We are all navigating a storm, but not in the same boat.
The waves may capsize yours while gently rocking mine, or vice versa.
For some, quarantine is a moment of reflection, of re-connection. Easy, in flip flops, with a glass of whiskey in hand.
For others, this is a desperate crisis.
Some experience it as loneliness and isolation.
Others as a time of reconnection with family and friends.
Some lament the absence of a convenience they love.
Others worry about bread for the weekend, or whether the noodles will last a few more days.
Some work in their "home office."
Others have lost their homes and offices.
We criticize those who break the quarantine — but some have no choice, they have to pay the bills.
Others choose to escape, to their country homes or favorite vacation destinations.
Some have experienced the virus, some have already lost someone from it, some are not sure their loved ones are going to make it.
And yet there are some who don't even believe this is a big deal.
Many are getting vaccinated. Some have faith in God and miracles, others lack faith in science.
Some think the storm is passing, others think the worst is yet to come.
So, friends, we are not in the same boat. We are in the same storm. How we perceive it depends on the boat we are in.
And when the storm passes, each of us will emerge, in our own way. Some stronger, some unscathed, some scarred, some on a stretcher, and some will not make it at all.
It is very important to see beyond our own experience.
To see beyond our politics, beyond religion, beyond race, beyond the nose on our faces.
Do not underestimate the pain of others even if we do not feel it ourselves.
Do not judge the good life of one nor condemn the choices of the other.
Let us not judge the one who lacks, nor the one with possessions.
We are all simply on different boats.
Let’s navigate our routes with respect, empathy and responsibility.
I have a question for you – yes you, the one who is reading this article – what is the lesson that you will learn from this pandemic? Do you still believe in the idea that money could bring all the good health and happiness needed in the world. Or does that further unveil the "misconceptions about happiness?"
Just as we can’t serve from an empty vessel, similarly, we have to take extra care of our physical and cognitive health, as then only we can provide that extra support to our family, friends, and neighbors.
Here are a few of my tips to become physically and mentally stronger in these times:
Prioritizing "Meee" time: By practicing self-care, attending to our thoughts and feelings on a regular basis.
Taking frequent breaks: By taking regular breaks from social-media and technology and trying to spend some quality time with nature. Try to feel the fresh breeze and sun rays. It helps to regulate the happiness hormones.
By staying connected: Whether it's your friend, a family member, or anyone close to you. Make sure to talk to someone on a regular basis.
Practice Compassion: By being kind to ourselves and others as well. Sharing that extra meal, meds to those in need, and so on.
Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle: By eating fresh fruits and vegetables, home cooked meals, and exercising on a daily basis and spending time outdoors.
Time management: By prioritizing and not procrastinating. Sticking to the routine will help you maintain the schedule.
Gratitude journaling: Last but not least, by maintaining a gratitude journal wherein you make a list of a minimum of five things that are happening to you that you are grateful for.
Sharing and practicing compassion will not only help the needy, but at the same time it will provide us with a sense of accomplishment, peace, and gratitude. No matter how much you earn in your life, this kind of feeling is priceless! Try to do that small bit, in whatever small way you can. Remember help can be in any way because every part matters! Keep sharing and keep spreading the contagious feeling of joy and true happiness It’s the need of the hour!!
What’s the biggest learning from this Pandemic?
“Nothing is in our hands, but still we need to wash them.”
Anamika is a an Eversparks Counselor and Counseling Psychologist who is currently working with a multi-specialty hospital in Bangalore, in addition to her global private practice. Practicing for over six years, she specializes in self-esteem issues, anxiety, stress, abuse, and couples counseling. Outside of her practice, she is pursuing her PhD in Clinical Psychology, and partners with several NGO focused on women's empowerment, and the support of women and children in need of counseling and therapy services.