If you’re one of those people who’s become super productive and is using this time to engage in a lot of things, learn new skills and is focusing on becoming a better version of yourself; well then, kudos to you! It is admirable that you’re using this time productively.
If you’re one of those people who isn’t doing anything, is just lying on the couch the whole day, or is chilling the whole day, eating, sleeping, watching stuff online, reading, and doing other things that make you happy, then kudos to you too. Glad you’re using this time for engaging in self-care and in the things that give you joy.
Whichever category you do belong to, please remember that this time that we are going through is NOT NORMAL and hence, it would be unreasonable to pressure ourselves into being the way we were before this quarantine period. This period is very overwhelming and tough for a lot of us, and each of us has our own way of coping with it.
The only thing which is important is: to have intention for each day. Working with an intention saves us from anxiety and other negative feelings that we may face if we are going through the day mindlessly. If your intention is to finish a lot of your work today, then you can go on with that. However, if your intention is to just relax the whole day and not do anything, that’s fine too.
You may ask, what’s the big deal about intention?
Let’s consider a situation where, say for instance person A, wakes up in the morning, has his breakfast, and then, has no idea what he wants to do or what he feels like doing. He then decides to sit on the sofa, put on Netflix, and binge watch. However, while he’s engaged in this activity of binge watching, he keeps telling himself, “This is bad, I’m not being productive at all”. So he puts off his Netflix and thinks of working out for a bit. He finishes the workout somehow but realizes that it wasn’t one of the best workouts he’s had, and it doesn’t make him feel fresh and pumped up. Following this activity, he decides to take a nap for a while, but even THAT doesn’t go as planned because he suddenly wakes up thinking, “What am I doing? Just wasting my time.”
This is what we meant earlier when talking about having intention. If Person A’s intention for that day was just to take rest and chill, then he wouldn’t be questioning himself so much and feeling bad about not doing anything. Because, he would know what he wanted for that day- to not do anything and just relax. Setting an intention serves as an anchor for us. We know what we want to do on that particular day. Going through the day mindlessly may not help, as it may bring forth feelings of anxiety and disappointment.
Check in with yourself
For a lot of us, the intent for this quarantine period might be to engage in self care; doing things just for ourselves.This would also be a good time to look inward, and check on ourselves- to check on our feelings, our emotions; and to be connected with our body and mind. Our feelings have a lot to tell us, and being aware of our feelings is a great way to get to know ourselves. This period of global crisis has all of us going through a multitude of feelings and emotions. We are aware of some, but may not be conscious of others: yet there is no doubt they all have an impact on us. It is okay to feel whatever you are feeling. There isn’t any right or wrong feeling and we need not compare what we are experiencing and going through with what others are experiencing. Every individual has a different way of coping, and as long as yours helps you, it’s fine.
Reach Out for Help
A lot of times when we are struggling and are overwhelmed with emotions, it becomes difficult to be objective about our problems. Hence, reaching out and asking for help from a psychologist when we need to is never a bad idea. You don’t have to be on the verge of a breakdown to ask for help. It’s okay to reach out to a mental health professional even if you just want to talk. Talking and letting your voice be heard is also therapeutic for many.
A lot of mental health professionals, as well as a lot of organizations are doing a beautiful job of making themselves available virtually, free of cost for anyone who wants to reach out.
Here are the contact details for some of these organizations:
- MIND SOLACE: https://mindsolace.com/covid19
- NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH AND NEUROSCIENCES, BANGALORE: 080 4611 0007 (toll free)
- AAROGYA SEVA: 080 4717 9998; 91 7892939817 (10 am to 8 pm)
- MPOWER MINDS– 1800 120 820050
- iCALL– 022 25521111; 9372048501; 9920241248; 8369799513; Email- firstname.lastname@example.org (Monday to Saturday 8am to 10pm)
- INDIAN PSYCHOANALYTICAL SOCIETY– +91 033 2350 8788′ WhatsApp Number: 9874124224′ Email- email@example.com . You can avail these services between 9am to 9pm.
I am a practicing psychologist. I’m interested in art and design. Mandala art is my stress buster. I’m also into the upcoming field of fashion psychology. Binge watching, reading, engaging with art and listening to music are my current pastimes. Oh, and adding new places to visit in my travel bucket list too can be counted!
I am a feminist, bookworm, occasional writer and perpetual learner. I work at Kolkata Sanved, an NGO that uses Dance Movement Therapy for healing and empowering marginalised communities, and I’m currently training to be a Dance Movement Therapy Practitioner.