Handling stress during Pandemic and lock down. May 1st, 2020 11:43 pm
No guesses, as we
started with lockdown 3.0, one thing which is certainly following us from the
day one is "Stress" which is created by the pandemic Corona Virus or
COVID -19. Now, this COVID-19 doesn't require any introduction. We all are fully
aware of how deadly and infectious the virus is. And, as no vaccination is yet
developed to cope up with the virus, the only way seems to be working is a
lockdown, social distancing and taking proper care of our health and hygiene.
So, here we are following whatever is necessary to avoid this virus infecting
us. But, one thing which affected us is the stress caused by this pandemic and
We have always
dreamt of a week-long holiday, with no workload, no official calls, no studies,
no workload, and also which is fun-filled, quality time with family, pursuing
our hobby once again and many more. It seems God has answered our prayers but
with a twist. Now, as these days are not according to our favourite time, not
at our desired location, not coming with the guarantee of job and salary - we
are not happy, we are stressed. We are not free to move, meet our friends, and
attend our schools, colleges and offices. No mall visits, no movie at theatres,
no parties, no get together and the list is long. It seems life has come still
and this frustration is taking over everyone.
I am no different.
I accept that I have faced similar frustration and stress about the lockdown
and pandemic. So, I tried to figure out, what I shall be doing to overcome the
stress and treat this lockdown as an opportunity. When you are determined
enough to find ways, you certainly find one. Here, I am sharing my ways to cope
up with the pandemic stress. We as humans are blessed with the ability to mould
ourselves according to situations and we did it again. Few examples are online
classes for children, online training, work from home, and zero contact home
deliveries. I am also happy to see the environment is healing. Nature is taking
care of itself. Everything is not bad out there.
Let's start with my
way of taking care of this stressful time with a hope that if not all, maybe
anyone would be helpful to you too. Here is my list:
- Meditation: I have heard numerous times that meditation is helpful and it takes away all the chaos that is inside you. Believe me - It works wonders. Now, it's common thinking that doing meditation is very difficult and I second you but with a little change in it. Mastering meditation is difficult. But when you start anything no one expects you to be master of that. So, relax. Here is a simple way to do it. First is to find a peaceful and comfortable place to sit. You can sit on the floor on your yoga mat with legs crossed or even you can sit on the chair. The concept is to be relaxed. Place your both hands on your thighs and keep your back straight. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breaths. In and out, again in and out. Keep doing it, till the time you have decided for yourself. Even concentrating on your breaths will be difficult as your mind will start wandering here and there. No issues bring it back on your breathing pattern again. Be gentle on yourself. Increase the time when you feel comfortable.
- Take up your hobby again: Pursuing your hobby is the simplest way to refresh yourself. We have always made several excuses for not following them. Not getting time for it - is the most used excuse. Now we have enough time to not only follow but master them. Your hobby can be an indoor activity which can make your day worthwhile under lockdown. Painting, poetry, writing, cooking, body-building, gardening, interior designing etc., actually it can be anything which can make you relaxed and refreshed.
- Play with kids: One of the best way to reduce stress. Tried and tested. Kids are happy souls. They have this phenomenal ability to make you feel happy. Their smiles and actions bring happiness in your boring life. Age of kids doesn't matter; it is the feeling with which we are attached to them makes us feel lighter and happier souls. So, enjoy with kids and if you don't have kids at your place, I have another plan for all of you. What's that? read further.
- Watch Cartoons: My personal favourite is - Tom and Jerry. Yes, if you don't have kids at home, be one. Watch cartoons on T.V. or YouTube. Go back to your childhood. Believe me; Tom and Jerry always has the same effect on me as it had on my childhood days. Bring back that little you in you.
- Take care of yourself: Pamper yourself. Be the king or queen of your own life. Homemade face packs, oil massages, exercises, right kind of food and fluids so many things to do to make yourself happy and healthier than before. Do whatever makes you look energetic and charming. Do it for yourself. Take out that valuable 15-20 minutes daily for yourself.
- Music: "If music be the food of life, play on" by William Shakespeare. Music has healing powers and it can bring you back in a good mood. It can take away all your stress. Jazz, POP, Rock n roll, Bollywood, Hollywood, Sufi, Ghazals, RAP, and Devotional - be it anything of your taste, just let the music flow. And if you can match the steps with it- you will feel top of the world.
- Call and Connect: Try to connect to your family and friends over audio or video calls. even whats-app messaging will do. Talking to your family and friends will help you vent out your frustration. Let's call a friend or family member whom you always wanted to contact but have not contacted since long, due to "no time". This time make some time for them.
- Find a friend: Sometimes or may I say usually we forget to check inside. Whether its peace, happiness or a buddy. Find a friend inside your home. A buddy who can listen to you. An ear in need is great indeed. This is going to make you relaxed and light from head and heart. We all have that one such person at our home. Take the benefit right now.
- Dress Up: Why? Where I have to go? I am under lockdown? Yes, you are but your wardrobe is not under lockdown. I still remember my mother use to dress me up well in my favourites whenever I fell sick, and half of my feeling of being unwell just vanished, once I am dolled up by my mother. Mom knew that if you are dressed up well you feel better. It lifts your mood, makes you work-ready, makes you feel more enthusiastic and pumped up. Try once.
- Proper sleep and relax: It's very important to take care of self. Taking proper sleep and relaxing your body and mind is one major help you can do to yourself. Sometimes work from home or online studies and training cause a lot of stress and if we are not having proper sleep, it will further increase the level of frustration. So, relax, slow down, and take proper sleep. I will enhance your immunity, lower your stress and make you feel healthier.
- Elevate yourself: Up till now, I have talked about reducing your stress, now let's talk professionally what you can do. Please figure out what you need to do to elevate yourself to the next level. This lockdown will end one day. Are you prepared for the future? What is the next step after Lockdown opens? Do I need to upgrade myself? Is it a course available online? Is it any new job profile I must look for? Am I ready to take up more responsibilities? Am I future-ready? Try to create a road map for yourself. Please take this time as an opportunity to elevate yourself to the next level. Please take this opportunity to upgrade yourself. Please take this opportunity to be future-ready. This lockdown is opportunity to unfold your abilities and take a leap ahead. Those who are planning will be ahead. Do it right now.
With this, I would
also like to write about what should be avoided to avoid stress as per my
experience. It's not like I haven't done all of these but yes I have learned
not to do it.
- Facts over Forwards: With this extended lockdown, once more we will have a lot many forwarded messages on social media and from your friends and families. Knowledge is important and we all want to know about what is happening in this world. But before believing and forwarded message, try to find out facts about the message. A useless, fake and exaggerated message increase our stress level and also hampers our way to think logically. Look for facts over forwards.
- Do not overreact: We tend to panic and overreact once we receive any message over this pandemic, lockdown, any mishappening, even on fake forwarded messages. Please restrain yourself to overreact on such issues. Firstly, it is not good for your mental health. Secondly, when you overreact, the children and seniors at your place are adversely affected. Take care.
So, here are a few
simple ways to de-stress yourself. I have tried them. The lockdown will end,
the business will start, the office will get open, schools and colleges will
again be placed for children, public places will be again reopened, life will
again start moving. Nothing is permanent. Neither the life we had before
lockdown nor this period of lockdown nor will even the time after lockdown gets
over. Prepare yourself for the change, because change has already happened.
Utilise this time to reboot your mechanism, restart your overloaded brain,
regain your energy, and reload your enthusiasm and then recreate your life once
again with a calm and stable mind.
Gift yourself a
Take care, Stay at
home and stay safe.