Coping With Change

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Sorted. That is a word people often use to describe me. I'm someone who is very planned, has a set routine and like to have things under my control. This is how it works the best for me and keeps my life going smooth. This helps me have a good work-life balance and gives me time to pursue my interests and passions. When COVID happened, life turned upside down for all of us. The situation forced us to change in our own way. But, how easy is it to change? More often than not when people realize that something is wrong with them or something is wrong with their life, only then they analyze the situation and decide to make a change. It comes from within and it is considerably easy to make that change. When unforeseen circumstances tend to bring a change to our daily life, it is not easy to be okay with it. It wasn't easy for me either.

The first thing I felt was disorientation and anger. My routine was torn to bits and a sense of paranoia took over. We had to cancel our anniversary holiday and that only added to the frustration. The uncertainty wasn't helping either. I was angry at everything and life did not seem to make sense. Since I wasn't stepping out, there was no fixed time for work or household chores and there was a sense of overbearing ennui. My mental state was beyond disturbed and I wasn't coping well at all. With time, I started coming to terms with the so called "new normal". I realized that I was in a safe place, had a good job, a loving and caring partner and had enough interests to keep me occupied. All I had to do was stay in a place. It wasn't easy, but I realized that I was having it so much easier than many others. When the situation got worse, the only thing you could do was accept it and move on.

Situations like these come with an ample share of anxiety, stress and paranoia. Dealing with that was another story. But, once acceptance kicks in, it gets easier. I'm no expert, but here are a few things that helped me deal with this unexpected change in my life. After all, change is the only constant in the world.

1. Acknowledgement and letting go of control.

I took time, but I finally acknowledged that things are changing and there is only so much I can control. Denial is a powerful force, but it is necessary to combat that. The first step to dealing with any situation is acceptance.

2. Try to keep a regular schedule.

The first month of working from home was chaotic as hell. Time management was at its worst and the less spoken about my sleep cycle the better. This was draining me out and I barely had energy to last through the day. I wasn't working out and this wasn't good for my sanity. Just when I thought that I was about to lose it, I decided to pull up my socks and do something about it. I chalked out a daily routine that was very similar to the one I had before COVID. Sticking to it gave me a sense of reassurance and suddenly it felt like things haven't changed that much after all.

3. It is a pandemic, not a productivity contest.

I'm getting tired of seeing people talk about learning new skills and how it is important to make the most of the time we have now. I get it, it is very important to upskill or learn new skills. But, with a dangerous virus looming, do you think that people have the mental space for it? The first month of being at home, I couldn't read a single book. Reading comes to me as naturally as breathing, but I just couldn't focus. When I saw everyone around reading a book a day or doing new things and what not, I let it get to me. I was already feeling scared and upset. Now, I had a sense of worthlessness too. Took me a while before I realized that in times like these all you need to do is survive. So, I did my own thing to cope. In my own way. Do as much or as little as you want of anything. As long as you are staying afloat, nothing else matters.

4. Practice gratitude.

It is hard to stay positive during such times, but expressing gratitude helps. I noticed that I got things done without having to step out of my house. I was suddenly thankful for everything. Right from our local vendors to online shopping, everything was being delivered to our doorstep. Whenever we got bored at home, we could take the car out and go for a drive, just for some fresh air. Our plant babies are growing really well and spending time with them is a pure form of joy. My husband and I have endless conversations, play games and binge watch shows and movies. I feel blessed in so many ways and that is more than enough to keep me going.

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5. Seek support.

There is so much information out there that it is only natural to feel overwhelmed. The numbers are confusing and yet scary and you feel a sense of impending doom. News coming in in the form of deaths, suicide, racism, natural calamities and everything else in between only adds to the paranoia. Don't dwell in it alone, reach out. Talk to people if you are going through something that you are unable to handle. Reach out to friends/family/counselors, make random talk, express what you feel, get help. Whenever I feel uneasy, I sit down with my partner and we talk it out. We console each other and feel good immediately. Sometimes all you need is someone who will listen.

6. Backaway from social media.

While social media gives you all the information about the current scenario, the negativity out there is something else. From people complaining about not being able to call their maid to people screaming abuses about how horribly the government is handling the situation, it is getting toxic by the day. Plus, there is always someone doing a 108 suryanamaskars or baking banana bread everyday. Go back to point 3 to understand this better. Disabling all my notifications has given me so much peace of mind! It is not that I'm totally away from it, but I sure have taken more than a step back. I'm only active on Instagram these days and share what I feel like and get out in a minute. Gone are those days where I used to spend hours browsing and feeling bad about myself and the situation.

7. Hope.

Looking at the current numbers, the situation is looking bleak, but we need to hold strong and not give up. It is tough to stay positive I agree, but we mustn't give up on hope. Something tells me that we'll have a vaccine soon and this will only be a unpleasant memory and a learning experience someday down the line. Hold on to hope. Hope is an important thing. Hope is a good thing.

This is how I have learnt to cope with change during the times of COVID. How do you cope with change?

14 comments:

  1. You have made some very good points here.

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  2. This is a weird time, and so unprecedented that no one knows when or how this will end.

    So I personally feel like if all we do is stay calm, happy, and healthy during these times - that itself is an accomplishment. While maintaining our normal routines in so much as we can, that is.

    I couldn't relate to those insane productivity contests, especially considering I had lesser time than before, not more time, like these people were miraculously having.

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    1. Oh yes, it is all about staying sane. The productivity contest just irks me!

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  3. You wont believe how similar this post will be to my Gratitude post for July - I wrote down a few things for it 4 days back as I was feeling like writing stuff that was going on in my head. Hope was one of the biggest thing there.

    I agree with the routine going for a toss, life did get derailed for me too a whole bloody lot. And no I am not baking moon pies or crocheting the universe or reading ten books a month...... I couldnt read at all.

    But life is in a much better place than when all this started. The recovery rate is on the mend and the positive news about vaccine trials are sounding like manna from heaven.

    Hang in there my braveheart - you are your own beacon and am glad you are finding the worth in that - hugs!

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    1. Hahaha, I can't wait for your July post :)

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  4. You and I have such a similar approach to things. It is uncanny. 😊 I was nodding my head all along. I have also distanced myself from social media. It is so toxic out there. But yes, l have done courses, am cooking more, have worked a lot on the food blog but those were the part of the goals I had started working on from Jan. Yes, my workouts suffered too in the beginning and then I found Yoga. Now we feel comfortable in a rhythm. Let's see how long this goes on.

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    1. One can only hope and see what life has in store next. Until then, let's stay sane :)

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  5. Dearest Soumya,

    It's heartening to see how could could turn things around in your favour.

    It did help big time to have a schedule and fortunately we as a family managed to stick to it.

    Yes, I've stopped watching any news, or reading toxic forwards or endlessly scrolling social media too. I even stopped watching shows riddled with crime and moved on to watching lighter stuff, like you read in my recent blog post.

    I have been making some doodles here and there in my planner and writing my gratitude or reiterating it when I chant.

    It will take time for things to get better, but the good news is we have a roof above our head, beautiful plants and pets and a family to fall back on.

    Yoga has also been my go to stress-buster in these trying times and I have benefited immensely from it.
    You take care and be well, my friend. <3

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    1. Oh yoga has been a stress-buster for me too! I'm loving it so much these days.

      Good to see you coping well, Natz. Love!

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  6. Everything you've said here is spot on! I too have been disoriented but am coming to terms with the so-called "new normal" (although I detest that term). Yes, so many people are worse off and gratitude always helps.

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  7. Yep, keep hope! That’s the only way to move forward.
    Despite having found a new rhythm to my days, the past two weeks I was feeling out of place again. Mental health needs to be prioritized during this time. Seeing a lot of productivity posts from people I love is making me angry and I am deliberately staying away from their happiness. It makes feel guilty on hand, but on the other hand I know that I’m only angry at the circumstances.
    Sorry for the ramble, Soumya. I was wondering today morning again what was happening to me and the read this post and I let pieces of those odd noises tumble out.
    Let’s hope that things will get better soon. ❤️

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    1. Hope, ah yes!

      Vinitha, take a deep breath and just be. Social media is all about show-off and there si hardly anything true out there. Let's try not to be affected by it.

      I hope you are feeling better now. Lots of love! <3

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