COVID-19: Maintaining Mental Health is More Essential Than Stockpiling Toilet Roll
In the 1800s French poet, Victor Hugo mused “Adversity makes men and prosperity makes monsters”. If anything can put that theory to the test, it’s Covid 19.
Feelings of frustration and fear are inevitable while there’s so much cynicism, confusion, injustice, death, and financial uncertainty in the fabric of our society. That’s without mentioning how each of us as individuals has been impacted by the pandemic.
It is not my intention to downplay the experiences for anyone directly affected by the pandemic. The number of redundancies which it has already caused is devastating. What I do want to point out, is just how slippery the slope of hopelessness is.
While your average person can’t feasibly do much about the global-scale problem. They can choose how they respond to it.
Emotions are perfectly fine to feel, but it’s more crucial than ever that you practice mindfulness and see how your emotions turn into thoughts and then into actions.
Self-help literature and actively working on your intellectual intelligence may be sneered on by the cognitively dissonant. But fuck them. Because times like these maintaining mental health is essential to your survival. Suicide rates were surging before the pandemic, and it is already negatively affecting people’s mental health. Mental Health Hotlines are already inundated with calls.
It’s crucial to nip our Pandemic negative thought patterns in the bud. Take this for the perfect example:
Are you spending your time on Social Media shaming people for stockpiling through fear because they’re terrified of a government we can’t trust and a virus that we’ve been told is deadly?
Or, are you one of the incredible human beings finding ways to help people who need it?
While it may be tempting to mash out “WE’RE ALL DOOMED” as you’re telling Facebook how you feel, pause for a second, and think what you’re putting out into the world which is already filled with sensationalist press which we know likes to keep us cowering. The same goes for sharing baseless conspiracy theories and deepen the distrust we have for our governments.
COVID-19 may be one of the most unifying experiences which we may ever face as a global race. But let’s not forget, that humans are intrinsically tribal creatures. It’s no wonder that our minds threaten to collapse when we try to contend global-scale problems. When we turn our attention to those around us or in our communities and how we can help them, the existential dread starts to lift.
We’re in for an incredibly bumpy ride for the next few months, we have no power to change that. But what we can choose how to perceive the problem. Counting our losses right now will make the situation far worse.
Finding things to be grateful for and positive about is how you’ll hold onto the optimism we all need to get through our current Black Mirror-style reality.
Just think of 10 luxuries we have now that they didn’t have in 1920 when the Black Plague hit and tell me you don’t feel better. Or, think of 10 things you’re grateful in general. Repeat it every day, and you’ll see that, negative thoughts don’t get the chance to consume you.
Johann Hari pointed out that one of the best ways to feel better is to do something nice for another person on the Joe Rogan podcast. Feel free to try and prove him wrong. Find a way to make this situation more tolerable for one person.
Hopefully, we’ll never experience this again in our lifetime. But as it is what 2020 had in store for us, let’s use it as a chance to bring communities together, to take the time to improve our mental health, get creative, find inventive ways to contact the people we always should have found more time for.
What are your thoughts on the article above? Agree or disagree? What impact has the Covid-19 had on you? Comment below and tell us your opinion.