“It has been almost a week, me and my wife are working from home due to Coronavirus (Times of Corona, as I call it) that has plagued the world. I think we will kill each other before the Virus Does.”
This was a What’s app forward that I received!
While this forward was certainly meant to be just-in-jest, the stress emanating from the prevailing situation can’t be taken lightly. For the first time in our lives, and hopefully the last time also, not only cities but even states and countries are being locked-down. Anything of such a magnitude is expected to give rise to fear and stress. But is it only the virus which leads to stress or something else as well?
Human Beings, by nature, hates change and when this change is imposed on them, then that leads to stress. Just imagine a person whose schedule is to remain outside the home for 5-6 days in a week, 10-12 hours daily asked to stay home indefinitely.
It’s a big change for the person as well as all his family members. While some people adapt to this change easily, others find it difficult to manage. So, here are a few tips by Prof. Shankar Sahay to manage stress during the Times of Corona.
Catch that Ray of Hope
What can be more frustrating than to be stuck up on a cruise, in the midst of the sea, without anywhere to go. But it’s remarkable as to how David & Sally Abel always remained positive and hung on to that ray of hope while quarantined on the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship.
The videos posted by them on the social media always depicted the positive side of the human mind with quotes such as “there’s no point in sitting down and crying about it”, “we have chosen to face it (the situation) chin up”, “we know we are in good hands, the ship is taking care of us”, “the food is brilliant” etc. This is the spirit which kept them going strong during the Times of Corona.
3 Rs to the Rescue
Remember, an empty mind is a devil’s workshop. So, engage your mind constructively. While at home, people often wonder as to how can they spend their time. After all, for how long can you sleep, eat, drink or benefit from the X-Box Corona Sale. The Reading, (W)Riting & (A)Rithmetic can prove to be the essential tools to help us.
Read a good book, then talk about it to your family members. Since how long have you not read a bed-time story to your kids. Use this time to fulfil that promise. (W)Rite something-anything-it doesn’t matter. Years later, your grandkids will read these memoirs to find out as to how the world was threatened, how the human race defeated this one of a kind virus and how you witnessed and participated in this battle.
Last but not the least, (A)Rithmetic puzzles, sudoku, crosswords or any other mental engagements are the best way to occupy your mind constructively, i.e. without irritating your spouse during the Times of Corona.
From Adjustments to Sacrifices
Stress can be handled well by simple adjustments or major sacrifices, depending on the situation. The simple adjustments can include a family eating whatever the home-maker is able to make, without being fussy or helping the householder in the daily chores of the home or not being too demanding about the cleanliness or upkeep of the home.
This is all the more important during the irregularity or absence of maids. On the other hand, sacrifices can include the instance of an MBA student stuck up in Mumbai, who wants to travel back to his home-town in Delhi but takes a matured decision of staying put, in the larger interest of all the concerned people or a soon-to-be-married couple who decide either to postpone the date of marriage or have an absolutely low-key affair by having just their parents and siblings at the function.
Laughter & Happiness During The Times of Corona
Laughter may not be the best medicine to cure Corona, but it certainly puts a smile on one’s face, which punctures the stress right away. So, apart from reading about the Corona scoreboard, have a look at those Animal Crackers, Hagar, Beetle Bailey, Garfield cartoon strips.
What’s more, share these comic strips with your different WhatsApp groups. Who knows, maybe they are also looking for a break from the run of the mill corona forwards, which is doing nothing but sagging their spirits in the dumps.
Enter the Stock Markets
Now I know that this point will be viewed with a lot of scepticism and the pertinent question will be “are we not increasing the stress rather than reducing it?” But let’s face it. All the stock markets are in a tailspin and as they say “When there’s blood on the street, BUY, even if the blood is your own.” Of course, don’t throw caution to the winds.
If you are a new player, read about the stock market or if reading is boring to you, listen to an audio-book. Start with “The Intelligent Investor” or “Think & Grow Rich” or “The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Hear.” Learn the basics before jumping in, start with only the top-5 of the top-30 Sensex shares and remember that you are investing for the long run.
The Time Will Pass Away & So Will Corona Virus
Finally, understand the fact that it’s a matter of a few weeks or at the most months, and this is a very small part of our lives. The need is to stick together- patiently, without getting irritated, as what you will give, the same you will get.
So, spend time with a smile on your lips and hope in your heart. In these unforeseen times, recourse to anything which brings peace to your heart is welcome. It can be Yoga, Meditation, Music or any of your hobbies. Use this time to indulge in activities which you have neglected due to paucity of time.
How about cleaning and playing that guitar which has remained untouched for the last couple of years or cooking a new dish or honing up your excel skills by taking up an online course. Remember, all of us have the same time period at home, it’s we who decide how to use or waste it.
Wishing you all A Very Happy & Enjoyable time with your loved ones. Stay blessed.
Shankar Sahay is a practising educationist with more than 29 years’ experience with industry and academics. He has conducted several training programmes and consultancy projects with reputed companies on various topics like Stress Management, Time Management, Conflict Management, Developing Inter-personal Skills, Marketing, Retailing and Merchandising.