Is it a Mental Lockdown?

The best way to describe the human condition is ironically always in non-human terms. For this trying time in history, perhaps we are birds that have tasted the sky for all our lives and are now deposited in the safety of cages. Does the feeling resonate? And certainly with this state of being caged will come distress, urges to spread our wings, and the constant noise within our own mind. 

But we are indeed human. And to be human is to adapt to our surroundings and always thrive. It is how evolution has tailored us and we can use it to turn this time of crisis into a period of personal growth. The first step is to recognize that this time of social isolation is indeed difficult. The state of distress that we feel does not indicate the presence of a clinical or diagnosable disorder but is, in fact, quite natural under these circumstances.

You do not need to fight the demons of a disorder to take care of your well-being. If you are uncomfortable, stressed, or hurt, you are certainly not weak by any measure. However, this does not mean that these feelings should go ignored. Anything that worries you should be given its due importance and should be attended to with care. Although only you may know what helps you best, here are some common ways we can consciously and effectively turn this distress into the well-being that our mind deserves:

  1. Digital detox – The social media space is flooded with conversations surrounding COVID-19. If you feel the constant reiteration of the virus is toxic for your well being, go offline. Spend time with family or by yourself and immerse yourself in other occupations.
  2. Therapy – The notion that therapy is reserved for those with a serious mental illness couldn’t be farther from the truth. Speaking to a mental health professional can always relieve internal conflicts and make you feel comforted and at ease. 
  3. Meditation – Meditation is essentially a process by which one clears their mind and brings emotional and mental stability to oneself. Whether it is through music, yoga, or simply mindful living, you can consciously elevate yourself beyond this emotional murk and into a more peaceful mind space. 
  4. Reap solitude – Being alone with yourself can be a great opportunity to understand your internal workings. We are a great mystery even to ourselves; untangle the complexities of your mind and discover the beauty hidden under the cob-webbed corners of your mind.
  5. Explore art – Find new music that speaks to you, discover new poetry, delve into the world of every art there is, and perhaps create some to express yourself. Unload the stress of confinement into the journey of art and you can transport yourself from your home to the strangest and most beautiful lands.
  6. Sweat your worries away – Exercise releases endorphins which are feel-good hormones in the body. The instant gratification of working-out only adds on to this feeling of positivity and energy that keeps stress at bay.
  7. Learn a new skill – Whether it is cooking, dancing, knitting, juggling, or the most quirky activity that takes your fancy, enhance your skillset. The most offbeat skills can also add to the person you are. 
  8. Help those in need – Give. As little or as much as you can. There are many who are struggling for the basic necessities of life during this crisis and your contribution could put much-needed food on someone’s table. The act of generosity will undoubtedly uplift your spirits and will bring a sense of fulfillment that is the perfect substitute for social distancing woes.
  9. Take a break – For better or worse, the world has come to a halt. Soak in the break you now have from all work and enjoy the emptiness of your time that can be filled with absolutely anything.

We have illuminated a few avenues that you can walk upon to put your mind at ease and practice the mental well-being techniques we all deserve. In our collective effort to control the spread of the COVID-19, we are all deciding the course of history. But there is no reason for our mental health to suffer because of it. The digital age has given us the ability to stay in touch with loved ones and we should be taking full advantage of social media for the same. The ease of access to therapists and health care forums can help you speak your mind at any time of the day and release the pent-up tension that the quarantine may have built. Remember that the quarantine is not a test or a competition, but simply your personal time at home that should be filled with peace and positivity defined for yourself by yourself.While the lockdown may be the cause of rising anxiety and distress, these are ways to take care of your mental well-being at all times. Mental health is as important as physical health and anything that bothers you should be addressed swiftly and with care. Whether you have managed to stay sane or not, share your experiences of this lockdown, in the comments!