When the going gets tough during a pandemic, even the ‘toughest’ of us have a hard time going on with life as usual.
The pandemic’s lethal blow to the economy has wreaked havoc on our personal and professional life and honestly, there are no survivors. This situation can take a mighty toll on our mental health and give sleepless nights to the best of us. Especially if one is looking out for opportunities.
However, when life has come to a standstill, there’s no better time to understand yourself and your goals better.
Here’s how you can make the most of your time resting away from the rat race.
Try a new book genre
When we are cooped up in our rooms all day, books are the people we want to meet and the escape we so dearly seek.
If you have preferred a specific genre all your life, this is your chance to break the rule and give the untouched selection in your bookshelf a chance.
When you are deprived of exciting experiences while being locked away in your home, a new genre can lift your spirits and keep you from brooding away in your own thoughts.
Familiar books are like conquered territories with expected turns. Exploring unfamiliar genres is like pointing your finger on the map with closed eyes and landing on a whole new world the next moment.
Undoubtedly, the most exciting trip you can take from the comfort of your room.
Beat boredom with super skills
Sure you must have upgraded your culinary skills over the lockdown with Dalgona and no-cook/oven/effort Banana Bread but you can’t keep shying away from learning something that can actually help you later.
Harvard has made a plethora of courses available online for free if ‘expenses’ are pulling you back. Skilling platforms have a range of courses to offer, ranging from coding, management modules, graphic designing and so much more.
The satisfaction of adding a new diploma to your Linkedin profile or designing your own website from scratch (without compromising on your day job) is unparalleled.
If you are planning to appear for a competitive exam to take a chance at your dream job, there will be no better time.
Go down the memory lane
When anxiety peaks, a simple scroll through the pictures of your last vacation can set your mind at ease. Happy memories have a super-effective way of doubling dopamine and reducing stress instantly.
Take the time off to look back at fond memories with loved ones by your side. Pick up your parent’s wedding album or create a new album for your childhood pics. Make a montage and keep aside your favourite pictures that you would want to frame later.
Rekindle your love for forgotten hobbies. Pull out your golden memories (brownie points if you still have them) stashed away with art supplies, musical instruments or even a squash racquet and try dusting up your skills.
Share your ‘recovered’ talent with friends and family and encourage them to join in!
Keep in touch from afar
Long phone calls with friends and family can be a super stress reliever.
You have been cutting them off saying you are busy for the longest time. Make a list of long lost friends and relatives who you have not spoken to for years and reach out to them.
Impromptu video calls with old friends are more useful ways of coping with stress than scourging news articles for hopeful news all day, every day. After all, if you guys managed to pass the most difficult exams, make it past major heartbreaks, recovered from failed career aspirations and cut-throat competitive exams, this too shall pass.
With technology by your side, you can host virtual parties like John Krasinki’s prom party with your college or school squad and relive the good old days. Houseparty and Zoom are great options to host fun, large reunions for free.
Your grandparents can share insightful ways to deal with a pandemic thanks to stories handed down over generations. If you are lucky, you may even unearth a private anecdote or two from the times of Spanish Influenza and world wars.
Indulge in self-care and rejuvenate
Relaxing your mind is hard with bad news surrounding us from everywhere.
To ease your anxiety and breathing, try easy meditation techniques that calm you within a minute.
Sit comfortably and focus on your breathing. Close your eyes and take a deep breath while counting till 8. Hold your breath for 4 seconds and release your breath slowly while counting till 8.
Try it out!
Try sneaking in short naps in-between work to relax your mind and build up your immune system. Drifting away while listening to relaxing music also does the trick.
Have small and frequent meals instead of heavy meals thrice a day. When you are sitting down all day, your metabolism may go for a toss and hamper your energy levels. This can make you lazy, irritated and frustrated. Hampering your work, well-being and mental health.
Stock up on greens and sign up for a virtual workout class to beat the blues and feel fabulous.
If you have not tried it out yet, self-grooming can be as relaxing as 5-star spa therapies.
Spend more time on yourself and try taking off those layers of dead skin around your ankles and blackheads around your nose.
Greet everyone with a better version of yourself in the post-COVID-19 world.
Remember! You are not alone.
Don’t pressurize yourself to ‘achieve’ something every day.
When you look out of your window or step out on the balcony, you will find an equally imperfect world impacted adversely by the pandemic.
Ticking off to-do’s on your worklist, doing the dishes, 50 squats, mopping the floor and drying your laundry are more than just ‘achievements’. Give yourself and your family a well-deserved pat on the back for leading normal, happy lives in the safety of your home.
Pondering over a crumbled economy or losing out on ‘precious time’ are thoughts that are haunting millions around the world. Economies, people, society- everything around you is set to change. The best you can do now is stay safe and let time take its course.
Take a deep breath and hope for the best.
We are in this together.
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