Hang on to hope, hold your head high, hold on to positivity, and have faith in your heart as well as in the innate spirit of human resilience. This is no hyperbole but a holistic mantra to tackle the harrowing times of trials, tragedies and tribulations such as these. Do away with despair and despondency in your mind and you will see the light at the end of the tunnel, howsoever dark it may be. Indeed, the second wave of the pandemic is far darker and stronger than before, but the human race too is now more powerful and prepared than before—thanks to a range of vaccines, diagnostic tools, new research, information and expertise about our common enemy. Humanity is at full-scale war on Corona, and in this epic struggle, you and I, and all of us, individually as well as collectively, have a crucial role to play.
The first and foremost in our anti-Covid arsenal today is ‘vaccination,’ which is now open to all above 18. So, you need to take that jab immediately—particularly in view of the fact that this second wave is also afflicting younger lot in large numbers. It is high time that for the sake of yourself as well as for your family and friends, you exert yourself—quickly and firmly—, to get inoculated. Do not commit the mistake of letting any sort of anti-vaccine doubt or fear creep into your mind, and instead chase the vaccine vigorously. In the current scenario, there is no room for complacency vis-à-vis vaccination. It has to be prudently taken note of that Israel, UK, UAE and USA are witnessing dramatic fall in Covid cases, mainly on account of vaccination drive. Then, you will also have to strictly adhere to the new normal of Covid protocols—staying indoors as much as possible, maintaining social distancing and personal hygiene, wearing mask, taking immunity boosters, eating right food and having sound sleep, etc. Particularly, researches have proved that good nutrition helps our mood while getting enough sleep keeps our immune system strong.
Ignoring the people trading barbs and playing blame game over the mayhem, misery and panic out there, all of us have to close our ranks with a sense of duty and steely resolve. As such, do your bit, do your very best, and then train your brain to remain calm, composed, positive and steadfastly focussed on your career goals. You have power over your mind, your attitude and your actions–-but not outside events. Realise this, and you will find strength. You cannot change the direction of the wind, but you can adjust your sails to reach your destination. There is an apt Swedish proverb that “those who wish to sing, always find a song.”
With examination schedules gone for a toss, the traditional education system imperilled and out of bounds, and normal lives having gone topsy-turvy for more than a year, the feeling of frustration and psychologically debilitating experiences among many in your career aspiring generation is quite understandable. But believe us, these traumatic days too will eventually pass and make way for better times—human history is replete with such examples.
Being in a pandemic takes extra mental energy in itself. Don’t let any surge of sadness, depression and anxiety hold you back. You are not alone in this precarious situation. Go easy on yourself and look for the good, the positive—-particularly when seeing the news headlines. Limit media to reduce anxiety as it often creates an exaggerated impression of panic. Try to limit Covid-19 media exposure to no more than twice a day (e.g., checking for updates in the morning and before dinner).
Our thoughts shape our physiological stress responses. Acute, short-term stress is not necessarily bad, and, in fact, can be good—provided you approach stressors with a positive mental outlook. You should also take recourse to physical stress busters like yoga, meditation and breathing exercises that increase oxygen to the brain, for example Pranayamas such as Anulom-Vilom, Kapalbhati and Deep Breathing.
Take note that success is largely a matter of hanging on after others let go. There is no education like adversity. Be magnanimous, generous and in gratitude. If you are able to manage three meals a day and if you have your loved ones close to you, consider yourself absolutely blessed. Find ways of expressing kindness and compassion, and we bet you will feel good. The combination of happiness and positivity is always a choice even in most adverse circumstances. Therefore, stay positive and keep rejoicing the struggles the life puts you through.
All the very best!
(Surendra Kumar Sachdeva)