We’re all going through a massive coronavirus outbreak which is bringing changes in our lives each day.
Along with the stress over the virus, death rates, isolations, and lockdowns, we’re also facing psychological distress which is following it. When your needs for social connectivity, physical touch, and emotional support aren’t fulfilled during these days, it can hit you really hard! You may start feeling depressed, low on motivation to take care of yourself, Feelings of not being understood can further alleviate your feelings of loneliness and your head might be filled with anxiety in these uncertain times.
In spite of all these emotional rides we’re taking, I’m stunned to see how people are driven by hope, constantly looking for happiness around them and sharing it with others. Our Brain, just like our body, has a psychological immune system. Sooner or later, we are all able to cope up with every major stressor life throws at us. All it takes is just a little shift in our perspectives to see the silver lining. The rest is all the work of our brain and body!
Here are a few tips we can use to help ourselves and others during this time of social distancing!
“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears”. Following the teachings of Tony Robbins, a great life coach I immensely respect, I’ve come to one principal conclusion that will help us survive and cope with this pandemic. Gratitude. It’s easier for all of us to fall prey to the situation and feel victimized. And in doing so, we often forget how privileged are we to have so many things in our life which many could only dream of! I encourage you all to take some time each day & be grateful for the smallest of things you have in your life right now. It could be a roof over your head, money to buy tickets or get yourself tested, a phone to call your loved ones, food to eat, a healthy body, your family which is healthy and alive, internet, water, ANYTHING! Why do we have to see good around us when there are so many upsetting things going around and I’m stuck? Well, you may choose happiness or continue cribbing! Crying about things you don’t have or can’t do is easy. Trust me. You might do it many times a day. Try this thing for once and see how it actually feels!
We as humans feel good about ourselves when we can help others during times of need. We all need to understand that though not physically, but we’re all in this together, sharing some similar experiences. Research says that coping with loneliness is much more difficult for the old and elderly than it is for us. They need the physical presence of their loved ones and social connectivity to feel significant and meaningful in their lives. Try reaching out to them as much as you can. If you are staying with your friends or family, regularly check on your friends or cousins who are stuck alone. If you live alone, you might forget that there are many out there who are alone too and might be feeling as lonely as you do. Call them up, include them in your daily activity, listen to them, share your story with them to make them feel they’re not alone in it. Also, if it makes you feel any better, You’re already helping by choosing to stay indoors and socially distancing yourself. Appreciate yourself and others for doing this not so easy task!
It’s important to educate yourself about the current situation. But it is quite harmful if you panic scrolls through unreliable sources of news and predictions. Playing online games, a simple, yet powerful tool for you to feel less lonely and more cheerful. Other simple things like watching a series together, cooking together, Having evening tea together, eating together, etc. through a video/conference call can surely elevate your mood! Taking up challenges online, starting new hobbies and sharing it on social media (well the child in us always wants to show off his mastered or newly learned skill) and getting positive reinforcements can always motivate you to get out of bed, do something new and let that curious mind of yours work actively. Remember, during these days, it’s too easy to get demotivated, One negative comment from your side can literally hamper a person’s day. Let people do what pleases them and makes them happy, reserve your judgments for post-quarantine days!
“We choose our emotions long before we experience them.” Be it happiness or feelings of being devastated or broken! We have a habit of anticipating our emotions, setting unrealistic expectations from happiness (that it would come with certain things and last forever) and catastrophizing all the negative emotions (By underestimating your abilities to deal with bad situations). The thoughts about the economic crisis, uncertainty about your job, admissions, a long-distance relationship or even your life and that of your loved ones can cause tremendous anxiety if not monitored! And this is the thing with anxiety- we think all the terrible things that might happen to you are gonna last and you’ll never be able to cope with it. Or even worse, nothing good can happen then or you’ll lose the meaning of your life! When the reality is, no matter how hard we hit the ground, we as a species, always bounce back! This is not the first epidemic and is certainly not going to be the last. But our entire human race is the proof that we can adapt to any situation that comes our way and let our better parts evolve through it. The change is huge. And all the negative possibilities you have in your head may or may not turn true. But don’t forget that it’s not going to be an end for you. You’re not defined by your job position or the money you earn or the partner you have. It’s your ability to choose your paths is that defines you. Easier said than done, but I’d like to encourage you all to think of the times in your life when you felt there could be nothing worse than this, but you survived! Probably a few aspects of your life may be at risk, but things could still turn out fine if you don’t put your life at risk by thinking too much and not taking care of your body, mind, and spirit.
Try to be physically active. Why? Well, motion brings emotion. If you move your body in ways that will make it feel alive, relaxed, secure and open, you are less likely to feel anxious and/or depressed for a longer time. Your life has been fast-paced all these years! This is the time where you can relax your body and mind and enjoy life while you can. Listen to peppy music, or anything that soothes you or cheers you up, dance your heart out, draw, paint, colour like a child, explore new aspects of yourself that you never had because at the end of the day, choosing happiness is still our choice!
Opportunists out there are searching for all the ways they can to either invest, learn something new or create something new! You can either see quarantine as a burden or an opportunity for yourself! Going with the latter is surely gonna help you in the long run. You can try changing your mindset and test the power of choice. I wish you all a happy (well mostly happy) and a safe and sane quarantine!