We were shocked by the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19. Most of the governments around the world took a step of countrywide lockdown to prevent the spread of this pandemic. This move was good by the government because it definitely avoided a large gathering of people which indeed prevented community spread to an extent. One thing I would mention from the start is we all need to have a positive approach towards life.
This lockdown has gotten us stuck in our home. While some think we are stuck but for some, this time has been a fruitful time. It depends on your perception and how you take up things during this lockdown. If you take things positively you can have good productivity during this period.
Though in many countries and cities around the world the lockdown is been removed slowly with a set of guidelines like social distancing and wearing mask etc. This past couple of months which we spent trapped in our home, would show a positive and negative impact on everyone’s life.
Let’s see how people spent their time during the lockdown and what changes we might see after the lockdown is partially or completely lifted when people will get back to their work and earlier routine.
How most of us spent time during lockdown
Many are spending time watching series, movies, reading books, learning new skills etc. These are the few things that most of us are doing who are stuck in their homes.
Let’s see in detail what actually people did. A study shows that this period of lockdown gave rise to internet usage by 13% in India. Online streaming websites and app saw an increase in its usage. Also, apps like zoom and skype saw an increase in usage as people started working from home. Zoom is used for video conferencing. Other apps like House party, ludo, PUBG and other smartphone apps and games also saw an increase in usage.
Smartphone use expected to rise 84% to 859m by 2022. There are millions of people with smartphone and internet access see stats here. This lockdown only increased the usage of internet and apps. This is maybe due to work from home or people are getting bored sitting at home. These spiked screen time is going to put side effects on people’s mental and physical health. Which is also due to lack of physical exercise during this lockdown.
Effects of Lockdown
Views from few people
I asked a few of my friends and colleagues to give their view on how this lockdown is affecting their lives and their mental health. I got a few replies from my friends and colleagues. Some said this lockdown has brought positive effects on them, on the other hand, some said they were getting bored and need to get out.
Some also said work from home is very difficult, as there is a lack of coordination. In my opinion, it might be because we do not have a habit of working from our home.
Some of the friends who were away from home are missing their family members. Also, during this time we remind about the recent loss of loved ones.
One of my friends said we live in a city, surrounded by all the tech and comfort. After all that comfort and tech we still feel lonely and depressed. Think about people in the village they do not have proper electricity, technology and other comforts, still are able to live a happier life. People in the village spend their time with family and friends around them.
This is because people are overwhelmed with things around them. They do not enjoy the company of their family and the people around them. Instead, they want approval and happiness from social media. If a person uploaded a photo on social media, they have a habit of checking for likes after every 10 mins. This curiosity leads to disappointment when they don’t get like, and causes depression.
Everybody had a different view on this topic, that’s what human do, have different thoughts and perceptions. This makes us unique but also predictable and lethargic. Most of us have a biased approach to things in our lives. The biased approach leads to thinking in only one way for every situation, which is not a good option in all situation. In this lockdown, we need to have versatile thinking for our situations. It will help us in getting out of problems much more easily.
How to have a positive approach
Having a Routine
It depends on how you utilize your time during this lockdown. If you have a proper routine and maintain your work according to that it will have positive effects for you. A routine is something which we had when we use to go out and work, but it can be also for working from home. People need to take work from home seriously.
One thing I would like to say, after coming out of lockdown and after working from home we might have some problems to get back to our earlier routine, as our mind has got used to this comfort working environment. It is something I feel personally. But that is the challenge we humans are good at taking. It might feel a little odd for a couple of days but we will get back to earlier pace in no time. Because change is the something we have to cope up with.
Proper physical workout inside your home, like push up, Plank. sit-ups and many more can be done to keep your self active and fit. Doing this first thing in the morning gives you a boost for the day. And proper physical workout maintains your routine.
Hobbies and skills
Try to learn something new, like a new skill which will help you in your career. Learn some new musical instruments if that’s your hobby. Try to have a few different hobbies to keep your self busy if you don’t have any other work during this lockdown.
Your hobby can also to read and write. If you like to write you can start writing comments on a popular blog post and Youtube channels to see how people respond to you. You can also start tweeting on trending topics if you have the knowledge about the topic.
You can also write as a guest writer on a popular blogging website like this one, or you can find many blogging websites online. Writing about topics broadens your thinking capabilities related to that topic. This gives you a different perspective about things around you. Also improves your overall knowledge. Because writing involves a lot of research work and also requires listening to other people relevant to a subject.
There are lots of hobby and skills you can learn and make this time more productive for yourself.
Other things to do
Talking to people you have not talked in a long time will help you recollect old memories, also you can resolve any misunderstanding if you had with them. This creates positiveness within you.
Try to have some time without any gadgets and sit idle for a few mins or an hour. This helps you elevate your thoughts and get new ideas. This helps you clear your mind and thoughts which is very useful for your brains productivity. It is not something to do only during this lockdown, but also during your regular day to day life.
How to maintain sanity during this period
We have never been locked in our houses like this before, So it can be difficult for a lot of people to adjust to this situation. A lot of people are stuck in places other than home. With no option of returning to home. We have to understand that this is a worldwide situation, and you are helping yourself and the people around you by staying in the place you are stuck in. It is definitely difficult for people who are away from home. But this is the time we have to come together by not coming together.
A lot of people feel lonely and feel anxiety which is normal. There is nothing wrong in feeling that way. If you feel lonely talk to your parents, friends, loved ones on a phone or video call. This will definitely help you. Anxiety is something which is very common. People are worried about their jobs, financial situations, food, economy, recession etc.
We as human complicate things by thinking too much at a time. We need to clear our head and as I said before, make a routine and work. Also, I mentioned about learning a new skill. If you have experience and in addition to that you have a new relevant skill, you can get another job easily, even if you lose the current job.
Don’t spend unnecessarily, save money as this is the right time to save. I would say invest also but it is only if you understand the stock market and mutual fund. As the prices are low it is the right time to invest. If you study a few companies you can invest now for future growth, but again it is only an option if you understand it.
Talking about recession, in history we had a few moments where we faced a recession. But we have recovered from it and grown quickly. So don’t worry about the recession too much as hard times will be faced by millions. And those who are good will survive.
Overall I want to say stay positive and have an optimistic approach to all things in your life. And if you ever feel talking to someone because you are not able to go out and losing it, talk to a loved one or contact a consultant who will help you out. You can also call the helpline number for help.
Human a Social Animal
This was a point from a few of my friends and colleagues, they said we are a social animal and we need to go out and talk to people to maintain sanity. We are a social animal we want to go out and interact with people. This is an inherent thing most of us do. There are 3 types of personality humans have Extrovert, introvert, ambivert. Extrovert are ones who love to interact with more and more people. An introvert is someone who likes to spend time with themselves. Ambivert is people who show both qualities of extrovert and introvert.
This current situation is time we need to be introvert. Spend time with yourself and your family. But after staying home for this couple of months, some people might find it difficult in facing people and getting back to earlier routine. But if we show an Ambivert personality we can adjust to any situation. Though it not possible for everyone to have an ambivert personality.
Hence we need to keep ourself busy and fit. And always keep on interacting with your family. Also once in a while interacting with your friends and colleague over a video call or phone call will help you. When you interacting try to talk about positive things happening around you. Because if you again discuss COVID-19 with each other it will depress you further.
In this post, I just tried to highlight the different approach different people are taking. Some are staying positive and making this time most productive for them. Others are just spending time watching series and movies and getting bored after a while. Definitely, we need to have a positive approach towards life and try to mix things by working and also watching series and movies. But both should be balanced as we use to do earlier.
Everyone should utilize this time as it is something that won’t come back again. So I hope you might have utilized your quarantine time well and won’t miss it as our lockdown is soon going to end and we are going to get back to our earlier routine.
Lockdown is not something which can’t persist for a long time, we have to get back to our earlier life, And we have to live with coronavirus or COVID-19 for at least for next couple of years. We have to work to get our economy back up and running. So all the best and always have a positive approach no matter what the situation is, I assure you we can get out of any situation via having a positive approach.
Also published on Medium.