It hurts to see my motherland going through such a tragedy with the resurgence of Covid-19. During the last 14 months I spent in India, I saw firsthand how the country had a strong response to the pandemic and as a result it was relatively successful in keeping the pandemic under control till early months of this year. However, the virus has resurfaced and with a vengeance over the last two months and India is facing a massive crisis. Trying to understand the reasons why this is happening and playing the blame game is not productive currently. ‘It is what it is’. Of-course there will be a time later to do some introspection but right now it is time to face the crisis and save lives. Remember you must play the hand that was dealt, not what you wanted or think you deserve.
Over the last 4 years, I tried to reason why I was facing so many adversities. Initially the thoughts of ‘Why Me’ hounded me. I was wallowing in self-pity. But I started to realize that it was okay to pity yourself initially but that had to stop so that I could slowly start to accept my new reality. Accepting a situation is the first step to working towards overcoming adversity. It all starts with acceptance. ‘It is what it is’ – I reminded myself constantly. Similarly, Indians should not wallow in self-pity and question why this is happening. However sad and unfortunate, it is happening, and the choice is to be either sad and depressed about the situation or accept it and find solutions to overcoming it. Acceptance is not at all easy and takes time but must be done. It means taking your new reality on its own terms, with acceptance but also with hope.
I wanted to share some of the things which I did to combat stress, anxiety and stay strong as I faced my adversities which may also help you at this time of crisis:
Yoga and Meditation
These have been used as therapy not only for stress but for overall physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Be in stretches, diet, or breathing exercises, yoga can help re-align mind-body and spirit, in a space of peace and wellbeing. Practicing Yoga can work wonders for people undergoing the kind of stress that could otherwise leave long term impact and trauma. Meditation is another practice which helps in reducing stress, anxiety and helps one calm down and improve sense of well-being. The best part is that you can do yoga and meditation from the comfort of your home and it does not cost you anything.
Reach out for help
Many people find it comfortable to cut off and seek shelter in solitude to deal with sadness and grief. While such a phase is natural, one needs to get out of it at the earliest to avoid being stuck in the past and enhancing the impact of the adversity. You do not have to do everything yourself. Reaching out to the right people (including professionals), at the right time, can be extremely significant. You do have to learn to balance both to give you the best chance to heal your mind and body.
Exercise is the most under rated antidepressant and effective stress buster. 30 minutes of basic physical exercises can help reduce physical stress, accumulated tensions and elevate spirit to manage stress and anxiety.
Music has a universal language and, since ancient times, and has been used to heal. Listening to music is highly therapeutic as it is quite relaxing and makes you calmer which then helps reduce anxiety and stress and help you sleep better.
Believe in yourself and your fellow Indians. Also have belief in rest of the world which is trying to help you in this time of crisis. Belief provides clarity and focus that you can and will succeed in overcoming this situation. Having a positive attitude is important, but just having a positive attitude without belief, would not take one far.
As life coach Christopher Hummel says “Storms don’t last forever. Be patient and focus on the positive on the other side”