Life is all about strategies…

In life there are strategies to be applied at different stages of life. This statement might sound manipulative, but the fact is they work. Ask the grandparents because they have gone through all of these stages we are going through now. Have they gone through a pandemic? They might have had similar experiences.
Most important strategy is mental health, said a friend from the medical field but not a psychiatrist or a psychologist. “Especially now as we go through the pandemic period; we must not panic’’, he said. According to him currently mental health needs more care and that is even more than physical fitness.
Was coming out of a supermarket when I came across an expatriate sitting cross legged on the pavement across the road murmuring and gesturing. It seemed he had given into stress or an underlying mental health issue had popped up now. Authorities had arrived on the scene to help. But could not help wonder if there could not have been any other way to have helped him before he had reached this stage.
From anger outbursts to emotional trauma everything seems to be larger than real most probably due to the pandemic as the main backdrop in everyone’s life.
In the fear of corona many overlooked the fear — the fear of the virus, fear of job loss and uncertainty about the future. The fear itself had become the problem. And somehow most of us disconnect mind from health in general. By the time we realise the fact it is a bit too late and the only possible way is to go under treatment.
On the other hand maybe expatriates do not have many options as mental health issues continue to be shunned and at the same time many might not believe that help is available because the awareness is almost nil.
A conversation with a leading psychiatrist brought out the reality of the problems expatriates go through as many are away from families and counseling is not an option.
This is where the topic of strategy comes up. Life is never filled with happiness all throughout. When you are young it is easy to bounce back because there are so many distractions. By the time you are distracted and come back to the problem the difficulty in handling the situation would have diminished because that is why the people say time is the best healer.
Distraction can be a useful strategy. While many might argue that this might make one lose focus, it might be still good to take a break and reanalyse the scenario. At least this strategy gives you the power. This however does not mean running away from responsibilities but at times individuals may not be able to handle it and at this moment it is better he/she switches off than to reach a breaking point.
To live in fear is living halfway through because we would miss out on most of the details. Have you ever wondered why some people are never at the boiling point? Maybe they are practising distraction and buying time.
With all the talk of mental health one thing is for sure — there is a need for more services where individuals need not shy away thinking of the cost or reputation. This would require volunteers who also have experience in handling mental health issues and the expert themselves.
This too will pass, and that is the pandemic. Sleepless nights and worrying about the increasing number of cases can only add to one’s stress. So the solution is to keep the mind at ease and increase immunity by eating and drinking right and wait for the turn to get vaccinated, while at it ensuring one maintains distance and wears a mask in public as well as washing hands frequently.
Not to forget are the people who lost the battle against the Covid-19 and the pain their loved ones are going through. All of this screams the need for mental health support so the individuals themselves can create their own strategies after they overcome the loss and fear.


Lakshmi Kothaneth