I kept pondering to seek answers about how not to lose my sanity to the pandemic chaos. It has been days since I felt like myself. The second wave of pandemic and lockdown changed the way I looked at life and opportunities. The news of friends losing their family members was like a hit in the home ground. I felt helpless and miserable for not being able to be with them in their time of grief. And to make it sound terrible, none of us was prepared for a situation like the one we are living in today, uncertain and utterly unpredictable.
Yet here we are, living just enough to survive. Ain’t that the violation of human rights that we have to fight for our survival? I could not imagine how bad the situation was until I realized there were people I knew, I grew up with, had lost their battle to exist to covid-19. And there were few who lost hope, faith and beliefs. Losing hope to come out victorious of this crisis has so far been the worst kind of loss.
I have also been sulking for days, crying into my pillow trying to make sense of things I don’t understand. I guess most of us are in the same place or have been in one like such. So, is there no solution to our hopelessness? Or are we not ready to reconstruct our faith that we can win against this illness? The second question is worth a thought.
As harsh as it may sound, the fact is we cannot save people from dying, even when some of our own are dying because of medical negligence or because of the greed of black marketers. But we can live for the ones left behind. Finding strength and courage in times of adversity never comes easy. So, how does one find the power to fight back? Believe me, it only comes from within. No one can motivate you to live your life to the fullest as you, yourself can. Other people can lend us an ear, give us a shoulder to cry on, share a piece of advice but they cannot make things work for us. We have to get up, push our limits, find our own motivation, and work our ass off to live the life we want.
My family and I have been doing certain activities to gain our trust back to fight the current circumstances. And I thought of sharing it with you all, in case it helps. The scenario we had at our home a few days back was two frustrated kids (12 and 9 years old) and two tired and confused adults. Online classes are off for summer break and kids were going nuts with not much to do around. They have played all the board games a thousand times since last year. No parks, no play, no friends, no outings, no meeting family members - grandparents & cousins, no birthday cakes, no fun parties, and no sports practice, imagine the plight. We all are sailing in the same boat, aren’t we?
In the midst of our loved ones passing away and the news of our kowns in the hospital, we had to find a way to escape the fear that started enveloping our heart and mind. The rescue mission had to be diligently planned as we are nowhere close to living a routine life with a disciplined timeline. And these are a few happy-to-do measures my husband and I took to create a calm enviornment in the chaos.
Divide The Chores
We have divided the work amongst the four of us. Taking everyone's choice into consideration and the time slot each one agreed upon we have shared the household chores apart from each one responsible for cleaning their own room. This way the burden of maintaining a clean house didn’t fall on me entirely and the kids learned that everyone is accountable for a dirty, unkempt house. Working around the house keeps them busy.
Learn a New Hobby
They have also started gardening as a new hobby with their dad these days. The enjoy tending plants, digging in the soil, getting dirty, and watching plants grow. This activity is a breather for me. I get to enjoy some 'me time' while the three of them are busy maintaining the home garden.
Reduce NEWS Watching Time
We have reduced our news watching time to 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening. News channels have become a hub for spreading bad vibes that has started to affect the kids mind negatively. So, basically it is all about keeping your child engaged and distracted from the mess of the world while keeping them updated on the necessary and helpful information.
Say Your Prayers Daily
My husband is spiritual with a belief in religious rituals. He is an idol worshipper and so lighting Diya and agarbatti is his job in the house. I am neither an atheist nor do I follow any religious ceremonies. I am a believer in karma. So, I encourage kids to pray with their dad and say their list of gratitude to me every night before bedtime. It not only eases their mind of the bad news they get to hear throughout the day but also helps them build on their blessings. I get it, it is hard to be thankful in life when everything seems to be falling apart. But remember, it is easy to fall prey to play the victim when in fact you have the potential to bounce back. Count on what you are left with and gratitude will sink in itself. Just look around yourself, you will find more reasons to be thankful for than feeling sorry for yourself.
Play a Sport
We spend evenings playing cricket in our front yard. Playing any kind of sports is a great activity for physical fitness. As it is all we are doing sitting at home is binge eat and sleep. This activity helps us forget about our sufferings and also makes us tired enough to fall asleep at night without worries. As adults, we tend to dwell on our problems. Playtime with kids gives us a fresh outlook towards looking at our situation. It helps us lighten up a bit and allows us to see our scenario from a different perspective. It is a tough time for all. Even young children are going through mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. Indulging in any kind of sports with kids at home will lower their chances of mental illness, improve memory, help them sleep better, and boost the overall mood of your child.
Encourage Kids To Write Letters
Writing Activity. This is a recent activity we have started. I encourage my kids to write letters to family members, friends, teachers or health workers showing their gratitude or expressing their feelings for them. And then I share the picture of those letters with the person it has been written for. As we cannot meet our families and friends personally, this is a great way of showing them our love and affection. Moreover, it’s a good way of enhancing children’s writing skills and teaching them to express their emotions in a healthy manner. We also made a letterbox that we have hanged in our drawing room to post letters to each other. You can check out my blog on how to make a DIY letterbox. It is a fun activity to keep the ‘art of letter writing’ alive in the age of emails and WhatsApp.
Plan a Movie Date On Weekends
We have late-night movie shows on weekends. Our drawing room coverts into a movie theatre. And our preferred choices are old Bollywood movies. Our kids have become familiar with Kader Khan, Shakti Kapoor, Zeenat Aman, Govinda, Neetu Singh, Jaya Bachan, Parveen Babi, Rishi Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor, Rakesh Roshan and a few other old-time actors. Though most of the time they recall these actors as Shradha Kapoor’s dad or Hritik Roshan’s papa or that funny actor (for Kader Khan). Still, it is good to see them enjoy these old-time movies. Now we can say, all four of us have something in common, our love for good old Bollywood movies. Indulging in activities we can enjoy together helps us bond emotionally, plus the fun time makes us forget our sorrows for some time.
It would be an overstatement to say that we are 100% happy in the current state. And I admit we all still have mood swings from time to time. There is no escape from what we all are going through. But the only best part about these activities is that all four of us don’t lose our mind at the same time. When one feels low the other three pitch in to help in their own unique ways.
It is sad, but practically at present, we may not be able to answer everyone’s call for help. The best we can do is stay sane to keep our loved ones safe. We can call and check on our friends and family and assure them of our presence. We can be hopeful of a better tomorrow and can give them hope who have lost faith.
I guess this is how we all have to live for the next few months. To stay stable and together we have to unlearn old ways and find new skills to fight our emotional and mental blockages. Knowing that someone else is also feeling what we are going through settles the storm within. I hope my words will bring peace, both to your mind and life.