How I Have Been Tackling the Hard Days of the Pandemic
Doesn’t the global pandemic seem more like an apocalypse on some days? Even knowing that there will be an end to these hard days of the pandemic, perhaps through a scientific victory or sheer human resilience, still I feel like a zombie; half dead, half alive. A part of me hesitates planning for the distant future, uncertainty getting the better of me. While the other part continues to hope and believe in the future.
I have had to rely on my mental strength much more lately to make it through the days. Having gone through a total lockdown, witnessing the devastations of the second wave in a still developing country, bearing the pain of the sick and bereaved all around me; my mind threatens to go into panic mode every other day.
During such unusual circumstances, one gets to know how important it is to keep your mind healthy. It’s unchartered territory for most of us, learning to get through days where plans can go awry without preamble, and death and sickness lurk at our doorsteps.
It is our duty towards each other to build one another up in times like these. Words are powerful, whether written or spoken. Sharing how we are adapting softens the blow, lightens the load for others too.
This is why I hope this strategy of the ‘draw, sprinkle and pour’ will help you as well in some way. To be honest, it was not some great experiment that led to this strategy. I simply became aware of my mind’s subconscious way of dealing with my circumstances, a pattern emerged, and I have put words to it. It is a simple enough strategy to live life at the moment.
Besides simplicity is the need of the hour. Something powerful, doable, and effective, isn’t it?
Draw from the past
You made it here, today, this very moment. While on hand, your life tested you, piled hurts, loss, secrets, added baggage, it also made way, sent help, opened doors on the other. Looking back to our past (when done constructively) can help us remember how we grew beyond the hurdles, one day at a time. Not just your life, but the world’s history is full of how humans have emerged out of horrendous situations. Since I am spiritual I often look back on my prayers that have been answered beyond expectations. Leafing through gratitude journals, prayer logs, meditation notes could help jog good memories. Remembering our victories from yesterday can transform into the strength we need today. Focussing on the good helps to shift the spotlight from the chaos surrounding the hard days of the pandemic.
Draw on good memories from your past and remind yourself that you are stronger than you feel at the moment.
Sprinkle in the present
Ironically, positive thinking and willpower can abandon you on the days they are most needed. In a pandemic, when you are surrounded with bad news at every turn, positivity can crawl into a deep cave, while productivity starts to dig her own grave. That’s when those old victories can come to the rescue. I remind myself of the little steps I took intentionally that eventually turned into lasting benefits. At the time they looked minuscule but in hindsight, I realize how they helped change me.
One example is of the time when I had hit rock bottom in my studies, got into bad company, and became an overall mess. I came to a point where I knew that this person who was so mentally defeated was not me. The change was long overdue. So the first small step I took was to arrive before class time. I started doing it every day. It even felt dumb at the time to arrive when the room was empty. But eventually, it led to sitting in the front rows. Becoming friends with the group that took college seriously led to improved grades. And so did my self-esteem. I still look back from time to time and remind myself that I am the same girl who could initiate change in myself.
It’s ok if you can’t always give your 100 percent, give a 70 today. Sprinkle a bit of the power of the small wins from your past into the present. A little bit here, a little bit there and it is good enough. Show up for one thing so that you are not overwhelmed with everything else that’s beyond control. Intentional change can get the ball rolling.
Focus on how to salvage today, drawing from lessons learned in the past.
Pour into the future
If you take nothing from this, just remember one thing, NEVER STOP LOOKING AT THE HORIZON.
Winners and survivors have one thing in common, they never give up on hope. If hope dies, everything else will follow suit. We hope that we will find stability again. We continue to strive for greater purposes like love and peace.
Plans of travel have canceled? Doesn’t mean you have to stop talking about meeting your family/friends soon. Business is on hold? Tweaking your business plan can be done now so that when it does start, it starts better. The pandemic has indefinitely postponed my plans of going back to work post-kids. While I cope with online schooling, pandemic affected social relationships, I have to write with constant interruptions. My overall productivity has been affected. But I hope for a good future. So I show up to write and make plans to write more. It is hard to find the words sometimes but I hope that my words written from my home will travel and build someone.
The pandemic is trying even the best of us. No matter who we are, where we are, we have to get through this and navigate the hard days that the pandemic has brought upon us. How we do that is up to us. We can crawl through or walk with a plan. Draw your life’s meaning from your past, sprinkle in the present, pour into the future. That’s a good plan, right?