How to keep calm (and not lose your mind) during the pandemic
Lockdown got you down? We understand, and we’re here to tell you: stress, overwhelming feelings, and heightened emotions during this time of the pandemic are understandable, and while they may seem outer-worldly, this is our reminder to you: feeling this way, is normal. Most of us haven’t experienced a lockdown of this sort, and this abrupt break in our daily lives is taking a toll on the entire world. But let’s keep the world aside for a bit. If you’ve clicked on this blog, there’s a slight chance you’re dealing with one (or all) of what’s stated above and we’re here to try and help.
While Instagram and memes may tell you differently, being extroverted or introverted doesn’t make too much of a difference here. As humans, we like patterns (a lot, if you look at history) and any disruption in the pattern that is our daily routine, disrupts our mental peace, in turn affecting our mental health. While we’d like to emphasize you being special, we’re also here to tell you that you aren’t facing this disruption alone. You aren’t alone in this, just socially distanced (we really hope you’re practicing social distancing here!).
The question arises: How do you keep this disruption of mental peace at bay, to not drive yourself crazy with your thoughts?
While completely eradicating these feelings is not something we can promise, we have a few tips in store which may help you cope with distressing feelings and make this lockdown a more memorable, and productive one. But before we give away the gold, here’s a short disclaimer. Everyone has different mechanisms of coping with stress, and some of these tips might not work out for you. It is advised that you don’t stress out more about not being able to wind down. This blog is also not any form of counselling. If you need to talk to someone, a few contacts which may help you out will be listed at the end of this blog.
1. Ditch a few plans: If you’ve seen your favourite blogger/ YouTuber having the most productive times of their life or your group of friends acting like they’re vacationing, it’s high time to burst that bubble. While making this lockdown period your most productive time could sound like a treat, it could also lead to a burn out quite easily. Focus on activities that relax you and start by combining a few ‘productive’ things you’d like to do during this lockdown. Low motivation, problems with concentrating and added stress due to the same are expected. Go easy on yourself while planning out your goals.
2. Rooting for routines: This wasn’t meant to sound like your parents during Board exams. But there’s a reason for this. Remember that routine we talked about previously? Disturbances in your day-to-day life add to irritability and stress. Try fixing a routine to follow throughout the day and stick to it as much as possible. Yes, a routine also meaning a fixed sleep schedule. Trust us, you’ll feel better.
3. Maintain connections: Not being able to meet anybody other than the people you’re lockdown-ed with is hard. If family, or friends, are getting on your nerves, remember to get yourself a bit of space. Asking for space is something many people find difficult to do but invest some time in yourself. If you’re feeling trapped, give a friend a call (They might be feeling the same way; We don’t recommend exes for this activity.) Do keep in mind that this is a challenging time for who you’re living with too, and make sure to not cut them off entirely, and spend some quality time with them. You may learn something new about them which you never knew before! (Or not.)
4. Step away from the media: Constant news about the pandemic WILL stress you out. Be it in the form of constant WhatsApp forwards, the news channels on TV, or even the Discover page on Google. Take a break from the overload of information and indulge in a relaxing activity of your choice (with precautions related to the pandemic, of course!).
And lastly? Support yourself, and loved ones in times of need (Yes, as cheesy as it sounds). Make sure to stop the train of overthinking, or at least pause it to get yourself some rest. Stressing out about stress, or not stressing enough is equally harmful. This pandemic will cause a lot of distress and will be testing humanity. But keeping your calm and being patient is what is important in these times of need. As promised above, here’s a pandemic helpline you can contact for help:
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Psycho-Social’s toll-free helpline number: 804 611 0007.