Pandemics Anxiety: Our Worry About Covid 19 Is Making Things Worse
It’s a regular day at our house. The pretty chill ambiance inside but not outside. As I was sitting with my laptop in the room, I could hear Rajeev ( my husband) instructing my Dad to not go outside.
Haha!! No literally!
Those were the days when my dad used to yell at him to not go outside.
But I think he can’t help, he is too anxious to just sit at home in front of the TV watching nothing but news about Covid-19.
Turn off your TV, it's not helping you do what needs to be done.Please! N yes do stay away from the nagging relatives who are complaining about everything every time.
This is the day that COVID-19 became real for me. A case of COVID-19 was confirmed in my city, and a close relative of that carrier attended a large social function the next night. For two days, many companies in the city were closed for deep cleaning and people were instructed to work from home.
Well, here we are. A mandated social experiment, to see what exactly happens to ourselves when we are locked down.
In the last couple of weeks, most of us have been thrown into a brave new world of social distancing, self-isolation, and in some cases, downright lockdown. I believe it’s just a preview of our isolating future.
No nights out. No sports. No nothing. So how do we connect with other human beings and spend all of that extra free time we've been given.
O God! I do need some other people, I am sick of seeing him for the whole day ( pun intended). The best part is now I have a great excuse for not attending that boring event he loves.
Self-care in the time of Covid -19
So Last night I brought home several bags of dried couscous and vegetables. I don’t even eat couscous. My husband does. This is love in the time of corona, panic-buying for others.
Of course, my version of panic means stocking up on two weeks of groceries, plus a month of dried food in case something terrible happens. We sat down and did the math. Yup this has happened after a long time that he is concerned about stocking groceries along with his wine bottles. Gosh! Finally!!!
And hoping that When one of us feels sick, we don’t kiss. We secretly hope we’ll catch the virus at the same time. That way, we can all be sick together. Neither one of us will get stuck having to take care of the other, plus our toddler.
See, we are afraid but we tend to find humor in every possible way rather than panicking.
Honestly, I am anxious
As someone with high anxiety and taking multiple medications to combat it, my nerves have been fried overall by the coronavirus virus news and updates that the news outlets and social media thrust in our faces. Yes, we need to be informed. Yes, we need to be prepared in case our area goes under quarantine status. No, we do not need to freak out to the point we make ourselves sick.
Please we just need to be aware and cautious and shift our focus to something else too.
The only question we need to ask ourselves!
We do face many difficult situations in life, for example, what we are facing right now, is at its core.
This reminds me of a theory I read somewhere.
Have you ever heard of the word Stoicism?
Stoicism is about one thing and one thing alone: separating what you control from what you don’t. There are other good habits to practice, beneficial attitudes to pick up, and many concepts to study, but, at the end of the day, they all follow from this one commitment.
So rather being panicking, Imagine looking at this through this filter. Your thoughts, your emotions, the events that transpire. It all comes down to a single question: What do I control here?
In light of the current coronavirus situation, a calm mind is more important than ever. Let’s discern what specifically we control and don’t control it.
You don’t control
- How many of the people you know will get the disease
- What protective measures your government will take
- Which countries you can still travel to, be it for work or pleasure
- Whether your city will impose a curfew or not and till when
- Which goods are available in the store whenever you go shopping
- If your company will allow you to work from home or not
All of these questions will receive answers, but you won’t have much of a say in them if any. That’s scary. Knowing you could not have done anything about them, however, should not send you into a tailspin. Instead, let it provide you with comfort and the ability to then focus on
What you do control
- Washing your hands as often and thoroughly as you can
- Avoiding handshakes and close, face-to-face contact
- Staying home unless it’s important or necessary to go out
- Letting everyone you’ve had contact know when you feel sick
- Buying what you need but not hogging what others could use
In the case of coronavirus, the right steps are simple to understand but very hard to follow. It’s tough to avoid your friends. It’s not fun to chase after your money. Maybe, you don’t like working from home. Once you understand, however, that there’s a limited number of actions you control, you can give yourself peace of mind by taking them. Doing what’s right is enough.
So please be aware of making Stupid perceptions.
Be aware of forming judgments, making decisions, building trust, and not letting your senses fool you. If you see a person coughing, does that mean they have coronavirus? No, but that’s what your fear-driven brain wants you to believe. So take a pause and ask: Can I diagnose this person? Do I control all the information? Since the answer is no, she would just go about her day.
Your will determines how committed you are to moving forward. It’s a sense of doggedness, a refusal to give in to a bad environment or let go of a strong, positive, empowering belief. When your loved one gets the virus, will you break down and cry or help him quarantine himself?
Don’t choose despair, choose to fight and live another day. Again, the question is: What do I control here? You can’t undo the damage, but you can help your partner heal faster.
Here are some ways I’m doing self-care during this stressful time in our global economy
Stay off social media
Social media is full of misinformation. Some people are blowing this pandemic off while others are spreading misinformation and making it seem worse than it is. Both are bad for your mental health. You need good, clean information that hasn’t been tainted by someone’s opinion.
Prepare like you will be quarantined
Even if the likelihood of you being quarantined is low, you may know someone who has a higher risk. Prepare for yourself and then you will have things to share if it comes down to it. Either way, being prepared is one way to lower anxiety levels.
You can either stock up your favorite bottle of wine or just Netflix and chill. Up to you, but just be prepared.
Try a new hobby
Put your mind to good use and learn something new. Take an online course. (I highly suggest MasterClass.) I am reading a lot these days. So make sure you have your happy space around so that you do not have to panic a lot.
Now, this is something, my husband is so happy about these days. Being quarantined, I chucked his entire wardrobe. I never find solace in cleaning or organizing. On the contrary, my husband thinks he missed his true calling of being a professional organizer. So he persuaded me to Get out the duster or the laundry and get to it. Your mind will stay busy and you will have a cleaner living environment to boot.
Spend time with your family
If you are stuck with the kids at home or the spouse because their office is closed, turn on Disney+ or YouTube and catch up on various shows. You can also dust off one of those board games in the closet and play a few rounds.
But keep one thing in mind, your kid doesn’t need another sibling. So act accordingly!
Work from home
Social distancing has been advised to avoid a possible encounter with the Coronavirus. There are a few lucky suckers out there that can pull off the “Netflix and Chill” attitude. For the rest of us mere mortals, we still need to work.
Work from home! That’s it, hallelujah, the answer to this current situation.
During this pandemic, it has become increasingly popular for companies to suggest a “home office” setting to its employees.
For the most part, other than basic food and home necessities (such as toilet paper, which has become an issue of late) we can be productive from the comfort of our own homes- avoiding unnecessary office get-togethers and that random colleague that to a paranoid mind, sounds like their cough might kill you!
There is no need to reduce our work capacity or be unproductive. With the right tools and mindset combined with the required equipment and speedy internet, we can fulfill our career duties and attempt to avoid Covid-19 exposure.
Now is the perfect time to experiment and learn rapidly
So I was having a conversation with one of my friends and her kind of suggested something that I am following so I thought of sharing with you.
Just imagine What a perfect time this is to create small experiments. What can we, in our current state (online, shorthanded, preoccupied) complete right now? How can we finish things quickly, and come back to our business partners for feedback every day?
It’s also important to reflect at the end of the day before signing off. What did we do? How are we feeling? What can we try tomorrow to make us better?
Life has its way of surprising
When it comes to surprises, many things, in reality, can surprise us whether it’s planned or even those things that no one can control.
Just like Covid -19
And people are scared as hell.
And we do have to find it in ourselves to accept and respect that because not everything that happens in life is in our control nor not always our fault. So don’t beat yourself up when things go wrong.
it’s not the end of the world and you need some self-care time. Time to dedicate to taking care of yourself. For being easy and gentle with yourself.
Take it easy and just get comfy in some comfy clothes on your comfy couch and cuddle up with some romantic comedies on Netflix or whatever you are into these days.
Take care of your mental health during this lockdown
So here I am. House full. All family members inside the house. No maids. No help. Plus a toddler. While writing this article, honestly I am boiling inside.
But instead of cribbing, I chose to be mindful.
I choose to have contended. Life is about making' mistakes. It’s also about tryna to be great! Do not let failure scare you away. I know you fed up, you fall, get up. Don't let this pandemic drive you crazy, we all have someone in our lives to do it for free. For me, it’s my husband!
We are faced with a choice
The coronavirus situation provides an opportunity for all of us to pause, reset, and step up. COVID-19, like any disruption, essentially confronts each of us with a choice: (1) to freeze, turn away from others, only care for ourselves, or (2) to turn toward others to support and comfort those who need help. That choice between acting from ego or acting from ecosystem awareness is one that we face every day, every hour, every moment. The more the world sinks into chaos, desperation, and confusion, the greater our responsibility to radiate presence, compassion, and grounded action confidence.
You might want to start a list of good things in your life. One of the best ways I know to improve is to put myself in a situation where my choice is: (a) improvement or (b) insanity. Making rapid progress during the lockdown, even starting to wean me off earplugs or not binge-watching Netflix. It’s so addictive !!
Drive all knowledge inwards. The key point I'd like to get across here is delays cost lives and exponentially increase the damage we will sustain.
A hard, local lockdown is much cheaper than waiting and shutting down your state, or country.
The world has changed, and it’s time to change our mindset — again!
Let your hair down. Play music online before your daily touch-base. Play online MadLibs. Hold virtual happy hours. Share kid photos and funny memes. Wear funny hats. Sing.
Give yourself the same care and attention that you give to others and watch yourself bloom.
Keep yourself safe. Practice self-care. Stay in touch with family and friends. Be understanding of others. My kid is loving lockdown life. She has no idea what is happening outside but she is so happy seeing everyone inside the house.
The upside of corona
One of the strange benefits of this pandemic is that it’s reminding me that I love being around people. All of us do . Give someone a phone, and they’ll spend all day by themselves, thinking they’re connected. Tell them they have to be alone, and suddenly their deepest desire is the touch of a friend. It’s something to remember when things get back to normal.
Too often, we don’t realize our need for connection until it’s too late. We cry over the bridges we torched. Of course, I’m sure some people are happy right now for an excuse to spend all day in their pajamas. That won’t last.
Ask anyone who’s lost a loved one. They’ll set you straight. Losing someone is the worst thing that can happen. Most of us won’t die from an infection. But a lot of us could wind up losing someone.
That’s why we’re staying home and washing our hands so much. We don’t want to get someone else sick. This is love. A lot of us are doing the same thing.
We’re not spending time with anyone we care about.
We’re not kissing and hugging.
Not as much.
To love someone, sometimes you have to be a ghost.
None of us have ever dealt with something quite like this before.
Forget sanitizer and mask for a while. We need vast quantities of love.
Till next time, Namaste!