At some point or the other, haven’t we all worried about natural disasters to safety hazards and perils on holiday outings? But 2020 caught us unaware. Hit unexpectedly, the entire world dealt with things like never before — border closure, social distancing, lockdowns, wearing masks, work from home, home-schooling, loss of income and more constraints. Above all, the fear of losing our lives, or that of our near and dear ones to this deadly virus, overshot our anxiety meters.
According to Kaavya Iyer, Clinical Psychologist, “The first thing that we can do to welcome 2021 is to make small, positive, attainable resolutions. Everyone will tell you that you should block 2020 out, but that’s easier said than done and also, repressive. Instead, look back at everything you went through and reflect on how you pulled yourself up, the skills you built and lessons you learnt and how they’ll take you through the coming year.”
For some, anxiety is all about being prepared and in control. Sixty-nine-year old Sadanand Poojary from Mumbai was detected with the viral infection and in a serious condition. He was hospitalised for more than a month. The first couple of weeks spent in isolation in the ICU with doctors and nurses in PPE kits; with ventilator for company was the worst as he relates, “Pandemic has taught me to expect the worst — because what could be worse than looking at death in its eyes. I had panic attacks after recovery. Now that things have settled, a little voice still keeps telling me not to get zealous as it could all go utterly off beam, and I should be prepared.” It may not be possible to stop misfortunes and inflictions from taking place but one can be geared up to buttress it all when it occurs.
Dr Maya Kirpalani, Consultant Psychologist and Family Therapist at Bhatia Hospital, says, “Those patients who have suffered severely from Covid are experiencing relief that they have got a second chance at life. The value of life is seen to be more a predominant thought in them as to how they can utilise this life more productively. One can relook at life with a new vision to be healthier and more productive, to complete unfinished tasks, not to take life lightly and come out stronger. You can let go of the fear and anxiety by concentrating on how to keep your immunity stronger and be fit.”
Restore and readjust
Those who have lost their near and dear ones to the rogue virus should allow themselves time to grieve, but accept the reality of the circumstances. The best way is to adopt the attitude to carry on with their chores, allot more time with other loved members of the family.
Leave behind the negative energies of the past and move on, opines Kaavya Iyer, adding further, “Reflection, acknowledgment and appreciation should be the go-to when it comes to situations such as these. Reflect on and acknowledge what happened in the past and what you learnt. Accept that things are in the past and that you were able to overcome them and look forward to the possibilities that the future holds.”
Convert stress to success
Acquiring more clarity of mind to navigate through new-fangled zones will sustain all of us. Positive thoughts and emotions go a long way in helping to build immunity, mental and physical wellness and resilience. Life Coach Karishma Chawla avers, “It would be a good idea to fill up the wheel of life and see what part of your life needs more attention, love and some work. At the same time it is a great revelation of the areas that are going well in life and gives a sense of accomplishment helping to move forward.”
Prioritize positivity, recommends Karishma. “Positive emotions have an immediate effect on the mind, thought process and the body. Nature bathing, playing a sport, doing anything you love can create positive emotions. Find a funny movie or book and laugh,” she says. A simple tip is to set aside a specific time to do things to build these emotions.
Realign for 2021
Take one day at a time, and adhere to all the norms, rules and regulations of the pandemic. It is imperative to initiate plans for the future and include areas of physical environment, career, money, health and well-being, fun and recreation. Adapt to the new normal and make a mental map of how to care for ourselves and family members. Analyse the situation to create an agenda of how we can make a positive contribution towards our family, humanity, creatures of the planet around us and learn to appreciate this life and welcome what the future holds for us.
“Surround yourself with people who motivate and uplift you, seek social support, look into mindfulness training and meditation. And create short term goals that excite you and that’ll give you the push you need to move into 2021,” concludes Kaavya Iyer.