You don’t necessarily have to be productive according to people’s standards, especially during this lockdown. It is not a normal way of life that we have been used to, which is why many of us are finding it difficult to realize what we are, and what we think or believe in. Most of the people I know (since I mostly know introverts like myself) are focusing all their energies inwards and realizing that there are so many things they can do inside their houses that would help them overcome the anxiety and depressive state that this pandemic is bringing into our lives.
For starters, I finally got around to creating a ‘Safe Space’ for a couple of my think-alike friends whom I thought would benefit from talking to people and maybe sharing their struggles to make others feel that they are not alone. I included people from all walks of life and all professions, and different people who had been through different kinds of struggles in their lives. It is a safe space where we all come together and share our innermost feelings, without the fear of being judged.
Another thing I did during the pandemic was that I started to rearrange my house, and de-clutter it more. I know my mother always scolds me by saying that I already have so many things that I should be grateful for and I keep ending up buying more, but what she doesn’t understand is that this isn’t the new shopping I’ve done, this is all the ‘Old Stuff’ that I am now letting go of, the things I had been hoarding and holding on to for years.
As a person who has chronic depression, I feel it’s important to not sit idle and keep doing things because an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, even though people say it’s a cliché quote but it holds so much truth in it, especially for me.
I always wanted to have a therapy group (like they show in the movies but I never fully got around to creating one because in Pakistan you can’t trust people let’s be honest) but I thought of asking a couple of friends who wanted a place where they could talk in private without being judged or screenshotted, and well, here we are.
I plan to make more groups where people who don’t feel like they’re part of a community can come together (even though it’s ironic that they’re on Facebook and Instagram and everywhere else that ‘intends’ to create a community for people where they can talk to each other) but basically, now all of the social mediums I know have become places where people come out to vent and rant and someone or the other ALWAYS ends up making a mockery of them, belittling them or judging them and in turn, making them feel WORSE.
This whole mockery and ‘superiority complexed’ group system is never going to stop, and this is why Hidden Groups have been formed, to stop all this bashing of one another and have spaces where we can actually hold REAL conversations and have nice productive arguments and learn from each other.
I feel in today’s world, it has become increasingly important to be kind to each other, as keyboard warriors happen to be everywhere and they’ve taken over all our mediums. It is fairly easy to hide behind your screens and write anything you want, because people are generally frustrated and they don’t care if they hurt other people’s feelings with their words because let’s face it: who is going to hold them accountable?
Where people don’t even put up their real names and put up false display pictures, it’s fairly difficult to find who is writing what. This is the reason why every day you see someone abusing someone else on social media, or sharing someone’s video and writing verbal abuse on it, and it’s all a vicious circle.
I have stopped using my Facebook as a consequence, and I only use it to post a video which is meaningful or a random quote that has crossed my mind, or if I like a thought and feel like sharing it with others.
I have also just kept my Instagram updated because I feel that nowadays you need to have a social media presence to be seen anywhere, and it helps with job interviews and in landing you media-related jobs.
I believe that social media should only be used to keep in touch with people or to spread good words. Otherwise, it is a deep pit in which, if you bury yourself, it’s too hard for you to get out. Many celebrities have gone into this pit and then found it difficult to recover, and some even ended up committing suicide, especially the ones that took social media usage seriously.
Another productive thing I did during the lockdown was that I started reading books that I was always unable to finish, and I have created a bucket list of books to finish before this year ends. When one’s sitting at home, it is really hard if you keep wanting to go out or expect the pandemic or the virus to end and await good news from the media, so it’s better to accept that for now, it is here to stay and that if I read all the books I wanted to read all this time and never had time to, I may be able to feel much better about completing something on my bucket list (I have been lingering on this thought of finishing the books since years and was never fully able to do so because of life’s responsibilities and duties).
The last thing I discovered during the lockdown is that I have light sensitivity, which isn’t necessarily something productive but I realized that I had frequent headaches and migraines because of ‘too much light’ in the areas around my house. I put up little colored papers on my lights, and now I feel much better about my workspace at home. I plan to find out more things about myself, and keep myself happy and healthy for times to come. Till then, I hope you guys stay safe and observe social distancing, because let’s face it, we all have to work and go out one day or another, and it’s not like we can sit at home and things will finally fall back into place.
Just keep safe, and find things that you can be productive with. Try finding out things about yourself during this pandemic, and focus inward. Do some meditation on a daily basis, and sit in a quiet room. Write down the thoughts that come to your mind, daily. This is an exercise that will help you keep your mental health in check. If you feel you are having any recurring thoughts that are bothering you, discuss them with your close friends and family/spouse and end up resolving them. Sometimes, the best times come from being home in the safety of your loved ones. If you are safe, have your sanitizers and masks, and are buying grocery and cooking on a daily basis, and have all of the disinfectants you need, you are safer than most of the population in the world.
In the end, I thank God for the mind he has given me, that thinks about all these things in the first place.