The Covid crisis has definitely drawn out the worst in us.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on our lives. Many of us are facing challenges that can be stressful, overwhelming, and cause strong emotions in adults and children. People have lost their loved ones. The vulnerabilities of a relationship are out in the open. Social taboo is another adverse side effect of this crisis.

But what has impacted people the most is fear — the fear of getting infected by this virus. With so many deaths around, people have started to think that “if we get the covid virus, we are sure going to die”. This fear has done more damage to people’s psyche than the real disease itself. Honestly, I am not an exception.

Many nights I’ve spent thinking what if get this virus and die? But with his grace, love from family, and adopting a healthy lifestyle, I feel I am ready to fight any battle.

This morning I read a news item that bothered me a lot:

“A 36-year-old Indian woman in the UK has pleaded guilty of killing her five-year-old daughter at their home because she was “terrified of dying from COVID-19, and thought the little girl could not live without her. She stabbed her daughter, several times in the neck, chest, and abdomen, in the bedroom of their south London flat 15 times before severely injuring herself, last year. Her husband said she had been ”petrified” about catching the virus and the lockdown restrictions may have ”pushed her over the edge She developed a ”morbid concern” she was seriously ill and had become convinced she was going to die. The husband has not spoken to his wife but accepts she was not responsible for her actions. He said “I know that if she was well she would not have been able to kill our daughter.” One psychiatrist who has treated the lady found that the social isolation and stress caused by the COVID-19 lockdown contributed to her serious mental illness.

Now this news made me look at my 5-year-old daughter, who was playing in her room, and of course, I cried (Yes Biswa ji I am Meena Kumari)  🙂

I was upset and even curious as to what all emotions that lady must have felt before taking such an extreme step. Was there no one with whom she could confide about how vulnerable she was feeling with this disease all around?

Just before this news, I came across another news item where it was mentioned that a 65 plus man got infected with the Covid virus 43 times in 10 months and every time he went to the hospital, his family thought now he will not come back.

But he returned and healthy. He was asked what kept you motivated- “I am teaching my granddaughter how to drive and I could not have left that unfinished”

Now, these two incidents are related to covid, but the outcome is absolutely opposite.

In one incident, a woman succumbed to her apprehension —an imaginary one — taking an extreme step. And on the other hand, the man fought it bit by bit by living in the moment and taking over the disease as and when it came. 

This showcases that our mind can be our biggest enemy or best friend. Covid has exposed our own reality and how weak or strong we are mentally. As Swami ji says that every disease manifests in the physical body at the last. We need to counter it in our minds first.

We need to understand it is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during the COVID-19 pandemic. But we should not give in to the negativity of these emotions.

You wouldn’t believe how much of our thoughts are actually responsible for our misery. Most of our problems in life are created by our mind. Not by external situations, not because of other people – because of how our mind works.

Please note that “ our mind loves to stress about things that will probably never happen”.

Our ability to plan for the future and see dangers and possibilities that have not yet happened is one of our greatest assets. But when that asset is allowed to run amuck, it can do incredible damage.

What can we do? Are we just slaves to this mind-response of searching out all the negative outcomes in our future?

Not at all. Our minds can only hold one dominant emotion at a time. You cannot at the same time feel love and compassion for an individual and feel extreme anger toward them. You cannot feel inspiration at the same instant that you feel fear. You cannot simultaneously see yourself succeeding and see yourself failing.

And that’s where we can work on taming our minds.

A few points I am mentioning which are self-explanatory:

  • Practice physical exercise and meditation daily. We all know the benefits of these two on our physical and mental health.
  • Acceptance of the situation. Life doesn’t end with a disease. Learn to live in the moment. 
  • Be in the company of positive people (Not Covid positive 🙂 but if needed to serve them, why not )
  • Talk to someone who is nonjudgmental and a good listener. Even if you won’t get a solution to your problem, you might feel better after expressing yourself.
  • Delay your response by 24 hours. A well “tested and tried” method by myself. If you have decided to act on something which creates self-doubt, just work on that decision after 24 hours. You will see a difference in your thinking pattern the next day.
  • Never hesitate to ask for help. There are many kind people who are willing to walk that extra mile to help you.
  • Some people have inhibitions to discuss a personal problem with known people. In that case, pay a fee and meet a medical professional, get counseling or seek an appointment with a psychiatrist, if needed.
  • Don’t overprotect your kids. Most studies point out that children or adults who were over-protected by their parents often terribly fail in stress management, which spirals into negative thinking or depression very quickly.
  • Have faith in the Supreme. If you are here it means there is a purpose. If you are not going to be here, still there is a purpose.
  • Take it easy.

Live, love, laugh, and serve.

Image by 3D Animation Production Company from Pixabay 

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Shalini Pandey

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