The last couple of months have changed our lives in ways that no one had ever imagined; each one of us has been impacted by the coronavirus in different possible ways yet the fact that all of us have been impacted shows how we need to be together to sail through these tough times.
Look around yourself, it would be hard to find a single soul who is not learning to adapt to a new form of normal. Be it our grandparents, parents, teachers, even us and our peers; it's a change for all of us. It needs to be acknowledged that since all of us are in the same boat together, all of us are going through sail through together as well. Along with that while we process our feelings and emotions we also need to look out for the feeling and emotions of those around us.
The Commonality Across All Generations
The other day, during a conversation, my grandfather mentioned how he misses evening walks in the parks with his friends and how he feels that he would never get used to the world of mobiles and WhatsApp.
Initially, I did not think a lot about this, but now that I realize how this has been such a sudden change for him. Older people have probably seen the most sudden change in their lifestyles, where they have been forced into the world of technology; probably not a world that most of them are comfortable or even acquainted with.
While on the other hand, our generation struggles to face a future that seems very uncertain right now. Most of us haven't met our friends and in some cases, even family in over five months, don't have a lot of clarity about our degrees and placements and have a lot of confusion in front of us in general.
Let's talk about our parents as well, the working-class population as well. On one hand, some are working with the essential services and are greatly in fear of being exposed to the virus, and on the other hand, there is the other half, the one where work is standing still and there is no idea about what would happen next.
Now look at these three broad categories of age groups, there is one common thing that links them all together; the sudden change that the pandemic has brought into everyone's lives.
How to Be There for One Another?
This brings me to my next point, now that all of us are interlinked and dependent on each other it becomes very important to preserve our relationships in this time to help each other get over this time. To navigate through relationships, it is important to give each other attention and yet space at the same time. Some of the ways to be there for each other can be as follows:
Talk About and Listen to Each Other's Emotions
Communication about emotions is as it is the most important element in any relationship; in these times it becomes even more important. Sometimes all that we need is to convey how we feel about things and let our emotions out.
Hence, a healthy way to maintain relationships is to talk about something that is on your mind and at the same time listen to what others have to say. To say the least, all of us must be going through a whole varied range of emotions, talking and listening about the same can help communicate better.
Check Up on Each Other
This implies for both people, around us and away from us. It matters and makes a difference to check up on our close ones to know that they are going well. It is the little things that make all the difference in our bonds with people.
Just a small talk about “ how are you, hope you are doing okay” personally makes a lot of difference; it makes the other person feel that somewhere they have someone to care about them and listen to them if needed. Even at home, it is nice to sometimes sit down, have a conversation with those around you, and just check up on each other.
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Focus on Important Needs
There is no denial that resources are currently scarce and like the many other things that we are adjusting to, this is also something. At times, needs and demands can also cause strains in relationships.
An example of this would be probably a child asking for something which is not currently needed and pressuring their parents. In the materialistic world that we live in, often the need and demand exchange that we hold with people ends up impacting our relationship with people. One thing that is very important during these times is focusing on what is an important right and prioritizing the needs that we have. While it might not seem like it has a direct impact on relationships, in the long run, it does.
Giving Each Other Space
When we talk about remaining in touch with each other during this time, at the same time it is also important to give each other space as well. As I mentioned before, all of us are going through a sea of emotions and feelings; this also means that while it is important to talk about them it is also important to give people the space to process them by themselves.
Giving space to each other also entails not suffocating each other with expectations and every time expecting something in return. It is a tough time and everyone has different ways to cope, realize what might work out for you might not always work out for someone else.
Taking Care of Your Own Self
It might seem absurd at first that why taking care of your own self is a possible measure to sail through a problem together. The key way to take care of others is by taking care of yourself first. While it might sound like a very easy idea to be there for someone else, it is just not going to be possible if you yourself are not in the right headspace.
Hence it becomes important to take mental health days for yourself and actively also acknowledge what is going on in your own head. In some way or another self-care might also give perspective on how to help others and how to talk them through their issues which in result would end up strengthening a bond.
Having said all of these points, I think I can't emphasize more on the importance of togetherness during this time. While a lot of things might seem out of our control, how we deal with this and sail through this is indeed in our control.
In a world where physical proximity is not possible right now, emotional distancing should not be a reason for bonds to break.
Yet at the same time under no circumstance should we compromise on our mental health and well being either. We are all in this together and we shall pass through this by being there; for each other and for ourselves.
Edited by Annanya Chaturvedi