Bhubaneswar, June 18, 2021: As we flip through the pages of the newspaper or our preferred news channels, we come across COVID death tolls and cases. As if that were not enough, there’s news on Whatsapp or social media about a friend’s relative or someone close passing away. What happens when we take a moment away from all of that and shift our focus to something much simpler?
Positive thoughts to tweak the Mind Game
We’re talking about something as simple as playing with pets, watching a rom-com with family, or catching up with some old friends on a video call. What happens when we do that? We stay away from thoughts about death, pain, and suffering.
Quite like the body, the mind derives nourishment too. It comes from things we read, watch or listen to. And it takes a minor tweak in the sources to distract us from all the negativity.
The newspaper has a Sudoku puzzle and social media is filled with memories and updates from profiles and pages that we follow too. Besides that, remember how last year we used to find new things to do?
Just because the challenge is not a trend anymore doesn’t mean we can’t figure out how to make a Dalgona or try new recipes or take up online music or dance lessons. There’s a lot more beyond that too.
Also, instead of death, try discussing the last book you read or the last series you binge-watched. That is a good habit to have.
The Mind Game of good habits
It takes us 21 days to set a habit. They might have started off as safety regulations but actions like washing our hands often and wearing a mask have turned into habits at this point. We probably don’t even need reminders for that. It is gradually becoming a tendency to talk about how COVID affected somebody we know.
Try to recall the last time you spoke to someone after a month or so and did not use the words “Corona”, “COVID”, “lockdown”, “death”, “vaccine”, etc. It was quite a struggle, wasn’t it? How about making it a game or starting off a challenge online?
Talk to someone for 10 minutes without using any word related to the pandemic. Also, it should not be related to your line of work or anything you’re passionate about. To make it more interesting, we could add a condition. The first one to use any word from the list pays 50 bucks.
Distraction is a necessary evil
The way we treat the mind affects most of our activities and incidents of the day. They are based on the thoughts we’ve had recently. Distraction, like friction, is this necessary evil that helps take our minds off of something.
Using it to our advantage is a conscious choice. We start with baby steps, and gradually, maybe after a month or so, end up at least feeling better and more prepared to get through the day.
By Baishakhi Mohanty,
Advocate & Social activist