As we enter the extended national lockdown for 3 more weeks, it’s easy to feel dejected. Though we had expected it, we were hoping for some outlet or relief- a semblance of return to normalcy. Anyhow, we must make the most of the situation and carry on as best we can. At least now I won’t have to change my theme #LockdownWithTheLadyLawyer mid-way through the A-Z Challenge! Haha… sorry bad joke.
A few posts ago, I’d written about a social gathering I attended online with members of the Ivy Plus Network. A predominant discussion that day was around the state of everyone’s mental health during forced quarantine.
Honestly, I didn’t realise it was a prevalent issue till I attended this and other similar online workshops and sessions, which I’d signed up to write about or to learn a new skill. After attending these, I have come to the following conclusions:
- Millenials as a broad category (age group 25-40), regardless of gender, seem most affected by lockdown related anxiety, possibly because this generation has been the first to openly address the importance of mental health. Millenials from cities are tech-savvy and have some disposable income. Hence, they are open to new experiences and enjoy connecting with like-minded strangers over the internet.
- People who live alone/ away from their families are more likely to be affected by anxiety and stress, as they are stuck indoors 24/7 with only themselves for company.
- However, even young people living with their parents or families, are prone to feeling low. Families often have unsaid yet established ground rules and divisions of personal space. Forced lockdown means sharing space with other family members for long periods of time, which could lead to arguments and frustrations.
- Lack of household help means everyone has to help with daily chores. This exhausting work adds to overall frustration.
- The biggest anxiety is related to financial matters. Salaried people are concerned about the status of their jobs, and entrepreneurs about picking up successfully from where they left off.
- Anxiety about falling ill with the coronavirus and possibly dying, also adds to the overall stress.
Think about it- even in normal times, all of us have difficult days where the stress seems insurmountable, but we usually find outlets for it. We meet our friends for a drink, watch a movie, go dancing, go on dates with our partners, or head to our parents’ home for a comfort meal. Lockdown doesn’t allow us to use any of these outlets. What does one do in that case? Turn to the internet in the hope of finding a solution.
On Sunday, I took two online workshops- one was conducted by Google, specifically for women who struggle to rise in the corporate sector. It was called #IAmRemarkable and it sought to reinforce the fact that women can rise up the ladder of life, if they only believe in themselves.
The other workshop was an Improvisation (on-the-spot spontaneous acting) class organised by Kaivalya Plays x Oddbird Theatre, and conducted by American Improv Instructor Elana Fishbein, from her home in New Jersey. Through acting scenarios and games, this session aimed at teaching people to accept an existing state of affairs, in order to deal with it positively and effectively.
Though I enjoyed enlisting reasons why I think I’m remarkable in the former workshop, and thoroughly loved the acting activities of the latter; I zoned out during the mental health discussions. Perhaps, this was because I haven’t been feeling any particular anxiety or mental stress due to coronavirus.
This in itself is quite huge, because I’m an anxious person by nature. Even now, I’m stressing about writing and publishing daily blog posts and Instagram videos, but certainly not about the virus. Here are some reasons I feel I have been able to escape the coronavirus mental worry, and you could too:
- Daily blogging and Instagram engagement gives me a time-sensitive task to complete on a daily basis. This ensures that I stay productive and busy. You don’t have to be productive- it’s totally cool to be lazy too, but having something to do every day really helps. Pick something you’ve always wanted to do but never found the time for before.
- I follow my regular routine of dressing up. I get dressed every day, with makeup and regular clothes, which helps to make it feel like a regular day. Don’t do all that if you’re not into it, but I highly recommend changing out of sweat pants and wearing shorts or comfy dresses instead!
- I spend lots of time with my husband and my son, since we are all home together. This period of time probably won’t return, and if you’re lucky enough to be with your family, make the most of it.
- I chat with my friends more often than I have in years. We usually catch up once in six months, but now we talk on a daily basis, laugh about silly things, play online games and tease each other. As one of my friends pointed out- it feels like summer vacation from college, when we couldn’t meet every day but spent all our time chatting to each other on the phone!
- I mark out certain times of the day for relaxation and leisure, and I recommend you do that too with any hobby of your choice. My husband and I have been watching “The Office” together, thoroughly enjoying the wry humour of that brilliant comedy show. I also read before going to bed every night, and just finished a fabulous Polish novel (translated to English) called “Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead” by Olga Tokarczuk. Funnily enough, the protagonist of this crime fiction story, suffers from mental health issues of her own.
- I work out 3-4 times in a week, even if it’s just running up and down my stairs or stretching. Exercise is the best and quickest stress-buster. I highly recommend some daily activity- even just pacing around your living room floor for half an hour a day. It really helps.
- I call my mom and dad on Whatsapp video calls and we share the tiniest details of our daily lives, like what’s been cooked for lunch, which yoga asana was tried today and what my son’s art and craft activity was for that day.
So, if you’re struggling with the lockdown blues, you can take inspiration from any of these 7 points I’ve highlighted. If nothing else, just call a family member or a friend and have a long conversation about nothing in particular. I guarantee that you will feel better!
Make time for a favourite hobby even if you have a hundred chores or deadlines to fill
As for a book recommendation with the letter M:
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare is one the funniest and most entertaining plays I have ever read. The fact that I played Queen Titania in a stage adaption of it in college, makes it even more dear to me.
TV shows that are definitely worth binge-watching include:
“Mindhunter” on Netflix about the FBI’s psychological crimes department that interviewed convicted serial killers to understand their behaviour.
“Mad Men” on Netflix about the colourful life of Donald Draper, an advertising guru in 1960s New York.
That’s all for today folks. Stay healthy, stay happy, stay home.
Do check out my daily update videos on Instagram Stories for #LockdownWithTheLadyLawyer and follow me there to stay better connected. Also tell me your favourite TV Shows/ movies/ books/ bloggers with the letter M?
Mirupafshim till tomorrow! (goodbye in Albanian)
This post has been written for the #AtoZChallenge 2020. My theme this year is #LockdownWithTheLadyLawyer, where I’m journaling my thoughts during the coronavirus lockdown, and sharing numerous recommendations that will help keep your spirits up.
*This is not a sponsored post.
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