It’s been almost 3 months since we woke up to the nightmare named”COVID-19″.In last two months, we have witnessed unprecedented loss of lives, people losing their livelihoods, the exodus of daily wage labourers who had no option but to go back to their hometowns and villages and a lot mental and emotional unrest in people all around the world. Amidst all the unrest, what kept us all hopeful and together was some of the bravest acts from our medical professionals, people who reached out to the people in need, Police and government officials who did their best to keep everyone safe – even though their lives were at stake.
You must be wondering why am I telling you all of this again, we all know this already. Isn’t it? Because I felt, amongst all the news which has been going around, I felt one thing has not been given enough importance – Mental wellness. A world which thrived on holiday plans, social interactions, night life etc has suddenly been told to stay home, many of us have lost our jobs, our loved ones and a lot of us may not really have the support of our family right away, many of us are staying by ourselves too. The amount of unrest being stuck at home – for an uncertain amount of time can cause is beyond your or my imagination for a lot of people. If I talk about myself, the first month for me too was exceptionally difficult. My work came to a sudden halt, which only added to my anxiety, there was no timeline as to for how long this is going to take to get back to normal and what would this normal be like.
In my last post I shared some stuff I was doing to keep myself and my kid engaged and it did help. But there were days when I needed more than just some fun activity to keep my spirits high or rather even at normal levels. What came to my rescue were these three things, which I call my mantra to survive this pandemic – Gratitude, Kindness and Meditation. I did not just stumble on these, they are actually practices we often do but not consciously, but when you actually try to make a conscious effort to do them, you can actually see the difference in the way you look at life.
1.Gratitude: We have a lot of literature and videos talking about the power of gratitude but what really helped me see how useful it can be was when I actually just started to think of three good things about my day before I went to sleep. One,I was able to sleep better and it also helped me think in a positive direction that even a small event like getting a call from a friend who made me smile was something to be grateful about. It’s amazing to see how gradually I found it easier to focus on the good in life rather than things which at present were beyond my circle of influence. You may even want to watch this video which kind of explains it really well:
2.Kindness: This is something I feel I had almost forgotten about in the last few years. The power of kindness, is immense and what makes it special is the kind of contentment you experience when you indulge in it. For all those who might find this too preachy, you might want to refer to a lot of research which has been done on how acts of kindness effect our happiness.Here is a link you can refer to:
An interesting study also surveyed people who were given some money which they can either spend on themselves or somebody else. As per the results, people who spent the money experienced boosted levels of happiness as compared to the people who had spent in on themselves. And it does not always need to be a mammoth donation or a huge drive to help people in need. It can be a simple act of calling up your parents and asking them if they need anything, taking out time to make something special for your kid/family or giving a compliment to a person and how much they mean to you. A lot of times these simple acts can make a big difference to a person’s day and you never know it might be the one thing they look forward to everyday.Most important, lets not forget to be kind to ourselves.
3.Meditation: This is one thing I honestly did not practice much in my life earlier, but last couple of days, it has kept me sane. For people like me, who probably want to run away from the very sound of this word, it does not always have to be a very spiritually lead experience. It can be a simple 5 minute experience, where you just get to shed all your worries and relax your mind – by either listening to some soothing music, going for a walk or simply just sitting and silence and trying to help your mind calm down by some deep breathing. It works wonders and especially in times like these where uncertainty and a lot of negativity is floating in the air, it gives you that pause, to re think and focus on what’s really important. It also brings in a lot of self awareness which I feel is the starting point for any kind of change you want to bring into your life.
A couple of links which are easily available on you tube:
The times ahead, certainly need us to be agile and open towards a lot of change which only stresses on the importance of our mental and physical well being to begin with. It is definitely easy to get swayed with all the forces around you – fear, anxiety, depression but what we really need is to stay strong and keep doing our bit everyday for our loved ones and if possible for people who really need our help. No step is too small so do every bit you can as right every action you take towards building positivity around matters.