down, alleviate that high blood pressure, decrease those dark circles, allow us delicious healthy home cooked meals, more sleep, elaborate family time, and so much more, if only we were receptive…

However, cooped up with the same people over days together, discussing similar topics over and over, despite refreshing the favorite social media pages a dozen to a million and not having a lot to love, missing hanging out with work friends, gym buddies, staring at the same colored walls for months, trapped inside with restrictions on free movement, inability to gain access to the choicest of foods and drinks, feels like a cage, where one is hindered and shackled to norms that one doesn’t like to follow.

Oh, that despair is real. Very real. We all feel it, we all experience that sensation of wanting to get out, rebel just a bit maybe and go do all that makes us happy, gives us that rush, that tweak, allows us to thrive in the environment that we oh so adore.

But the thing is, faced with these new realities, and the worry of the pandemic, but with work still on the burner, stranded in areas, airports, places that are not home, babies and children scattered all over the house, home schooling, online classes, rise in unemployment for daily wagers, loss of income, rise in expenditure of common goods, difficulty in meeting ailing relatives, unavailability of gym facilities; the risk of frustration, anger, irritation, sadness, depression increases as does the increase in weight, body images issues, lethargy and laziness.

The effect of loneliness can be hazardous. With so much time on their hands, and smart phones in their palms, people look at every aspect of the net in ways they wouldn’t have earlier. Hiding behind their screens, spewing and churning negative, derogatory sentences, they leave behind comments whose aftermath leaves a bitter, unpalatable sensation. For the ones just starting their social networking journey, these harsh words tender an infliction of self-misery. Isolated, socially distanced, depressed at their lives, despondent at their interactions on the World Wide Web, the risk of self-harm escalates.

Those down by the rocks, addling their bums at so called rock-bottom, turn to drugs, alcohol and other notorious agents to help allay their fix. And when these are not available, they suffer withdrawal, often times mounting to abuse. Domestic abuse is also rampant; the annoyance, resentment and failures at respective lives leads to pain, guilt, chagrin, all of which needs an outlet and the nearest weakest member of the family suffers the blow.

However, those with diagnosed bipolar, schizophrenia, or depressive disorders endure an agony far worse. Their minds are different, the chemical reactions alter and with issues of proximity, contentious feelings with these testing, trying times, the mania, the dreary episodes are triggered and the repercussions are explosive.

Each one of us reacts to stress in different manners. It’s a part of our individuality and I reckon, our different mannerisms holistically creates a wonderful harmony. If we can understand this, and draw an inspiration from this, we can by large understand and cope with this affliction upon us. Starting off by understanding our near family, accepting their faults, their strengths and their personalities goes a long way in managing this. Similarly, by stretch, understanding and helping our community, aiding the old, the ill with required resources can give us a purpose and sense of responsibility.

The Internet will always remain, and in days to come, its importance would be as much as oxygen. Everyone we want to connect to, are truly just a click away. Given that, taking a break from virtual reality and focussing on reading, writing, cooking, crafts, painting, drawing, knitting, gardening can be very constructive and optimistic. Making time for old friends, old acquaintances, getting in touch with long lost mates is another method to abhor the gloomy moods.

Meditation, yoga, home workouts, indoor workouts with family, can play a great role in handling the pressure. It allows for a wholesome relaxation of the mind and body and is beneficial in creating a peaceful environment to stay in. Also, finding time to stay busy amidst all this, planning a good work calendar and caring for the family, will go a long way in keeping one sane and satisfied.

Knowledge is power; and so trusting the most reliable and adequate source broadcasted is the way to go – and instead of focusing on the ones in peril, learning how to help combat the situation and affording to assist in such conditions can be far superior as can be providing support and service to the sections of the society that need it, especially the elderly and the ones recovering from the illness. Communication is the basis of every human interaction and so talking, sharing and opening up about one’s feelings is advisable. Talking about the innermost emotions to a confidant or a doctor can help one lighten their burden and provide insight into many unknown aspects that modify behaviours.

So, stay at home, do the work, spend time with family, eat healthy homemade nutritious food, sleep luxuriously, be kind, gentle, generous and appreciative of every member of the community, help those in need and do your duty…sounds pretty fantastic, doesn’t it? You know, together, in unity, we can walk through this, bigger, stronger and wiser; surely not unfazed, surely with fear, but combat ready to take on what has to come…

You become courageous because you face your fear.” ― Laura Davis

“Promise me you’ll always remember — you’re braver than you believe and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” — Christopher Robin from Winnie the Pooh

By – Geeta Sundar, KMC Mangalore

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1 Response

  1. Usha Nandini says:

    Staying together (virtually) while staying apart (social diatancing) is the key to get through. Great article!

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