Three Things that help me get through the Pandemic
Contentment Over Control
Who would have thought that a pandemic would roll up uninvited and interrupt our lives for one year (and counting!)?
In 2020, I had planned to go to Pakistan in the summer. I couldn’t wait to drink chai with the locals and come home an Urdu speaker. When things didn’t go to plan, I was devastated. I wallowed in the corner of self-pity, resenting the pandemic as if it was my arch nemesis.
However, as face masks and hand gels became the new norm, I learnt to accept the situation and be at peace with having no plans. I remembered that I can’t control everything no matter how much I tried or how much I wanted my plans to follow through.
I learnt to be content, and to enjoy it; to focus on what was in front of me, instead of ahead of me in an uncertain future. And so, I am reminded of the words of Pear S. Buck, “Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness.”
When I was stressing about the future, I remember hearing about the loss of my stepmother’s unborn son after nine months of carrying him in her womb. Life was not part of his plan. Not a single breath.
And yet, here I am, with each and every breath and my life ahead of me, complaining about what was meant to be. I have learnt that contentment is better than control. It’s a skill to be able to effectively plan every piece of your day, but it’s a talent to have peace when your plans shatter to pieces.
Don’t prepare yourself for a good day, prepare yourself to be content.
Boundaries Are Not Betrayals
Like everyone else in the pandemic, I have spent A LOT of time with my family. And although good company is needed, it’s also crucial to recognise the importance of alone time. When I was younger, I was so scared of saying no to people.
As women, we are guilt-tripped and shamed for prioritising our health before our services. Having boundaries is not a betrayal of your loyalty as a friend, daughter, lover, or a dedicated employee, it’s a reminder that you deserve love and care too.
Assumptions VS Facts
Often, we tend to make assumptions unconsciously. Whether it be about that difficult colleague of ours at work, that rude neighbour of ours, or even assumptions about our own identity. We end up living in a dangerous cycle of assuming things without fact-checking.
In the era of fake news and over-exaggerated, fear-driven content, this can create a panic in our lives and really affect our mental well-being. It can also heavily affect the way we interact with each other.
When navigating through your thoughts, be sure to fact-check them first. Acting on assumptions creates a very limited perspective and little room for growth, not to mention the irrational fear it can cause.
Photo by Matt Seymour