Things to do during the pandemic

#selfcare #staymasked

Let’s be real folks this pandemic has gone long enough. It almost nearing the end of 2020 and we have no end in sight. Yes, there has been some progress on the vaccine front but we won’t be getting one till probably Feb next year. Cabin fever has started to set in and most of us are bored out of our minds, honestly, what are we supposed to do? We are social animals and this era of social distancing has taken a toll on our mental health. If you are reading this I hope you are doing well and taking care of yourself. We are living in unprecedented times and it’s ok to not feel ok. Besides the pandemic and a health crisis hitting the world we also had to deal with social injustice, civil war, and a stock market crash.

With the economy in the crater and nothing, good happening for at least the next 12 to 18 months things look as grim as ever. Sometimes I wonder if we are living in 1984, BIG BROTHER’S watching. I think all salaried people shouldn’t be paying this high of a tax. What got me really furious and I am sorry if I am digressing is that I have to pay double tax on my stock and my awards, which is just unbelievable. I get nothing back for the taxes I pay, the infrastructure, roads filled with potholes, and ever so corrupt government in India crushing the hopes of every new graduate. Surviving in a dog eats dog world where it feels that almost everyone is after your hard-earned money. I hate putting my money in the bank now but what else can I do?

Financial education was never a part of our education system and for good reason. When the schools were instituted in 1920 this important piece of education was left out so that we would work till the day we die, keep paying taxes, work up to our bony knees and fingers give up. What baffles and enrages me the most is the fact that we never modified our education system to match the needs of today. In the 21st century, we need to get away from the factory model schools, where people had to know how to work for a fixed number of hours on the conveyor belt and operate like a machine. Jobs today are more creative and require mental capacities like never before. Globalization has led us into space where we are literally working for every goddamn moment of our lives. Anywho we need money to pay our bills and ranting about this is not going to make this any better.

Sorry, I yammered on for so long but now let’s get to the meat. Here are five things you can do from the comfort of your home and maybe maintain your mental health and keep yourself occupied. None of these are in any way a substitute for socializing or meeting friends over for coffee but hey we got to find some dignity in the situation we are in.

Journaling

While we stay indoors saving ourselves from the virus raging this planet it may feel that the walls are closing in. It’s important to acknowledge how you feel and writing your thoughts, your goals, ambitions, maybe even a vision board are a great way to keep yourself positive and motivated. These positive affirmations go a long way in maintaining good health and an optimistic attitude towards life. Writing about things that you’re grateful for can really help alleviate some of that pain that is caused by lack of a routine or whatever disruption you’ve faced over the past several months.

(1) Journaling

The next item on the list would be gardening. Regardless of the pandemic, I find gardening to be so therapeutic in nature. I couldn’t recommend this hard enough but get yourself some house plants, you don’t need a lot of space and it’s so comforting to engage a few hours of your day with plants. A little bit of greenery in your room and outside your house inspires creativity and restores vitality. When you’re a perceptive, quiet human, plant language makes sense. If you listen close enough, you’ll hear it. And the lessons embedded in the leafy whispers are human, too.

(2) Gardening

Next, another great way to spend time indoors is to get to your favorite reading list. There is never been a better time to indulge and pick up the classics, books you’ve always wanted to read but tend to put off for reasons like – ‘I don’t have enough time’, ‘Oops! I would love to read but I just don’t know when’. Hey now is the time, you’ve got all the time in the world. This is starting to feel like home imprisonment. Especially being in India where there are billions of people you just don’t have an option but to self-isolate. Everywhere you go there will be people and it’s not possible to maintain social distancing because of the population density. Dying is not an option so stay home and read that book.

(3) Reading

Next, this is the obvious choice and I am sure most of you are doing this already. Netflix and Chill !! what more do I need to say, we all are guilty of spending a countless number of hours watching Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube, etc. We have seen hours disappear into some sort of wormhole when we come out on the other side. There are a lot of good documentaries to watch as well if you are not that into movies or tv shows.

(4) Watch TV

Next, get into some art ! You won’t believe how calming home DIY can be. Whether it’s clay art, or painting or decoupage or any medium you prefer. Embracing your artsy creative side will do you good.All you need to do is order supplies online or got to the nearest dollar store, you get these items practically for free.Who knows you might even be able to open an Etsy shop and start a small side hustle.Not kidding people have done that. If DIY isn’t your thing you can always teach online on zoom and various other platform and make some money while you’re at it.

(5) Get into some DIY

So, there you have it-Five things to do at home while we all are riding this pandemic.I hope you enjoyed reading, leave me a comment down below on how you’re spending your time.I love to hear your ideas and suggestions.

XOXO

Akansha

Loneliness

One of the biggest epidemic hitting our generation is not any disease by loneliness itself. It’s time we acknowledge the elephant in the room. Loneliness is a dirty word carrying a stigma of shame. Loneliness does not stem from solitude per se. You can be surrounded by 100 people and still feel lonely. The major reason for this loneliness is the technology and how hooked we are to our smartphones all the time. Most of us have forgotten what it’s like to make human contact and connect with another human being. It’s so much easier to maintain virtual connections, even blocking people online is 1000x better than dealing with an uncomfortable conversation in person.

Reliance on consumption instead of connection is killing us

Some people who are socially isolated don’t necessarily feel lonely, and some people who are lonely are surrounded by people who make them feel more alienated, not less.Having said that Isolation can be killer. A strong physical and mental regime is needed to offset the impacts. Awareness is the first step towards the solution.While it feels like opening a Pandora box of problems for employers to resolve, a well devised ‘system’ can resolve most of responsibilities.

Lack of human connection and warm relationships has turned us into zombies trudging through our day.Life has lost meaning because there is less to experience physically than be intoxicated into a world of our creation. Black mirror is a great example of where society and civilisation is headed.

There is a study that states that loneliness is as a bad as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. We are responsible to take care of our emotional and mental well being. A large population of remote workers, stay at home spouses and old parents are at risk of suffering from loneliness and depression.As you age it becomes harder to make friends. The need to share with one another is ingrained in our DNA.Our brain is wired to help us make more connections,when something unforeseen happens we have a strong urge to share. This strong urge stems from the underlying need for survival. Our brain knows what’s best for us.

Wherein lies the conundrum: How can you meaningfully articulate the experience of being alive if you yourself are only in tune with the broken clockwork of your own anxiety, the echo chamber of your own skull?

The western world tells us to know ourselves and to be social. Contradicting its own facts we never learnt how to be alone with ourselves. Most of us are so scared of solitude we would rather hang out with people whose company we don’t even enjoy to avoid feeling bored.When you surround yourself with moments of solitude and stillness, you become intimately familiar with your environment in a way that forced stimulation doesn’t allow.

Loneliness is a self inflicted wound.You have the strength to heal it.“Social isolation is the best-established, most robust social or psychological risk factor for disease out there. Nothing can compare.”

Would love to hear your thoughts, share them in comments down below or write to me at theclosetweekly@gmail.com.

XX,Akansha