WHAT KEEPS ME GOING IN THIS PANDEMIC

Early this week, one of my husband’s very close friend (turned sister) lost her life to Covid. Not only did she die but even her unborn twins died along with her. She got pregnant at the age of 37 via IVF after trying to get pregnant naturally for the last 5-6 years. I felt extremely broken with this news. We had spent the week before hysterically trying to get her help for ICU, plasma donor, blood donors but all in vain. 

There are many such stories going around each day. Citizens of the nation have desperately taken to social media begging for beds, medicines, oxygen cylinders etc. The healthcare system of our nation is crumbling down under the pressure of this virus. Doctors are having to choose between many critical patients when an ICU bed is empty knowing very well that the rest of critical patients will not make it. 

I have always been very fond of reading war novels and today I feel that I am living war now. The attack could come in anytime on my family and I might have to leave everything to help them. The usual gratitude affirmations have so much deep meaning and connection now – “Thank You Universe for my good health. Thank You Universe for another beautiful day that I am getting to live.” These affirmations are now desperate prayers to the God and Universe. 

What do I do to keep myself going?? 

I must admit that I break down many times in a day. Every time a news of a relative pours in, the fear grows. But every single I take time to center myself and reaffirm to myself that me and my family is safe in our homes. I reaffirm to myself that we need to stay home to stay safe. Even though there are no symptoms for anybody in the house, I run around the house with thermometers and oxymeters checking the vitals. And once all turns out to be normal, I thank the Universe again. 

Keeping my gratitude affirmations always running in my head on an endless loop helps me immensely stay calm and relaxed in middle of this havoc. Meditating at the end of the day further helps get on with life. 

Keeping a healthy schedule

Another thing that I do is to ensure that I and my family have a healthy day to day schedule. It is important to stay active and working throughout the day so that negative thoughts don’t make their way permanently. Even on weekends, I have a list of TODO’s that I make sure to complete. Staying all the time at home is not easy especially with a 6-year-old who is always getting bored. 

Also, a healthy schedule of eating fruits, dry fruits, enough proteins, multivitamins, zinc etc. helps keep me on the toes. Unlike the lockdown of 2020, I am not making exotic dishes or baking different kinds of cakes – instead, I am busy extracting fresh fruit juices and cooking other healthy alternatives. 

Even on the days, I hear of a death, I give myself time to grieve but I don’t allow myself or my parents or husband to grieve on it the whole day. Fear and grief makes immune system weak further. We need to ensure good mental health along with good physical health. I do this by sticking to our healthy day to day schedules. 

Volunteering

I am so moved by the social media volunteers who are working day and night to save as many lives as possible. I am part of both Bangalore and Dehradun social media groups. Initially, when I joined these FB and Whatsapp groups, I felt really overwhelmed at the number of requests coming in – I was trying to help them all and felt burnt out in no time. Now I do volunteering work only a couple of hours on a weekday and few extra hours on weekends – it is not being selfish but it is to ensure that I stay healthy myself and keeping a healthy environment for my son and parents at home. 

My tips to all the social media volunteers 

  1. Limit the number of hours you spend on volunteering to a number that is comfortable for you given your own family and health conditions.
  2. Pick up one area – ICU beds, oxygen beds, medicines, oxygen cylinders/concentrators, food for volunteering. Once you pick up an area, stick to it. If you have chosen food then don’t start searching for oxygen cylinders or ICU beds. 
  3. Or pick up one patient and try to help that family to the closure of the treatment. Keep following up with the attendants to find out the status of the patient and line of treatment. Find out their needs and try to find leads for them. 
  4. Keep your intention very clear when you are volunteering. If you try to help somebody with a mindset that “nothing is available”, then you won’t be of much value. 
  5. Prayers go a long way. Keep praying that the patient(s) you are trying to help finds the right treatment and gets healthy in no time. 

The spirit of humanity that I see today really keeps me going. People are helping each other beyond their capacity. With this volunteering work in Dehradun, I have reconnected with so many of my schoolmates and college-mates and met so many other humble souls who are doing all that they can. This work really grounds me and is an extremely humbling experience. 

Keep the news from Media limited to just news

These days when I hear the news about ICU beds scam or medicine scams or black marketing of vaccines, it makes me extremely angry. But again I keep the negative news really limited to just reading the headlines so that I am informed and it helps me in my volunteering work. I do not purposely read the whole news because it makes me negative. It takes a lot of will power to not blame the authorities or governments and curse these people who are taking selfish advantage of the situation – but I use all my energy to ensure that I do not give in. 

Take me-time out everyday

Do something for your own entertainment every single day. I do the following

  1. Watch comedy shows/movies.
  2. Follow some series with meaningful stories.
  3. Read books.
  4. Do different DIY projects and paintings.
  5. Shop online
  6. Watch motivational videos of different life coaches
  7. Play with my son with different kinds of games

Just have fun for a few hours in each day. Keep your grief and sadness away for a while and just live life the way it is supposed to be lived. 

Wishing all my readers a very good health and praying for my nation!

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