We're in the worst second wave of this terrifying pandemic. We all thought 2021 would be better and that the worst was behind us. But how wrong we were. Anywhere we turn, there is death and illness. Shocking images of crematoriums running full, people dying outside the hospitals for lack of oxygen cylinders and beds, heartbreaking appeals from doctors and ordinary citizens, pleas for help in getting admitted to a hospital, pleas for injections and oxygen--we cannot be immune to it. There's not a single person I know who hasn't faced some kind of a loss because of the Pandemic. Everyone is stressed.
And when you are stressed it affects your immune system. You are likely to succumb to illnesses. Stress is something which we have to minimize at all costs, especially in these times. But how do we do it?
Like everyone else, I too was affected. For a while, my stress levels
were high. I felt totally down as well as angry and helpless. But I am in a much
better frame of mind now. I am also able to stay positive now and my stress levels are minimal as well. It took conscious effort on my part. I followed a few simple things which helped me a
lot in getting myself out of the dark place I was stuck in.
Here are the things I followed:
1. Limit screen time :
I use an iphone and I never knew the the phone comes with an option where you can limit the screen time for every app. I have now set the limits for Twitter and Instagram for just 15 minutes each. They turn themselves off after the set time. Limiting my screen time helped me a lot to tune off the negativity. It freed up my time which I could use for other things. Even if your phone doesn't have the option to limit screen time, you could download an app which helps you do it. Limiting the amount of time I spend on social media meant I had more time on my hands to do things in real life. It also kept negativity at bay, as I wasn't constantly 'doomscrolling'.
2. Start a new hobby:
Sometimes we all need a little motivation and inspiration. I highly recommend taking a skillshare premium membership if you can afford it. They have many courses in all kinds of things. I teach a creative writing class there. I have also enrolled as a student on skillshare and have done several courses which have helped me a lot. (Once you take a premium membership there's no limit to the number of courses you can do!)
You could use this link to see my class and also if you want to try skillshare premium free for 14 days.
I have learnt book binding, making a travel journal, clicking self-portraits, using drawing as a tool of self-discovery etc. It helps me de stress and I immensely enjoy these courses and making new projects.
3. Create a soothing habit :
The one thing that I do every day is cycle. I cycle to a lake near my home, walk around it and then cycle back. I find this extremely calming. Here are a couple of pictures I clicked at the lake this morning.
Ever since I made cycling to the lake a morning habit, I have something to look forward to, each day. You could perhaps make walking a habit. Find a nice spot in your neighbourhood, and simply walk early in the morning. Start observing the things around you and you will be surprised at what you discover.
4. Refuse to engage with 'dumpers':
It is not selfish to temporarily walk away from the whiners. If someone's attitude is getting you down, take a break from them. Of course, you can also choose to be there for them, if they are going through a difficult time. But be aware of the way it is making you feel. If you constantly feel on the edge, and if you constantly feel negative around someone, remember you will be able to help them better, when you are in a better frame of mind yourself. Only when you are calm and content will you be able to give out positive vibes.
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When I was chatting with a friend who is just recovering from covid, she pointed out how this time is unique for all of us. She said she is grateful that her adult child (who lives abroad) is with her right now. These times when all of us are working from home and together isn't going to come back.
For me, I look for things which make me feel blessed and grateful. We can find joy in small things --like flowers that bloomed, like a glorious sunset or sunrise that you witnessed or simply being healthy. The more we practice gratitude, the less stress we feel.
I hope these tips help you. Which of these do you follow? Do you have anything additional to share?
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Take Care and Stay calm