As it is a frightening time for every person on the planet earth today amidst the world pandemic with many cities and countries shutting down completely, it is natural to feel stressed and anxious. I am no different as I live alone in the city of New York which is one of the most badly affected cities by the COVID-19 contagion in the US hence it is natural that most of the time I wonder when is this going to end as it surely does not seem like this situation is nearing its end anytime soon.
I watch the headlines every day just to hear some good news about the curve that represents the infection rate hoping for it to get flatter but to date, the curve is becoming steeper which makes me wonder about what is going to happen next?
The first month when I heard about this infectious disease that had engulfed the city of Wuhan in China, I was confident that a powerful country like the US will be about to resist the spread of infection here but I was very wrong as the virus does not know the difference between a Chinese citizen or a US citizen, the rich or the poor as every person is vulnerable to it in today’s date.
As I lived along with no one to take care of me, I decided to make minimum physical contact possible with anyone as soon as a few cases started emerging here; the credit goes to the news channels that made it clear how infectious this virus is.
Though isolating myself and only going out to get the necessities with complete precaution has become my routine now and physically, I am fit, but this phase had taken a big toll on my mental health. Hanging out with my work buddies and friends was something I did almost every evening which I have stopped for three months now which was driving me crazy as I was missing any human contact. Yes, I am connected to people through my phone but it was not enough as sitting in my home felt like I am stuck inside a cage which made me more and more anxious.
The spread of the virus is not in my hand but my life is what I can control hence I decided to make a few changes to my daily routine to make sure I remain sane until the end of this pandemic.
Firstly, I spoke to a few of my friends to understand their mental state of mind and realized that I am not alone as most people are anxious and stressed at this time. I decided to make my day productive and started by decluttering my home so that the atmosphere feels positive that helped in lifting my mood.
The next change I made was to my diet as I was eating a lot of junk food because I was bored. I stopped getting any more junk items and switched to a healthy meal plan, which makes my stomach and mind relaxed. I would also suggest that stop eating out of boxes and follow YouTube videos to cook meals at home as it will satisfy your taste buds and keep you busy.
I also made sure to sleep timely as it is common for you to watch a late-night movie in which you are isolating yourself from others. Sleeping timely is essential to reduce your stress and make you feel energetic the next day.
The biggest change I made was to stop listening to too much news as it only made me more anxious. I just listen to the news for an hour every day, which is helping in keeping my mind calm and reduce my fear.
I have also started doing some home exercises and trust me; it is the best thing you can do when you are not going out too much as it helps me stay fit and decreases my stress to quite an extent.
As I have been busy with my work, there were a few pending errands that I could not do for months like getting painting accent walls and fixing new wallpapers in every room which I managed to finish. I also needed to get new bamboo flooring installed in my sitting area, hence I got the floorings shipped and got the job done.
Lastly, I am using the extra time I have in my hand to do something productive like following my passion for music that keeps me occupied most of the day hence I seriously do not have time to think about what I happening around and this has aided me in soothing my nerves.
For most of you, the uncertainty surrounding this pandemic will be the hardesst to handle as we do not know how bad things might get, but panicking and getting stressed is not the way to go. Rather use the time to pursue your passion, which you lacked time to do earlier, and spend time with your family. Only positivity will help you stay mentally fit, till the world recovers from this pandemic.