Lockdown - The prison wala feeling
A lot of us may have mixed feelings about it. We feel anxious and isolated and at the same time secure that this restriction is a life saver, protecting us from a dreadful mahamari for which there is no cure. YET.
Changing TV channels to binge watching movies or series, flipping on the couch or sofa. This has become a normal day for most of us. Cursing our collective fate and feeling grateful at the same time that we don’t lack the basic necessities like many other poor Indians.
Trapped in flats with small balconies, tired of seeing the same faces at all times every day.
Some of us away from the safety of our homes, away y from the comfort of loved ones stranded in other cities.
Realising that work from home is a curse and missing office thinking it was way better.
Jeopardized daily routine. Having outdoor hobbies which are difficult to engage in.
Those with “work from home not possible” wale jobs speculating whether they will be paid or not. Stressing over possible financial problems.
Being hyperactive on social media discussing politics, economics and prophecies about this pandemic.
Realising how trivial our other problems are. Now we have a bigger giant problem a PANDEMIC. Realising how delicate human life is. Spiritual turmoil arising.
Suddenly when we were going about our daily lives something happens that has made us confront the fear of death. Made us realise how fragile human life is. Mankind that can go to the moon and explore the universe is unable to fights a virus. Realising how small and powerless we are.
Having a lot of time at our disposal. Feeling overwhelmed with emotions rushing in. Emotions, fears, neglected feelings all surfacing. Out of nowhere. All the work and activity that kept those nagging inner experiences at bay is not our shield anymore. The blissful denial and ignorance is over.
Some secretly feeling blessed that they got the much needed break and get away from the mundane routine and hectic work.
In such dreadful times, feeling ANXIOUS, INSECURE AND STRESSED is not unlikely.
The picture is so bleak. Can we do anything about this? A silver lining?
YES. There is. We can make the best of the time we have got. Easier said than done huh?
It’s not as difficult as we like to think it is.
So here is what we can do
1. Limit your news intake.
This will help us manage the negativity, keep our anxiety in check and help us deflate the fear of death.
4. Spend quality time with your family
Locked down, YES, but with the people who are very precious to you. People will comfort you and make you feel secure. For parents and siblings who are not able to connect with family members on a daily basis, this is your time. Make the most of this time. Express gratitude towards them and take part in household chores. Get to know your family members better.
Time to do spring cleaning of our minds. We don’t find time to make sense of our inner world everyday. Lot of us may have unexpressed and unprocessed emotions and experiences.
You may think “I’m already loaded with anxiety and fear, I don’t need this too.” Let me remind you. We will get through this. Humanity is not that frail after all. We have seen many
worst things in our lives. This too shall pass. We will find our strength and when this is over we would’ve learnt our lessons. We will come out of this disaster stronger.
2. Sweat is out.
Physical activity can boost our health and mood. Those lazy people who have never exercised their entire life, you are not alone… but we can try, nudge ourselves a little more to be physically active. Activities like clapping your hands, jumping will also work like magic.
5. Get a hobby.
An indoor one. Obviously. Try drawing , colouring and some cool DIY stuff. Many online platforms are offering courses. Expand your skillset. We may be surprised what hidden talents we have.
8. Get your daily dose of sun and fresh air.
This will help with the feeling of being locked-up. And also help regulate your body clock helping you have a some kind of routine. One good outcome of the lockdown is that air pollution levels have gone down and you can enjoy the breezy bliss any time. So slide open your windows and let the sun shine.
10. Try to help those in need
10. Try to help those in need by offering food or money or just being there for them. And please do not forward all news and announcement to everyone mindlessly. Some people may be struggling to hold it together a lot more than you can imagine. Be mindful about the needs of such people.
3. Phone a friend or relative
Busy lives drift us away from people who were once close to us. This is the time when we can phone a friend or relative to catch up. And a perfect opportunity to renew relationships that have gone sour because it is not going to be weird to talk an old friend.
6. Write about your feelings
We are going to survive this. When it is all over (It will be over. Have hope and faith) We will remember this as a life changing experience. We better remember it vividly. And writing will kill time. We may be surprised to find we had an expressive writer in us. Also it will help unburden us. Better to write privately and unload rather than talking about this to other people and increasing the anxiety.
9. Take breaks from work and be mindful of your posture while working.
9. Take breaks from work and be mindful of your posture while working. And do not work on your bed. This way your body will know that bed is a place to sleep. Drinking warm milk and turning off your gadgets one hour before sleep also readies your body for a good nights sleep.
How to ease anxiety.
I have tried this technique. Works wonders. Brings instant calm. I would like to call it “the safety blanket imagery”
Sit in a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Take deep breaths. Try noticing what is happening in your body and mind. Now try imagining a warm blanket covering you. Use details. The way it smells, like freshly washed, the mild smell of detergent, or any scent you would like. How it feels on your skin, soft, warm and comforting. Imagine your other favourite smell and sounds. For me it would be the smell of cardamom tea and the happy chirping of birds. Allow yourself to drift into that calm and comfort. Let yourself relax as the muscles lose all the tension and you are soaked in the peace and security of that blanket. Notice how your breath becomes peaceful and you are no longer anxious.
THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
Amidst all the bad news about new cases and number of deaths rising every day it is difficult to hold our head and not go crazy, figuratively and literally. But it is important for us to be hopeful and believe that things will go back to normal. Try to be calm because that is the only thing we can do. Other than social distancing of course. So let us hold on to our strength and fight this situation together, as a community and a nation.And remember THIS TOO SHALL PASS.