Tips to build mental immunity to face challenges amid pandemic

Team Udayavani, Nov 20, 2020, 3:54 PM IST

Credit: iStock Photo

‘What Lies before us and what lies in behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Ongoing pandemic has turned homes into play home, school, college, examination centre, gym, yoga/training centre, theatre, hotel, warehouse, hospital, picnic spot, gaming zone, browsing centre and office. Parents are playing multiple roles as teacher, trainer, invigilator, cleaner, nurse and boss.

There is a need to have a lot of energy to face challenges being within the confines of the four walls of the home. To deal with the stress, a coping mechanism needs to be developed and hence we need to build mental immunity.

Below are a few tips to help build mental immunity:

Mindset, priorities and being in the present

Having a positive Mindset is important, any setback that is encountered is a learning opportunity. Be passionate and obsessed with work. It does not matter if your dreams are big, small, crazy. Dare to dream and dare your dreams. Identify top three or four priorities professionally/personally and bid farewell to comfort zone.

Plan the week, create stop doing lists and allow your mind to do a Pre-Mortem for all professional/personal activities. It can start with analysing the issue, understanding potential problems, roadblocks, identifying issues and structuring solutions and back up plans.

Anticipate change and learn to deal with it. In this process, mistakes do happen, and it is fine learning from them to make our going better. Tap your subconscious mind for answers that you may not get by straight thinking. Always keep an open mind. You may never know what or who might end up changing your life for the better. Staying in the present, having a positive mindset without getting into the past or future with clearly defined priorities will help build

Acknowledge, accept & express your feelings

Express what is going on your mind and what you want to do with friends, family. Feelings need to be felt, acknowledged and accepted. Let go of the hurt instead of bottling them and there is no shame in being vulnerable. The professional role you don does not determine your whole persona, do not be too engrossed in it.

Be willing to listen with compassion the trials and tribulations of your children with empathy and spend quality time with them doing what they like. Keep your mind open, learn, unlearn, relearn, there is something to learn from every interaction. You can also listen/read draw inspiration from stories, biographies of others. We are not alone in this path, others have also struggled, persevered and we must draw courage from them. Life is seen in different vistas it is not a compilation of just one facet. Keep observing people around you, enjoy your journey along the way and this will lead to building mental immunity.

Engage your mind, body in challenging activities

Engage mind and body in challenging activities. Develop a new hobby or revive an old one. Every day take cold water baths, meditate, walk, jog exercise, perform yoga for 20mts to keep yourself physically fit and build intimacy with your partner. Do what you like. Music, movies, talking to friends, neighbours, singing, dancing indoor/outdoor games, sudoku, crossword.

Attempt to learn a new Indian or Foreign Language. Try learning new habits- cooking a new dish, cleaning your house, gardening, and try raising a pet. Ambition puts one’s potential into harness., embrace it and celebrate new hobbies that you have picked up recently. There is inertia in each one of us and it takes us in the direction opposite to what we really want to do.

A lot of effort is necessary, and you cannot do it alone and will need the support of your friends, well-wishers, family who listen and respect you. Drink good amount of water throughout the day. practise enough restraint over tongue always does good and enjoy sleeping for 7-8 hours. Keep your heart, mind and spirit together, being focused on doing interesting new activities will avoid boredom, irritation and keep your mind mentally resilient.

Pratical approach v/s Intellectual approach 

Finally, you are your biggest competitor, work every day to excel in your various roles. Have official meetings standing up. Take necessary breaks in your work schedule, take deep breaths to clear your mind and keep massaging your body.

Practice gratitude for the near and dear. Keep in mind that there will be always an invisible guardian holding your hand and walking with you, watching every step of yours and waiting to help you. Be Practical, have Will power, focusing attention on your priorities without succumbing to distraction will go a long way in keeping your mental health. Sometimes despite all this we are pushed to a corner.

Think on the following lines

Be positive and minimize your heartburn, you will go through bad times, but they will not impact you if you are optimistic. There are enough and good people in this world who want to help you and will help you. All you need to do is to seek them and ask.

In conclusion, I would like to sum up – Stay connected to the world of nature and respect the earth’s limited resources. Nature is not perfect, and you cannot predict nature hence let us not accept that Adversity is a Permanent entity. We should combat adversity and bend the situation to our advantage, learn to reframe the situation, build mental Immunity and adhere to the protocols set by the Government.

By- Srivatsa Anantha Rao

{The author works in a Multinational based out of Bengaluru and volunteers as a lay counsellor.}

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