When Covid-19 hit, the hardest thing to do was staying home. I was like a prisoner in my own apartment, an experience shared by so many. Suddenly, everything that gave me energy had been taken away, and it left me feeling irritable.
I ran out of patience and began to vent my frustration on people close to me. I knew it was unfair. I was being selfish in focusing concerns solely on myself, on how Covid-19 was affecting me. It took some time to realise how much it impacted the whole world. Switching the focus from myself to the broader picture helped me have a more mature view.
When millions were losing jobs, some were busy posting on social media about how they were not able to get a decent haircut or a manicure. I was more concerned with my limited freedom, rather than the deteriorating health of millions of people. I was not putting things in perspective.
An article in John Hopkins Medicine stresses on broadening your support system instead of heavily depending on your partner for all emotional needs because everyone has their own threshold. We all come with individual needs. Speaking to my parents and friends helped immensely during the most difficult times. Never have I been so grateful to the internet for keeping people connected.
It had always been easier for me to complain and find faults in everything, but Covid-19 taught me to introspect. Instead of focusing on the negative, I started working on myself through yoga and healthier habits, and better communication.
Humans tend to show their worst side to the ones who love them the most because we know they will always be there for us despite our unacceptable behaviour. Chartered Counselling Psychologist Krista Rajkarnikar says the pandemic has actually given newfound hope to relationships.
“It is fairly early to have a more specific response to this question, however studies have suggested it is not all bad for relationships. Despite higher divorce rates and various lockdown-related interpersonal difficulties, people have also shown higher rates of care, empathy, concern, and love for family and friends during these pressing times,” she said.
What stands out is the support people received from their families as Covid-19 took a toll on many aspects of people’s lives. A recent Monmouth University poll showed that most people were still satisfied with their relationships despite the stress of the pandemic.
The poll showed that 51% of the respondents expected their relationship to emerge stronger from the tests the lockdown had put them through, and 1% said their relationships would get worse. Although the findings are reassuring, people are not numbers.
It is important to focus on individual needs, because we all suffer differently. Even if the majority of people are doing better, it does not matter on an individual level for those who are doing worse. For them, statistics do not mean anything.