To say that we all are going through tough times sounds like a cliché and an understatement. Since last year, the COVID pandemic, economic woes, bitter political debates, tragic outcomes and changing dynamics of life have triggered anxiety and uncertainty across the globe. It is true that we need to take this virus seriously since it causes severe illness leading to death in some cases, many families have lost their near and dear ones and suffered immensely due to it. However, we need to fight the adverse situation and overcome it with strength and perseverance.
These are definitely is a scary times, it is hard for even the most optimistic among us to stay positive. Now the fear of the third wave of COVID-19 is looming large. The cumulative effect of the difficulties being faced is a build up of stress that sometimes becomes unacceptably high.
An unfounded fear and anxiety has taken over and is clouding our thought process. The situation does not present only a physical strain, it is a test of our emotional mettle, a true indicator of our capability to challenge the fear of the unknown and the looming uncertainty.
We. therefore, need an antidote to cope up with stress, so that we can keep our positive attitude predominant in the most difficult situations. The power lies with us to control it, we have to get a grip and nobody except we ourselves can do so! Shared here are a few basic factors that can help control stress levels and bring about emotional stability.
Remind yourself that you are not alone
This is the time to know and accept that there are millions of others in the same boat as you. The human race is going through this together and will also overcome the challenge collectively. Remember it will not remain this way forever, this too shall pass. In the past several months, you have handled physical, mental, and emotional challenges rather well, so give a pat on your back.
Believe in your doctor, he knows best
Practice positive self-talk
Be kind to yourself, do not say anything to yourself that you would not like to say to anyone else. Avoid self-blame or ridiculing yourself for something that is beyond your control. Do not be self-critical and punishing. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself. In case you get infected remember that you tried your best to stay safe. Instead of blaming yourself and the environment simply do what the doctors say and maintain a high morale. Believe in your doctor, he knows best. A death in the family due to COVID is very difficult to handle; in the face of such terrible tragedy it is necessary to understand that saving your dear one was not in your hands despite having put in all effort. If a negative thought enters your mind, evaluate it logically.
Plan activities that are heart warming and stress reducing. Make time for the things that bring you joy, whether it is reading a novel, writing your diary, cooking something new or playing Scrabble with your family. Anything that can put you at ease would be helpful. Try to develop a new hobby and exercise a lot.
Live for the moment
Focus on your current situation. You cannot do anything about the past and the future is not in your hands. You can only do your best in the moment for whatever may come. So do what you feel is rationally right.
Take breaks from media and information sources
Sometimes media platforms turn contentious. Set limits on how much information you consume. More importantly, verify authenticity before acknowledging the content since fake news is playing havoc under the circumstances. Make sure that the sources are reliable. The information industry, especially social media , attempts to hook viewers so that they come back for more. It is good to be informed so get what you need to stay informed and shut out the irrelevant stuff.
Gratitude is the perfect prescription for better health and improved well-being during difficult times. Try to notice the silver lining. Change your thinking from what you are suffering or have suffered to noticing the things you have achieved, however small and insignificant they may seem. Build time for a gratitude meditation into your daily routine
Meditation is magical. In only a few profound minutes of deep silence a person emerges confident and calmer. Choose a quiet corner, focus on your breathing. Now turn your focus on your victories and your achievements. In the grander scheme of things, this stress is miniscule. So let it pass.
Remaining calm at times of uncertainty can help us navigate through difficulties and find a path toward our more resilient selves.
Together we will get through this!!!
(The author is a social worker and wellness counsellor)