Elsa’s “Into the Unknown” song really captures how I feel about the pandemic, “(You = COVID-19) what do you want? ‘Cause you’ve been keeping me awake. Are you here to distract me so I make a big mistake?”😭. I have experienced more loss and feelings of isolation during these past two years than any time in my life before. I’m sure most of us could relate somehow to this collective experience of ‘suffering’. For me, I wasn’t able to start my study abroad, my families are scattered all around the world and we cannot meet one another like we used to, dealing with multiple griefs and losses at the same time, not being able to meet my friends... Everything seems harder now than how it used to be before the pandemic.
What about you guys? Have you guys been feeling okay and are coping well with the situation?🤗 I know for sure that everything seems to look better now in Indonesia and many other countries. The Mental Health Foundation states that the level of worry and anxiety is now declining and that most people, especially young adults, have started to cope better with the stress that comes with the pandemic. However, this does not mean that we have all fully bounced back to what we were before (could we ever? or is it going to be a ‘new normal’ for all of us?). So, here are some 5 tips and/or resources that I find useful and may be useful for you too in terms of coping with the current pandemic:
It is indeed a hard time for EVERYONE. So it is okay if you’re struggling and finding things hard! You don’t have to feel bad when you look at your friends getting married or buying a new house at the age of 25! Everyone has their own pace and journey. Not comparing our page 1 to someone’s page 150 could be good for our own mental well-being. Acknowledge and accept when you feel sad, angry, or anxious and ask yourselves, “Why am I feeling this way? What triggers these emotions?” and practice self-compassion as well as self-forgiveness. It is okay to cry and cope with situations however you like as long as you’re not hurting yourself and others ❤️.
After months of following the PPKM’s travel restrictions religiously, the number of active cases in Indonesia, especially in Jakarta, has declined dramatically. Then I decided to meet up with two of my friends (following all health protocols and we got tested beforehand) for one day and it felt very refreshing! I would not have expected that the meet-up would have had very powerful and immediate effects on my mental well-being for the next few days.
Before the pandemic, hanging out with a lot of people would often make me feel extremely exhausted (100% an introvert), but when it got taken away from me during the pandemic, I realised how connecting with others could boost our mental health in various ways. However, you might be in lockdown, or in situations where it isn’t possible to meet up with your loved ones. Thankfully, the world has so many (fun) resources for people to use and meet up together in an online environment. So don’t wait any further! Check up with your friends, schedule that online exercise session together or simply call them to do a quick catch-up.
Have you ever experienced a break filled with anxiety and not being able to focus on your rest time instead? It usually happens when we don’t take PURPOSEFUL breaks. Set aside time for yourself, even if it’s just 30 minutes in the midst of your busy schedule. Turn off your phone, do mindfulness and breathing exercises at the beginning of your ‘relaxing’ time to reduce your anxiety, and do what makes you happy! I usually become anxious and think, “If I take breaks now, I will not be able to finish my tasks on time”, when in fact, taking breaks could increase your productivity instead.
2021 has been a breakthrough for me personally… a breakthrough for my fangirling era over BTS😭. I started stanning them when they released the song Dynamite, and became obsessed with their other songs such as Butter, My Universe, Daechwita (Suga’s!), Ddaeng, Mic Drop, etc. Listening to their songs, watching their variety show (RUN BTS), watching funny, touching, and inspiring clips of them on YouTube and TikTok also keeps me entertained during the time I needed to stay home because of the pandemic.
So even a time of hardship like this could turn into a time of developing and finding what you genuinely like! Investing your money and time into generating a new more integrated skincare regime or a shopping spree at @kurve.official could be one of them also ;) Anyhow, I hope you’ll find what makes you truly happy #KURVIES.
Did you know? Research has shown the effectiveness of music to reduce your stress levels, anxiety and depression. Creating a personalised playlist on Spotify that contains relaxing or your favourite music to listen to, dancing to some groovy tunes, practicing your favourite girlband/boyband’s dance routine, and listening to funny podcasts could make your day a little brighter! Here are a number of mental health platforms I find educational and resourceful, that you might find interest in:
- instagram.com/estherperelofficial & “Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel series” on Spotify - to listen to other people’s stories about their relationships during the pandemic
- instagram.com/ibunda.id - if you are based in Indonesia and need to book a counselling session, especially online, with a professional counsellor/psychologist to talk about your problems!
- instagram.com/realdepressionproject - to see some psychoeducational contents about anxiety, depression, trauma, etc.
People have different ways to cope with stressful situations, and it’s okay if yours look a little different to others. I hope everyone’s staying safe and healthy (both physically and mentally) during this stressful time. If it ever gets too exhausting and tiring, and you feel like you can’t take it anymore, never hesitate to reach out to your loved ones or seek professional help. We love you #KURVIES!
“Bending is what we’re called to do when we can’t change our circumstances, when we can only change how we react to them.” - Esther Perel