Minding Our Minds : Simple measures to deal with lockdown blues

Zehra Faraz   |  


Photo Credit: For representational purpose only

As we stress over what the world has come to, people in fairly large numbers out there are battling anxiety, negative thoughts, and even loneliness.

Questions like “When is this pandemic going to end?”, “What will be of our lives when it is over?”, “Will our jobs stay intact or will the recession revamp and restructure them adapting to the economy of the post-COVID-era?” keep looming over our heads.

The mental health burden associated with the pandemic is only likely to increase.

However much we try to put away our smartphones and stay from the news updates, our minds keep nudging these apprehensions, revoking our efforts in keeping them away. We may be vulnerable to depression or suicidal ideation because of the worry and stress surrounding this outbreak.

The chief psychologist of Yale New Haven Hospital's psychiatric services, Dr. Dwain C. Fehon, PsyD, to address the problems, suggests that we stop these thoughts and use this period as a chance to pause and reflect on what is more important in our lives.

The first step toward which, he says, is being mindful of our thoughts. Pondering over the current state of the world as well as the state it will shape into after COVID is wiped off deprives us of the opportunities this has come along with.

Running errands and making ends meet, we were so occupied with the hassling world that we had little time for ourselves. Instead of letting the negative side get to us, we must realize the freedom it proffers.

This needs to be followed by taking control of our thoughts and bringing ourselves back to an activity that helps provide a sense of peace. Remaining positive, being grateful for our lives and also our loved ones, and engaging ourselves in productive activities helps us fight the blues. To alleviate our worries, we must remain involved in calming activities and realize the golden chance that this period of tribulation has brought.

The sudden shift from a lifestyle wherein all of us just raced forth — at times even for things we weren’t sure of — has, if nothing, at least coerced us to de-stress and break away from the mechanical monotony. The fast pace had taken a toll on both our physical and mental health.

Now, in the standstill that this pandemic has offered us, we can reset our priorities and work on them. There lies a need for us to recalibrate work-life balance before the world resumes functioning again. Things have come to a halt and whilst appreciating this slow, steady pace of life we need to retrospect and resurrect.

By re-planning our daily routine, organizing our lives, pursuing our hobbies, and doing things that we always complained about not having enough time for, amidst the worldly rush, we can enter the post-COVID world rightly. Availing ourselves of this period to seek actualization of our potential and talents, we will refine and grow.

While there is a lot of catching up that can be done through phone calls, cooking together, cleaning the house, exercising are some activities by which we can bond over with family members. Moreover, we could bring our creative side to work by doing some DIY projects, in the process of which we can decorate our house and even fix things.

This time must be sought for building up our personalities, brushing up our talents, and bringing out hidden fortes. If not taken sullenly, this self-isolation period will help us evolve, and renew ourselves into being what we have always aspired to. Litanies such as, “Oh, how I wish I had the time to paint”, “I’d love to cook for my family if I had the time to”, “I hardly get time to spend with my family” have been heard as entreaties, giving way to plenty of quality time with our loved ones, in the warmest and safest of places we can be — If we could only count our blessings and make the most of them!

NOW is the time to do all the things we have always wanted to do.

Before the world gets back to its fast routine where we take life and the basic resources for granted, let us use this time to heal ourselves — spiritually and mentally — mind our minds, and plan our actions to quash mental disorders from taking a toll on us.


Zehra Faraz is pursuing B.Arch from Amity University. Views expressed by the author  are personal.


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