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Looking on the bright side: Here are all the positives of the covid-19 lockdown

Updated on:6 May 2020, 18:33pm IST
The covid-19 pandemic and consequent lockdown have brought about challenges for sure, but there is a silver lining too.
Neerja Birla
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All is not lost. There are a lot of things to celebrate in this lockdown too. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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We Indians, 135+ crore in all, have been under complete lockdown for over a month now in an attempt to flatten the curve of the covid-19 pandemic. Consequently, life has changed for all of us in every conceivable way. 

On one hand, there is the fear of contracting covid-19; being isolated from family, friends, colleagues, and society in general; the continuous influx of gloomy contagion-related news; and stress regarding the future, finances, job security and the imminent economic recession. All of this has cumulatively had a deeply negative impact on our mental health.

On the other hand, if we look through the lens of optimism, the lockdown has revealed several positives as well.

Yes, the lockdown has a positive impact too
Despite all the obvious hardships, we’ve shown incredible resilience. We’ve adapted so well to these challenging circumstances and learnt to deal with all the ordeals so effectively. 

impact of covid-19 on mental health
Covid-19 will come and haunt you even when it’s all over. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Our disciplines of hygiene have improved vastly. Unable to step out of our homes except for essentials, this lockdown has taught us to clearly differentiate between essentials and non-essentials in our lifestyles. 

We’re realizing that our true needs are quite simple and we can function perfectly well even with the bare minimum. Most of us have temporarily given up on anything that we consider excessive in the slightest of ways. 

We’re learning that the discipline of a structured routine is not just necessary for our jobs, our education and our social commitments-but also for giving our day-to-day lives a sense of purpose. Having a schedule while we’re confined to our homes is helping us increase productivity and keeping us in good spirits.

Suddenly, we’re learning that it is possible to work from home and accomplish quite a lot, thanks to technology. In fact, the absence of chaotic rush-hour traffic, the incessant commotion of people and crowds, and the inescapable demands of varied commitments is proving to be a boon in numerous ways. 

Many of us are accomplishing more in less time. We’re working from home not only to keep our jobs going, but also in an attempt to bring a ‘sense of normalcy’ to our lives and those of others.

In the absence of domestic help, we’re realizing that it IS possible to take care of the household chores ourselves. We’re learning to cook, clean, and tidy up behind ourselves–chores that many of us had stopped doing otherwise. We’re actually becoming ‘self-sufficient’ in so many diverse ways.

We’re also becoming the healthier versions of ourselves
We may be desperately missing the fun of dining out, but the fact is that we’re all eating simple, healthy food right now. Those of us who are continuing to exercise within the confines of our homes or have started a new workout regime are not only contributing to our physical health but to our mental health as well.

exercise from home
Want to stay fit? Try your hands on some online fitness tutorials. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

This has also been an opportunity for many of us to spend some quality time with ourselves. Thanks to online tutorials, people have taken up new hobbies and activities. Some are learning a musical instrument, some a new language, and so many are acquiring a new skill altogether with great enthusiasm. People are reading again. Many are simply choosing to meditate and ‘breathe’. What matters is that each of us has discovered a personalized version of ‘me time’, which is helping us relax and recharge ourselves. 

In fact, this lockdown has given all of us, as individuals, an opportunity to think with calm minds and take a long, hard look at our lives. Like the clutter in our closets, we’re doing away with the disorder in our minds as well. Right now, we’re practicing mindfulness and learning to concentrate on the positives of the present. 

This is unmistakably an opportunity to reset our body clocks, rewire our brains, do away with the bad lifestyle habits from before the lockdown and plan the positive transformations we need to make in ourselves and our lives when this crisis is eventually averted.

We’re also getting quality time to bond with our family
So many families have transformed this lockdown situation into a family vacation of sorts. In so many households, the domestic chores have become a fun family project, so that the burden doesn’t fall on any one person or two. 

Even the kids are doing their own beds, tidying up their things and helping with the bigger chores. Families are cooking meals and eating together, exercising together, watching movies together, playing games, having great conversations, reliving good times from the past and creating fabulous new memories. 

lockdown
Just spend some quality time with your family and you are sorted. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

Ironically, being isolated from the world is also allowing us to strengthen our ‘other relationships’. We’re searching for old friends on social media and reconnecting with them–people we haven’t seen or spoken to since school or college. 

Be it our relatives, friends, colleagues or social acquaintances, we’re all in the same boat right now. We’ve all realized that the situation calls for ‘social distancing’, not ‘emotional distancing’. We’re taking the time to actually talk to people. 

Many people are actually limiting conversations about the contagion and the ensuing crisis. In difficult times like these, it’s good to have lighter conversations, chit-chat in a fun way and share a few laughs. So many of us are doing exactly that.

All in all, this lockdown has definitely offered its own set of positives. We’ve become more aware of our emotional needs, we’re understanding people better and we’re bonding with each other like never before. Let’s keep these positives going even after this pandemic has passed.

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Neerja Birla Neerja Birla

Neerja Birla is the founder and chairperson of MPower, a mental health initiative which aims to help create a society where people with mental health concerns and their caregivers receive professional support, care and acceptance to facilitate their recovery, without facing discrimination or shame.