2020 or a substitute to “Crises”
Accepting 2020 should be labeled as a war to live, a war to breathe, a war to look up for the next day, a war for survival, a war to “just live”. Before than this, there have been damages to the world. There were ongoing food crises, earthquake crises, economic crises, and political crises. But what is new, is the “Mental health crises” that are eventually increasing after thee post COVID and accepting the new normal.
Life Before And After March 2020.
Life before 2020, was about earning the best. Achieving the maximum and living at the top. it was about going to the places without having ‘fear’ of catching something that is not in your control or could be a reason for you ‘struggle for survival’. It was about spending days out with your loved ones. It was about trying, competing, and fulfilling whatever your mind circulated. The frequent competing, and fulfilling no doubt had its negative effects on mental health. For example, increased anxiety levels for being socially acceptable. Frequent burnouts to achieve better, increased suicide rates because of unemployment, or not earning enough for your social and societal roles.
Towards the mid of march, strict lockdown policies were implemented all over the world. The industries were shut down, businesses were stopped, educational systems were shifted to online. The new normal was held out that included; wearing masks, sanitizing hands, or washing them for at least 20 seconds. No one knew that a trip to the grocery store would sound an adventure in 2020.
The New Normal And It’s Aftermaths:
What can a deadly virus and its aftermath do to you? How can a virus impact your mental health? Will life be back to normal easily or it will take long? Here’s a quick recap of all the effects this COVID 19 has put upon the people.
The way we live changed after the new normal :
- With the new challenges of working from home, online classes the children and adults both go through frequent irritability and burnouts. Excessive screen time affects physical health in terms of increased headaches, eye strains, and muscle tension.
- There is a hard time for everyone in getting used to the technological advancements and this puts people under constant pressure and stress.
- Staying up in the same environment has resulted in adjustment problems. Previously no one was used to working and relaxing in the same environment. Hence it added a boost to aggression, high self-doubts, and increased competition with the social media world.
- People are seen to developed unhealthy coping mechanisms like binge eating, staying up late at night, or excessive workout. Similarly to deal with aggressive situations people are seen breaking or throwing away things.
- Previously people had to maintain their social status while arranging an event. Lavish and extravagant parties were arranged. However, the trend shifted to minimizing the cost and maximizing the simple gatherings. This helped in easing out the tension of middle-class people especially. Hence the new normal proved to be beneficial for low-income classes.
- People are now hypervigilant in terms of their health. A sneeze or cough is taken seriously and proper medical care is taken for it. Hence we can conclude COVID 19 helped people realizing the value of hygiene and health.
Economic And Social Recession:
- COVID 19 led to an increase in unemployment. Due to the loss of a job or the fear of losing jobs, people are going through depressive episodes. Suicide is more common among males because of the economic recession. According to a study investigated a total of 11-suicide cases (i.e., 7-confirmed and 4-suspected COVID-19 cases) from the Pakistani press reports.
- The fear of uncertainty has increased in this period. Most of the people are scared of going out or carrying the normal life again. Hence adding an increase to social anxieties. The fear of catching the deadly virus has increased the suicide rates. For example in Bangladesh and India people are committing suicide because of the fear of catching the virus.
- COVID 19 has been harsh on the health care workers. The lack of proper preparations on the part of the government to fight the virus has led a stress on health care workers, doctors. They have to spend long hours in hospitals with little or no protective measures. Hence putting their lives on risks.
- Social distancing has revolutionized the way we meet and greet our friends, family. The warm hugs, handshakes, and all other friendly gestures are being curbed, to be replaced by elbow-bumps and foot-shakes or waves from afar.
How can we adjust to the new normal?
Accepting the new normal
The feeling of being lost in the chaos and sense of uncertainty is normal. It is the basic human nature to feel low when the circumstances change suddenly. People feel depressed, anxious, angry, or even go to denial. Which is solely based on their capacity to accept and find ways to come out of the feeling of being lost. The more one ponders over the situation the more they find complexity. Hence it is necessary that we gradually accept the new normal and let out the old settings and feelings about the world. Accepting and moving on with the new normal is the key to find way in adjusting with the current situation.
Writing up your experience
Write about your experience- may it be your feelings, your day to day work, your to-do-list, or anything. This will help you to find things that bothered you and keep a track of your daily moods. You will gradually start to appreciate the little things that boosted your mood and find suitable ways to improve your routine.
working up for a new routine
The new normal ask for everything to be online. Be it your classes, meetings, or shopping! Its a period for online markets. Previously people had a proper work and home routine and now since everything is at one place one should establish a routine that suits his physical and mental health.
Your routine should have 3 basic additions:
- An hour of exercise daily or sitting in fresh air daily this will help release happy hormones in your body and make you feel refreshed.
- Proper sleep of 6-8 hours daily.
- Exploring your talents either by reading a new novel, trying a new habit. This will help you to pass your time and give you a sense of adequacy.
Staying connected through social media
In the COVID-19 period, social media is playing an important role in the lives of people. Where people are bound to stay back in their homes, there’s a facility to stay connected virtually through social media platforms. People are seen doing video-calls to the far off relatives and family members. There’s an increase in positivity on these platforms. Like promoting daily positive affirmation, self-care regime and so much more. So while adjusting with the new normal one should stay connected with the social sites. As it will help them in getting out of the feelings of being caged and also promote them in being productive. Added to this through social sites one can easily explore their area of interest.
Finding happiness in the small things
While accepting the new normal one should go easy on themselves. The period of the past six months and the alternations it did in our lives are hard for everyone. Forcing yourself to accept everything and finding peace in everything is impossible. One should look up for the small things that help them with their day. For example, watching a movie, going on a drive, sitting on the lawn, or cooking your favorite dish.
Staying healthy, informed but not over alarmed
Different news about treating COVID at home are spread. No doubt they are to lessen down the tensions among the masses. But various news propagated in different ways has increased anxiety among people. People are either very hypervigilant about their health or extra cautious. For example, people are taking the Sana-Muki tea without reading the whole information about it and its adverse side effects. Hence while adjusting with the new normal it is important to take care of yourselves, mentally and physically. And not to start implementing every other tip to prevent this virus or to start believing in all the news about this virus. Stay healthy, informed but not alarmed!