The world is under lockdown. The thought of everything happening around us and the globe is so overwhelming. There is uncertainty, there is anxiety and there is panic.
Locked wherever we are, some with their loved ones, some alone, some with abundance while some struggling to make ends meet. With everyone in their trepidation, it has become a fight for survival. No one was prepared for this unforeseen change in our lifestyle.
At the beginning of this year, I was already exasperated and exhausted with the monotony of my life. I desperately needed a break. Nothing was falling in place. To get back on track, I had some plans for myself this March. Alas! The corona crisis shattered them.
Social distancing and self-isolation are making even the healthiest and strongest go crazy. I, who was already on the verge of a breakdown, couldn’t handle this at all. I was trying to keep myself away from negativities as much as possible and wasn’t even rigorously following the news. Yet, my frustration kept building up and soon turned to anxiety attacks, and before I knew I had a depressive episode. Fortunately, with the help of my loved ones and some self-awareness, I did get out of that phase sooner than expected. My toddler played a huge role in this. Her energy and positivity are so infectious; I just couldn’t see that earlier.
Many of us would be in the same boat. Sometimes, the major issues can be dealt with minor changes as was in my case. I have made certain changes in my daily routine that help me cope up with my emotional issues. I believe I’ve kind of learned to keep my emotions in check, and I would like to pass some tips on.
Household chores, office related work, kids, and elderly to tend too; there is already so much on our plate these days. Self-care has become our least priority. Include this right away on your list. Start exercising indoors, include meditation as your morning ritual. Do not sleep unusually long hours and follow healthy eating habits. If kids crave junk, experiment, and make a healthier version of it. Utilize any extra time you get to learn something new or pick up an activity that makes you happy.
As irrelevant as it may sound, leaving your pajamas behind and wearing something nice will instantly lift your mood. Most of us laze around in our comfort wear all day long making our lives more restrained and monotonous. One day my little girl asked me to wear a dress similar to hers and make two ponytails. Taking a break from my pajamas felt good, felt different. Occasional and coordinated dressing with my little one has become a frequent thing for us now.
Declutter your mind and surroundings
Declutter your mind. Don’t watch a lot of news and strict your social media use. Don’t overfeed your brain with Covid-19 related information. Checking the stats once or twice a day should suffix. Too much of anything is good for nothing.
Declutter your house. Make the bed daily. Ask other family others to help you keep the house clean. Teach the kids to clean up their toys. The cleaner the house, the more positive vibes it gives.
Follow a Routine
Self-isolation and social distancing have become the new normal. Our daily routines and lifestyles have changed drastically. If you have kids, especially younger ones, following a routine becomes difficult but is also necessary. House-bound with no friends, no play-park time, and no school have left the kids restless. It is, therefore, important to handle them calmly and engage them in constructive age-appropriate activities. Create a timetable for them which suit your working hours too. Your children will follow routine only when you follow your routine rigorously. Set up fixed work from home hours, time for family, time for self, and time for home.
Add a quarantine ritual
Adding a ritual to the quarantine days will make you feel special about this time. Add a solo ritual like writing a journal or taking a walk in the wee hours. Or make these rituals more fun as family bonding times. Involve the whole family for some together dance time, karaoke sessions, or cooking at least one meal together.
Unload your emotions
Don’t keep your thoughts and feelings confined within you. Sometimes, talking helps. Open up with a trusted person. Talk about your emotions, your worries, negative thoughts, and how deeply they impact you. If you don’t want to talk about it, write them down in a journal. Alternatively, join a support group.
If nothing works, seek help
If your health doesn’t improve even after following all measures; you face difficulty following a routine or waking up; you get severe negative thoughts including suicidal ones; please don’t delay taking help. Not everyone is anxious due to this new way of life. There could be other reasons as well. Your underlying mental and emotional issues might be surfacing with all this added stress. You need to handle them at the earliest. Most psychologists are offering telehealth sessions over video or audio calls. Reach out to them.
Let’s accept and adjust to this new way of life in the best possible way. Make use of technology to stay connected with your loved ones, remember you are not in this alone. The world is fighting with you. Take control of your life and the rest will follow. Apart from taking care of yourself, be more thoughtful towards others. Show more kindness to the world, show your love and care to your loved ones. We are all in this together, and that’s how we will get through this.
This post was previously published here