Practicing serenity in the midst of a storm

by | Aug 13, 2020 | 0 comments

Myjo Roji
Biomedical engineer, Al Hashar Pharmacy (OMAN)

I have accomplished self-actualisation in this pandemic period. Self-actualisation can mean a lot of things to each one of us. For me, it is not a state of perfection; it also does not mean that everything is going smoothly and seamlessly. For me it is a continuous aspiration to reach new objectives through self-improvement. Self-actualised people fully accept themselves and they also embrace other people for who they are.

Strengthen my strengths

I was always thinking and perturbed about the strengths and skills, which I don’t have. I never tried to realise my own aptitudes. But now I comprehend that we can live our life in a way that best utilise our strengths while venturing to achieve our dreams.

I personally acknowledged my own limits. I started focusing more on my inimitable strengths, cutting across my parenting skills, artistic talents and emotional insights. Once I realised my inner strengths, I started applying the magic formula: PDC – practice, develop, and continuously improve.

Learning to admit what comes — as it comes

With the COVID outburst, we thought we would never be able to work to the best of our potential sitting at home. But now the whole world has started working with the circumstances as they turned out. Accepting all the experiences we gather in this process with a positive note has made me more resolute. It is always easy to stick to what we know, but I started taking calculated risks and became open to trying new things both professionally and personally. This may sound a little clichéd, but it is a key step to self-actualisation.

Pause and value

We, as human beings, often ignore the small things in life and we do not take time to appreciate them. We get so much engrossed in the ‘busyness’ of life that we take things for granted. We always claim that, “we are busy, don’t have time to talk; don’t have time to meet…”

Now I have started observing even the smallest things, which is happening in my life and am learning to appreciate every single aspect of life that often went unnoticed otherwise.

Focused on real value of time

I became sensitive to the real value of the time. I started looking into ways and means to potentially and ingeniously spend time with family. Learning to manage time at workplace was also essential in this journey.

Being in the healthcare industry, I am proud to serve the people of this country through my work. No amount of gratitude would be sufficient as I bow down before all the frontline health care workers! Times have changed, and I am learning to swim through in these changed times. As I look back over the past few months, I am happy that these tough times have helped me look at the world and look at myself differently. I realise that self-actualisation was indeed a natural outcome of my change in perspectives!

Crisis will produce something better

COVID-19 is possibly the biggest global crisis since the Second World War.

I sometimes lie awake at night wondering what the future holds for my loved ones… where will we be in a year or five years from now.

We should be optimistic and believe that this crisis will restore, produce something better and more benevolent. However, some of the economic, political and social changes are unavoidable.

Virus gives new life to education system

The academics are a segment where changes are always slow paced. With centuries-old, lecture-based approaches to teaching, deep-rooted institutional biases, and outdated classrooms, it has been a status quo in terms of the mode of education. However, COVID-19 has fortunately or unfortunately given new life to the education system. Schools seamlessly adopt online learning, students continue to interact virtually with each other, and parents step up as temporary teachers… We can expect lot of innovative solutions in the coming days as a natural extension of this paradigm shift.

The less educated will face problems

Having said this, another challenge which parents are experiencing now is their children’s need to have access to computers, printers, and reliable internet connections at home, and as a parent they need to have the ability, time, energy, and patience to turn into home-school instructors, on top of other responsibilities. Just imagine the case of less-educated parents… They will face obstacles in turning into temporary teachers, even many well-off families will struggle with successfully implementing remote learning and home schooling for their children.

Reach out and connect

In times of stress and illness, being deprived of social connection can create more stress and illness. People who are lonely have stress; show weaker immune responses to pathogens; and are at increased risk for early death. Isolation can lead to depression, suicidal thoughts and other clinical conditions.

For those who must be quarantined because they are infected with the virus, depriving them of social connection and physical closeness unfortunately may make it harder for them to defeat the illness.

Reach out and connect can be one of the solutions. While social distancing and isolation are in effect, now is the time to reach out to friends and family and connect with them. Let people know how much we care about them. This is the only way there can be a feeling of togetherness in times of separation.

Virtual reality is the new reality

Let’s be ready for a new way of living, virtual reality is the new reality

People are getting more comfortable with the virtual platforms.

The COVID-19 has forced many occasions to be cancelled or postponed. As a number of meetings have been forced to become virtual, organisations are experimenting with virtual events, as a result the traditional meeting, which used to be held in hotels and even in different countries, are going to be replaced by e-meetings.

Poor will suffer more

The COVID-19 has affected all segments of the population, particularly the poor, the elderly and the disabled. Health and economic impacts of the virus have to be borne by the poor too. The homeless will not be able to follow the ‘stay-at-home’ rules and will be exposed to the virus.

People without access to basic necessities stand to suffer inexplicably both from the pandemic and its aftermath – whether due to limited movement or lack of employment…

What will the post-COVID world be like?

As we continue to tussle with the magnitudes of the crisis and contemplate the post-COVID world, we are left with a critical question to answer? What the world will look like after the COVID-19 crisis? This is an uncommon event, one that we haven’t seen for 100 years. The actions we take in the coming days will make a big difference in people’s lives and public health. The COVID has created an unprecedented situation around the world. In this COVID storm, I would like to be a source of calm:

Be responsible

We are all impacted by COVID19 – one way or another. No matter where we are in the world the best way to prevent illness is to be responsible and avoid being exposed (or exposing others) to this virus.

Follow the guidelines outlined by health authorities.

Be kind

We all have our own anxieties, but that doesn’t mean we should lose our kindness, display our kindness, compassion and provide support to those who need it. Helping others can provide sense of control and empowerment.

Spread community awareness

Unfortunately, fake news spreads so fast in these times of uncertainty. So be responsible. Verify every news and information before sharing.

Acknowledge that this is a stressful time and likely to bring up lot of emotions like fear and anxiety. So, quarantine your fears first. Engage in activities that make you feel good and which will help you to maintain a positive mental state.

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