It’s no news that the world is falling apart around us. But, watching videos and photographs of people suffering on the news or social media can trigger you. I feel overwhelmed, and helpless thinking about the pain people are feeling around me. But, it also makes me feel guilty as I sit in the comforts of my home, safe. Don’t you feel it too?
Well, I’m here to tell you that this is absolutely normal. The world has witnessed a lot of pain over time. Wars, famines, hunger, climate change and natural disasters, humans and animals have seen all these through time. Studies show that, in the circumstances like these, it’s normal for us to feel overwhelmed.
I don’t know if you would agree with this, but this pandemic has made us aware of what really matters to us. We are practising minimal living. As a result, I feel more confident about what really makes me happy and what doesn’t, what I absolutely need in my life and what I don’t. So, why not practice mental cleansing too?
Hi, I am Asavari Bhardwaj, Founder of The Wonk and a terribly anxious person. I am one of those people who gets panic attacks and then suddenly flips to being normal. Unfortunately, the pandemic has made my condition worse. The constant fear of losing your loved ones to a virus is like waking up and putting a dagger through your gut and then stitching your wounds and repeating the process.
I started going to therapy like most people are in these pressing times, and I’d like to share what my therapist asked me to do when coping with ‘Covid Anxiety’.
What is ‘Covid Anxiety’?
Before we start coping with a problem or fear, it’s important to understand it. For example, during this pandemic majority of the people are feeling anxious. It’s a normal reaction to feel the need for safety, certainty, predictability, and control. This is ‘Covid Anxiety’.
Don’t worry. You are not alone. We all are in the same boat, and yes, there are simple life hacks that you can apply in your life right now to make yourself feel better.
- Stay informed:
But don’t obsessively doomscroll and bother your mental health. Too much information is the recipe for most problems. Whatsapp forwards with unnecessary stats or hacks against covid, videos with disturbing visuals, photographic that are too graphic to digest. There are way too many things that you are putting in your head to make a deadly concoction. Stop, right now! Keep a fixed time to check on your daily dose of news, and after your done, don’t check again for the entire day.
2. Stay Connected:
Missing you’re mother’s warm hugs, well, everybody is. But unfortunately, we are in times when keeping distance is the safest bet for ourselves and the ones around us. Don’t let this stop you from expressing your love to your friends and family. You can play virtual games, collaborate on projects through online portals, make the Friday night dinner via zoom or just anything to keep each other’s morale high during these difficult times.
3. Journalise your day:
Ok. This is something that I personally have applied, and I know it makes me feel in control of my day. When you feel in control, you automatically start to feel that things and situations are favourable around you. That reduces some percentage of your anxiety. So pick up that notebook you bought years ago, thinking you’ll write something in it, but you still haven’t, and make it your Day Planner. Wake up, sip some tea, and write down everything you want to do during the day. Throughout the day, keep striking off all the tasks that you complete. Oh, My God! Trust me, the feeling is gratifying.
4. Gratitude Practice:
Gratitude is known to be one of the strongest feelings that one can use to cope with most mental health issues. The practice of gratitude can help you instantly feel much better and reduce the chances of an anxiety attack. All you need to do when you start your gratitude practice is, to write what you feel grateful about, daily. Very soon, the physical practice of writing it all down will become mental. Before you go to bed and when you wake up the next day, practice gratitude. Happier days are in store for you.
I personally am a fan of the application, Headspace. But you can choose to meditate through any other app. The thing with meditation is, that there is no ‘thing’. It’s just feeling comfortable with yourself. So, if it is breathwork or chanting or guided meditation or just sitting with yourself alone and counting your blessings, do it every day. Make a nice cosy spot where you can practice mindful thinking, and you are set on the journey within.
6. Help Others:
In times like these, where we see people suffering every day, helping others can make us feel on the mend. Are you feeling guilty that you are safe at home? Forget the guilt and help others. Are you feeling low after seeing graphic visuals of pyres of people who succumbed to covid? Donate whatever you can. Be a part of the solution to the problem, and you won’t feel lonely because you will find like-minded people who felt the same way as you did. And they have now jumped in just like you to help others. It will make you feel happy to be a part of a cause and to belong. And don’t forget the blessings you will get for doing a good deed.
Try these hacks and then tell us how you feel by writing to us – firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking forward to answering your emails.