Hello Friends, How have you been since the outbreak?
In the city where I live, there has been a lockdown. So you only go out to buy essential items. Invariably, for the most part, we are indoors. As an introvert, self-imposed isolation has been a part of my life so this period seems to bounce off me.
Nonetheless, not being able to go out and having to maintain social distancing can take a huge toll on anyone. Even for introverts.
A pandemic is an invisible disaster, yet its effects are just as real. Awareness of how traumatic occurrences impact us can enable us to manage our lives better. So how should we respond to this difficult time?
We build resilience.
The beauty of the brain is the ability to stretch and adapt to situations. Therefore, we can grow through this.
The recent events have reminded all of us that we can’t control everything in our lives. The only thing we can control now is our wellbeing, Spiritual/Physical/ Mental/Emotional. Things can spiral out of control if we focus all our thoughts on what would happen tomorrow because truly, no one knows how long this would carry on. Some are predicting the next 12months or more. Dwelling on such details would only make you sad.
Best we can do is focus on now, what we should eat today, the exercise routine and any other daily activity you do. Day after day, it would get easier. You would begin to feel a sense of control and stability. I understand some days you are energetic and just want to be productive and other days, cooping up on your bed feels like the next best thing after chocolate. It is okay too. You don’t have to beat yourself up or fuss over little things.
Personally, it feels like time goes by so fast. I wake up and it is 7 am and before I realize it, it is 5 pm. What has happened? is time suddenly moving faster than it did before the isolation?
No. What happened is, our social structure has collapsed. Normally, we have a place for work, to unwind, to meet with friends and to worship. Now, things are different, we do it all in one place. So in order to stay sane, we must find a way to pause with work, spend time with those around us while taking care of our mental health.
There are also things we can do to help us manage the emotional impact. Taking control and managing stress is key.
How to reduce boredom
1. Try to maintain your daily routine. Wake up in the morning, brush your teeth and take a bath. Wear good clothes. Eat well. Exercise. Even a simple walk around your house is ok. Anything that keeps you active.
List of activities you can do.
a. Make a playlist of your favourite songs
b. You can play brain tasking games like crossword puzzles, scrabble amongst others
c. Develop new recipes
d. Rearrange, redecorate and clean your home as often as you desire.
e. Start a journal. Write down what you feel every day.
f. If you work from home, carve out a different space for work. Have a time frame so work does not spill into your me-time.
h. Improve on your spirituality
2. If you have kids, engage them in activities. there are online school materials, you can give them exercises to do. You could also lookup online tutors who can teach when you are preoccupied.
3. if you are isolated with family, remember you don’t have to be together all the time. It is okay to have your me-time. You can plan and execute activities together and also do others by yourself.
4. If you are alone, it is essential to take time away from social media and soaking in the news. You can binge watch tv shows but try not to overdo it so it doesn’t create lethargy. There are other healthy distractions like completing a task you have been putting off.
How can we deal with loneliness during this time?
5. Keep in touch. With friends, family, neighbours, church community. Quality interaction makes a difference. it can still elicit the feeling of togetherness with our loved ones though you may be apart.
6. Reach out to give and receive support. More than anything, this is a time for us to be selfless. When we do things for others, it takes our mind off our own needs.
7. To those who are unavoidably quarantined with an abusive partner, parent or friend, try to give as much distance as possible. Create your space. Be nice and calm. Let nobody steal your peace. Do the best you can but remember not to burn out.
8. Whatever you do, pls don’t try to rekindle a dead relationship. Don’t call up that ex or go back to the same person who has total disregard for your feelings. Isolation has a way of messing with your head to make you think you need them but you don’t. Please don’t! Leave them be. And if they try to reach out, a simple, Hi, thanks for checking on me’ would suffice. There is life after now. Let’s remember that.
Lastly, If you feel overwhelmed with fear or dread, there are articles that can help you overcome it.
Remember, coping with excessive alcohol or drugs is counterproductive. You would not want to be struggling with a poisoned system after this.
We are strong. We can do this. And we would get through this together. We are #alonetogether
P.S. How is it in your city? What have you been up to? I would love to know.
You are Loved 💚💙💛