COVID-19 and (my) coping mechanisms

Photo by Tonik on Unsplash

There are so many things I’ve been wanting to write on, about for so many days (make that, weeks). I would’ve said, “But who has the time?” on a different day, but honestly, despite all the time in the world this period has been difficult.

Now, for your mandatory disclaimer:

AND YES, I do acknowledge that it must be more difficult for daily wage earners, those who have lost their jobs, those who lost their loved ones due to the virus or any other cause during this time and even those who don’t have access to clean water and continue to live in refugee camps and similarly impoverished conditions. But I’m not speaking for them here. I’m speaking for those of us who are ‘better off’ than others or those who are ‘privileged’. I’m still very much a part of reality and I am aware of what is happening and I’m not negating it, but I am sorry and I wish there was more I could do about it, but honestly I don’t think I can.

Now that we are done, I want to ask you in case no one else asked you this today, how are you feeling? I’m not asking you if you’ve changed your clothes or brushed your teeth, but how are you really feeling? Have you managed to eat something? It’s okay if it’s trash. But how are you? And no, you don’t need to learn a skill or language or be able to do new things. I think the important thing is that we survive during this time and not lose our mind. Some of us are, even those of us who are used to working from home.

There have been many who have written on the topic and even more so on how to cope and no, I’m not a qualified person, neither do I have excellent coping mechanisms. I used to write as a means of coping, but that doesn’t seem to be going too well either. I don’t know if that translates to me not coping well during this time, haha.

Also, these disclaimers are annoying AF but they are needed in especially in this over-sensitive, over-analysing digital space of ours.

But here’s a little rundown of what I’m doing these days. It’s not meant to help anybody, but this post has been in drafts for far too long, it’s about time it got published, somewhere.

  • I’ve been checking up on friends who are not in the country to see how they are doing. How are they coping with the lockdown/curfew (depending on which world they live in because ‘lockdowns’ only happen to be for the first world, whereas ‘curfew’ is still very much part of the third world), if they have enough food, entertainment, people around them etc.
  • Checking up on my extroverted friends. I usually make lists of the things I would do for the day, groceries I need and friends I need to pay more attention to — and usually, this list consists of the more introverted ones and those who like me, find open spaces and people terrifying. But now the tables have turned. Of course, it’s important to check on their mental health but it’s the extroverts who need more looking out for right now. With the lack of access to people, new faces and public places, I honestly can’t imagine what they are going through, and I’m not even saying that lightly.
  • Doing some cleaning of spaces I didn’t think would need cleaning, such as my Contacts, external hard disk or even Google Drive!
  • Reading the news. Yes, I still read the news and yes, it does upset me. And while I can commend those who can go on digital detoxes or stay away from news outlets, I can’t. True enough, I don’t actively engage in news and it doesn’t consume me, but I need to know. I don’t know why I need to know such extra information but the knowledge, even on what’s happening in Syria, s important to ensure I remain sane.
  • And on some days, I don’t do anything. I just sleep, sometimes throughout the whole day. And it sucks. I wake up feeling like a bag of potatoes. So I shrug, probably pop some paracetamol to get rid of the headache I had gotten from sleeping too much and proceed to my favourite room, the kitchen, to make some dinner. It sucks, but there isn’t much that I can do about it — yes, I can take initiative, drive myself more to do more and achieve more, but right now, some of us are trying to stay afloat and that’s as good as it’s going to get, at least for now.


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