Lessons Learned from Lockdown: How to Keep Optimism in The Air

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As we approach a new wave of cases from this pandemic, the same anxiety and fear of the unknown is back, taking us to the same uncertainty we had months ago when Covid-19 cases started spreading. But what have we learned during those months, that can help us feel better during these fragile times we’re living in?

Thoughtful woman
Thoughtful woman

It is very much common for human kind to be terrified from unknown territories, and this pandemic was indeed tough for all of us. We’re still not sure how this virus works, how it spreads the way it spreads, and for what we see – Covid-19 is here to stay for a little while more with a second lockdown starting in many countries around the world.

The first lockdown was tough on so many people, and in different ways. Women’s burdens were tripled as care responsibilities fell mostly upon them, for their children, the elderly, and their partners. The older people were also more at risk, as their immune system turned out to have a weaker fight-back response. Youth around the world was troubled as their anxiety and mental health was hampered from lack of socialisation. Generally, for all of us, the lockdown was hard to live through.

Lockdown surprised many people and caused sadness
Lockdown surprised many people and caused sadness

Empty streets, no socialisation allowed, loss of jobs led to uncertainty that was quite overwhelming, and that’s why we were so happy to think we got away with it as cases dropped in some places during August/September.

And now, we seem to be back on another wave hitting hard and with an intensity greater than the first wave. These are the times when amongst so much news, titles, propaganda, conspiracy, and doubt – we decide what’s best for our wellbeing and for the people that surround us.

 

The Importance of Looking Inwards

What the first lockdown taught many of us, is that we need to spend more time with our very own selves. Alone! At least this is my perception, and the thought of many friends I have interacted with after the lockdown, who said that they have learned so many new things about themselves as they had to cope with isolation measures.

The truth is that we were so caught up on work, social life, social media, television, fake news and other external dynamics, that we forgot we must look inwards every once in a while and understand how we’re doing, mentally, spiritually and emotionally!

Relaxing in a bath with book
Relaxing in a bath with book

I mean, it wasn’t until the lockdown that I ordered 15 books in a single month, having noticed that I had not read a book in so long, because I simply had no time. The day is so short for us to handle all the working, socialisation, Netflix, and everything else – so we convince our self that we have no time. During this second wave of the pandemic, I hope we can all see just how important it is to take things slowly, and to not rush yourself or your thoughts from one thing to another. I hope people understand the importance of sparing an hour for yourself, to read, light some candles, meditate, or simply stare at the ceiling without a technological item in your hands directing your free time.

Rituals make us who we are!

And we must keep this in mind during the lockdown, and after everything goes away. Because it certainly will. Hence, we must create solid principles with our self and stay true to them. We must nourish our sense of well-being, and there are so many ways one can do that. If coffee shops are closed downtown, just grab a home-made coffee and go out into the woods. Take a long bath with lots of candles and open up a bottle of wine. Turn down your television, stop listening to the news and play some good ‘70s music. Go out on the balcony and watch how the seasons are changing, and the leaves are falling, and understand that everything is a process – and just like that, this pandemic is also a process through which we will witness and get through.

 

Keeping in touch with loved ones

Of course, to some people, that walk in the woods would sound so much better if they had their friends or family around to hang out with, and talk complete nonsense as they gaze at the trees. In these times, it is important to remind ourselves that this is only temporary. Our friends and family are okay, and they’re all probably just trying to cope like many of us, with their own coping mechanisms. And if you cannot see them or touch them physically, just cling to the one, most important benefit that technology has given us – the possibility to see them and talk to them virtually. You miss the sound of their voice? They’re only a phone call away. You miss their faces? They’re only a FaceTime away!

Online communication with the family
Online communication with the family

We’re social creatures after all, and of course that we will need to hear other people and understand how are they going through these confusing times, to sort of minimize our sorrow and share it with one another. Keeping in touch with whom you love is one of the best therapies available out there, as that’s how we understand we may be physically alone, but not lonely.

 

Speaking of therapists

I have written about School of Life in previous articles. I consider them an excellent choice of videos that can educate you immensely on whatever topic you may feel like researching. But most definitely, they can educate you about yourself. One video that they have, which I watched several times, is How Psychotherapy works. They go into detail on how, as much as we don’t believe it at first, we can change during psychotherapy because of the positive affirmations we receive from out therapist.

Psychotherapy session
Psychotherapy session

“Therapy is a tool for correcting our self-ignorance in the most profound ways. It provides us with a space in which we can, in safety, say whatever comes into our heads. The therapist won’t be disgusted or surprised or bored. They have seen everything already. In their company, we can feel acceptable and our secrets sympathetically unpacked,” – School of Life Blog.

I know that therapists can also be quite costly. But I would definitely recommend keeping in touch with a professional if you’re feeling particularly blue and you can’t seem to handle it on your own. It can be amazing how they can give you point of views which don’t even occur to you, as your thoughts are tied up with negativity. If not a therapist, there are so many apps nowadays proving to be so much helpful to people, such as headspace.

No person is the same, that’s why you have to see what works best for you, and what doesn’t. But bottom line is that we have to keep reminding ourselves that these times are only temporary, and that we can manage to keep sane if we take care of ourselves, talk positively to ourselves and treat our mind and body just like we would treat a person whom we love the most. And that’s how we shall thrive.

Photos: Shutterstock


We’ve got lots more on how you can help your mental health during the next phase of this difficult time right here:

How to Take Care of Your Mental Health During Pandemic


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