Mental wellness has been an often-overlooked subject and something that is not deemed fit for public discourse. In contemporary times, however, we have seen a perceptible shift in public perception owing to the novel coronavirus.
It was in school that I was first introduced to psychology. And right since the very first day, the subject has resonated deeply with me. Reason? It underscored the importance of a critical issue that most people usually refrain from talking about - MIND MANAGEMENT.
The first case of the novel coronavirus in India was registered in late January 2020 and by the time it was March, the deadly virus had knocked the doors in a major way and taken the shape of a pandemic. COVID-19 completely altered the dynamics of the modern-day workplace, propelling us to work from our homes. The fact that we could not move out of our homes for days and months has had a paralyzing effect on our minds.
Since the onset of pandemic, there has been no dearth of morale crushing news, headlined by the dreadful virus itself. The news channels, journals, and the digital world are inundated with depressing news of rising infections and mounting deaths every passing day. Renowned artists are seen succumbing to mental pressures, exacerbated by COVID-19 and some even committed suicide. And if that is not enough, recent killings of innocent people based on religion and race is utterly appalling and sickening to the core.
COVID-19 has decimated the mental health of people and it is important now more than ever to highlight the primacy of mental wellness over everything else. I have returned to the physical workplace now and I must confess embracing the “new normal” has been extremely challenging. It can be very suffocating working with the protective gear on, but I continue to do this for the larger good with unabated vigour. It, however, has taken a heavy toll on me psychologically. And this is where I believe one needs to take care of their mind. Mind management is especially important here.
I am intrigued by the dynamics of the "mind" and the human psyche, conquering it remains a priority to achieve improved results. So how does one deal with this barrage of negative news? How does one cope with this mental onslaught? With those questions on my mind, during the work from home days I enrolled for a four-day long Art of Living course which emphasized on physical activities to keep oneself fit and strong. The course also had breathing and meditation techniques to help the mind stay focussed and calm. I must say it turned out to be an enlightening experience and proved invigorating for the mind, body, and soul.
I lost a loved one in my childhood that made me vulnerable and extremely anxious at times. I was hit awfully hard mentally by the lockdown imposed by the Government of India and eventually started losing interest and lacked intensity in my work. But mind management techniques learnt in the course have been my saviour. I continue to actively pursue the techniques and will embrace them wholeheartedly in the time to come for holistic development. The techniques have most definitely made me more resilient to handle complex situations better and removed negative emotions that kept me at bay. Also, I got more physically active at home. Lending a helping hand to my mother in carrying out quotidian domestic tasks turned out to be an incredibly satisfying experience. It instilled a sense of purpose and pride and certainly made me feel better during the lockdown period.
This is a very tough time for all of us. So please, do take good care of your mind.