COVID-19 (Corona Virus Pandemic) - This tough time too will pass

COVID-19 (Corona Virus Pandemic) - This tough time too will pass

COVID-19 – This tough time too will pass

The corona virus has put a break to our life. Initially, the spread of the disease was limited and the lockdown was fun, easy to bear. However, as the period of lockdown was extended and a horrific picture of suffering and death surfaced, I realized that life has come to a standstill. The change was huge, fierce and catastrophic. The change in the situation was so fast and furious that it hardly gave anybody time to fully comprehend its impact on life.  Suddenly, it appeared that someone else was controlling my life. Was I ready for it? Was anybody ready for it?

I certainly needed to act quickly to get ready to face this phase. The question was - what could I do to counter the emotional mess caused by corona effect? First thing, I had to accept this change as soon as possible and adapt to the changed situation. There was no point in living in the Denial Mode.

In my previous post "Change and Stress Management:  Why change in our life is so stressful?", I had written that when we get deeply shocked by something, our response is in 5 steps. Denial and Isolation, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, “On death and dying”). The sooner we move from resistance, anger, denial and depression to acceptance stage, our life comes back on track.

Viktor Frankl survived the Nazi Concentration Camp. While many fellow prisoners, who were stronger and tougher, succumbed to the harshness of extreme circumstances of these torture camps. He writes in his book “Man’s Search For Meaning” that prisoners died when they lost hope. When they lost the purpose to live. When they lost faith and failed to visualize a better future. He kept his purpose to live intact – to meet his wife and live with her. He survived.

 So friends, keep your Faith and purpose intact - this tough time too will pass, enriching us, leaving us more resilient, and better prepared for unforeseen and unexpected problems.  

There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them. But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there.

Paulo Coelho, The Fifth Mountain

How many days will I remain in lockdown and face this uncertainty?

This lockdown is driving us crazy. We are frustrated, irritated and at loss. That is OK. This is a worldwide phenomenon. Nonetheless, many people are exploring ways to creatively confront the situation. They are locked but not down.

Adversity has the effect of drawing out strength and qualities of a man that would have lain dormant in its absence.

It is time to find your hidden talents. So many things you wanted to learn or to do. Find your lost desires.

Your positive attitude will sail you through the rough weather. Howsoever hard it may be, maintain your positivity. You are tough. You are positive. You are ready to help yourself and others. You boost your immunity and mental health by remaining positive.  

Remember Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Mahatma Gandhi spent more than five years in jail and Nelson Mandela remained in prison for 27 years. They both didn’t know when their struggle would end and what would be its outcome. Both with supreme faith in their purpose endured the pain and persevered.

You too should Have faith. Insurmountable faith that is COVID-19 situation will not last and have a short life.

For all the problems that humankind has faced through ages, it has succeeded in finding a solution to them. One problem may overwhelm us momentarily, but eventually, we prevail.

So cheer up. You are just in your home and very soon will have the freedom that you believe has contracted.

Will things be the same again?

          Probably not. Problems don’t leave us the same. They leave us better if we don’t surrender to them. So be optimistic and prepare for the opportunities this crisis will unfold.

          Start visualizing all the opportunities that may surface after this testing phase is over. “Most Successful people expand when others contract.”     
          Stephen Covey in his book "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" says everything important to you falls within your Circle of Concern. However, you cannot control all things within the circle of your concern. The things that you can control in the circle of concern make your Circle of Influence. “Proactive people focus their efforts in the Circle of Influence.”

There are several things that you cannot control. You will have to change your attitude towards them. You must accept them. Adjust your actions according to the constraints you are facing. Instead of wishing the constraints to change or disappear.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

courage to change the things I can,

and wisdom to know the difference.

The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr

         You can expand your circle of influence by your positive actions. The things in your Circle of Concern throw problems at you and you keep reacting to them. For example, traffic jam, bad weather, long queue, backbiting, news about loot, robbery, rape and murder, pandemic etc. You show reactions like anger, irritation, bad mood, foul language, temper, despair, disillusionment, etc.

You have a choice to remove less important things from your circle of concern. And use your saved energy to respond positively to other important things. Thus, you will enlarge your circle of control/influence and live a better life. Change course, transform yourself from a reactive person to a proactive person.       

Don’t take a negative decision in this hour of crisis. Maintain your will to survive

          We are dealing with a pandemic. This is surely an unnerving time. Anybody can succumb to its pressures. Yet in this scenario, you must control yourself and show restrain. Don’t take any major decision in a bad mood. Don’t take any negative decision, give it more time and thought.

          I was pained to hear that a person committed suicide by jumping from the hospital window when he was diagnosed corona positive.

          He surrendered to the decease without a fight. So many people have recovered from corona infection. He could have been among them too. But negative feelings welled him so much that he took this unfortunate decision.     

          Please remember – You are important and the world needs you.

“Once an organism, a business, a life or country is infected with negative thinking, the infection attacks the mind, the heart, and the soul like termites that secretly gnaw away at the emotional support system.”

Robert H. Schuller, Though Times Never Last, But Tough People Do.

Think of the worst times you have endured and emerged successful

          Think of all the worst experiences you have faced, the worst pains you have endured. Draw strength from them. When you could live through them, this tough time too shall pass.  

Improve your immunity / immune system

          Exercise to boost your immunity. Physical activity of 30 minutes every day will be beneficial. Try some Yoga exercises to tone up your lymphatic system. Many of the recovered patients in India have said that they used Yoga to help the body fight with corona.  You can follow any system of exercise you trust. But do exercise. I share below a  video by Dr Ankita Dhelia. It contains simple exercises for improving your immune system. I liked the video and have added the exercises to my daily morning routine. 


Laugh – keep your sense of humour

          Use laughter as a therapy. Laugh deliberately and loudly for 2 to 5 minutes daily. Laughing loudly for a few minutes keeps your spirits up and lowers your anxiety level.

Inspire others

          You expect that someone will say you soothing words that will alleviate your pain and reduce your suffering. Similarly, some troubled person may also expect the same from you. So help him. Inspiring him to face these anxious hours with faith, courage and confidence.

Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life. Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance.

Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Seek God’s help

The problems that you cannot solve – place them on the feet of God and ask him to solve it. Ask God to reveal the solution and have faith that he will show you the light.