When I look back, I realize that “Be positive”, “think positive”, “have patience” ……. These are the most used phrases throughout the pandemic period! At first, it felt right of course but not anymore! After a long one year of staying home, working from home, losing someone close to your heart, not socializing and what not…. it is becoming a burden! It is having a tremendous toll on all our mental health. Kids cannot be kids having their everyday school, friends, playtime, birthday parties, and so on… Teenagers with their raging hormones have no outlet, no friendly gatherings, no chit-chat, no movies, no dates, and the list goes on… Men without watching games with buddies, movies, entertainments and on top of that jobs and money… Women without kitty parties, gossip rooms, and jobs….
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on our lives. All of us are facing challenges that can be stressful, devastating, and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Public health actions, such as social distancing, are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but they make us feel isolated and lonely and increase stress and anxiety as we are social beings.4Most of us are huggers, partygoers, and wanderers. Looking good is another way of showing positivity but now we must wear masks and hide our happy faces. It is very distressing not to see someone’s expression while talking!!
All these “new normal” are causing a lot of stress and the outbursts come in all different shapes and sizes. It brings feelings of fear, anger, sadness, worry, numbness, or frustration. Changes in appetite, energy, desires, and interests are noticeable. People face difficulty in concentrating, making decisions, relaxing, or sleeping. Strangely enough, people have physical reactions, such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes!! Worsening of chronic health or mental health conditions becomes common. Last but not the least, increased use of tobacco, alcohol, and other substances becomes a burning issue.
BUT…. being the topmost Being in the food chain(!!) we must be positive and cannot give up. So many stories of goodness and love are in the air. People are doing groceries for the covid affected patients, keeping the items on the porch or on the bonnet of the car; having constant communication so that the patients don’t feel lonely; last but not the least if unfortunately someone dies, doing all the arrangements for their funeral…..that is humanity.
Pivot is another word that is added to our everyday dictionary. All of us are pivoting to survive. All the kids are taking the upper hand on us the old school people who used to say that the young generation is too much dependent on technology because technology is actually keeping us alive. I myself made a pivot in my teaching style. I am teaching all online.
Even with all this pivoting, our stress level is not getting any lower. Covid fatigue is striking hard, combating it also is extremely hard. Even then we must strive to fight against it. These are the few actions we should exercise to protect ourselves: To begin with, we need to take time to check in with ourselves which we often do not do as if we came to this world for others. We also need to reflect on how we are doing, not to see if we are being perfect but to watch if we are continuing to do what we need to do. Secondly, if we feel irritated, impatient, angry; we need to accept that all these responses are normal and understandable during such a difficult time. Lastly, if we are suffering from fatigue, anxiety, or depression, we should seek help. Nothing should be kept hidden inside.
We must remember that life must go on. We must be positive. We as free human beings forgot the pain of restriction and isolation. COVID 19 reminded us how privileged we have been and how we misused our freedom. And moreover, the vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel. So, BE POSITIVE, BE POSITIVE and BE POSITIVE!!
Photo credit:Lloyed Law College