That Monster in Us
During the pandemic, we were asked to stay home and avoid social interactions. For many of us, it can be the longest time we’ve spent home ever. We’ve probably became acquainted to every corner of the house and discovered things we’ve never noticed before but have always been there. This time may either be the best or the worst time.
For people who have spent most of their time outdoors, doing activities and meeting friends often, this can be a down time. It’s totally a new experience and may affect adversely.
For those who break their backs for tasks and have a sedentary lifestyle, enveloped by the four corners of the room, it can be liberating and relaxing.
For those who have a hard time balancing life and work, it can be a welcome change.
For these instances, the initial feelings are also different.
For the free-spirited, sociable individuals, or even the workaholics, they might feel like they miss their old life.It is difficult to laze around, not doing anything. It’s hard to entertain self with the limited space indoors especially if one lives alone. It can be stuffy. The sun and the air may be missed. Friends and company may be longed for.
Yet on the other side of the spectrum, we find it joyful, like freedom at last! We revel on the idea of spending longer time on bed, frolicking with our favorite books, binging on movies, dramas, food and drinks. It’s time to do and develop new hobbies. Family-time for some. Quality time for self for independents. We have time for self-love. Energies are replenished, bodies rejuvenated, relationships strengthened. It is like we have lived again.
Ironically, as we spend time with our family and relatives, the initial euphoria doesn’t linger. At some point or due to the extended period of time with people we use to just meet during breakfast or dinner, it feels like the space is becoming smaller. It becomes harder to breathe. Individual habits start to annoy us. We discover our pet peeves. We find faults to almost anything and everything we see, hear or touch. We become sensitive. Misunderstandings can easily happen including bickering or even verbal altercations. Relationships are affected. Some may take the wrong turn. For instance, the term “corona divorce” was coined. Meanwhile, the loners became even more and more isolated.
So apart from the virus that scares us, another enemy arises. It emerges from the depths of our minds. It starts to bother us albeit unconsciously. We start to question our goals, our purpose, even at times, our existence. We start to doubt each other’s worth. If left unattended, this little annoyances grow into monsters. Anger. Anxiety.Resentment. We waver. Our previous sunny disposition start to dim until darkness begin to envelope us.We begin to suffer invisibly at first, then it starts to manifest physically. Social and physical distancing become disassociation and isolation.
According to experts, mental stress or anxiety is one of the biggest possibilities that can arise from this prolonged restrictions. Many of us are not used to this set up that it affects our mental health, thus, it is imperative to pay attention to it. We need to expose ourselves to positive influences, surround ourselves with people and things that make us happy. It is equally important to help ourselves see the brighter side of things. It may be easier said than done, but if we feel like we need help, it doesn’t hurt to seek for one, either from people you trust or even from professionals Mental illness is an invisible enemy. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Just like other illnesses, it has to be addressed, not ignored.
So if you need anyone to talk to or listen, don’t hesitate. If you are a friend of mine or even just an acquaintance, count me as one. You have my ears.