Mental health is a state of emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Mental health influences the way we think, feel or act. This pandemic affected a lot of people. Due to lockdown people suffered losses, not just financial loss but also personal & emotional.
Not only adults, but the lockdown took a toll on everybody. Children faced educational loss, everything going online; it was difficult for them as well to adjust to the environment. Initially, when the lockdown happened, it affected almost everybody’s mental health.
Due to the pandemic, there were no social gatherings, everything went virtual, and people lost a sense of touch and affection. Doing things virtually & digitally was difficult & chaotic for some. There was a lot of awareness created through social media about mental health. Some benefitted themselves, tried to heal themselves. During these stressful times, people managed their coping strategies. Many engaged themselves in either religious or spiritual activities. For some it was self-care. Some indulged in learning something new; some simple distracted themselves from negativity.
SENSE OF SELF:
Talking about spirituality, there have been many types of research where spiritual activities are identified as a way to contribute to mental health and well-being. Spirituality helps us to understand our interpretation of the meaning of life. It helps an individual enhances the sense of self. Spirituality is about self-reflection. Mental health is all about self, therefore, spirituality plays an important role in mental illness recovery or maintaining our mental health. People started to focus a lot on their health not just physical health but as mentioned earlier, people started to consider mental health issues; there was a lot of awareness created.
Many people added yoga & meditation on their daily routine which helped them a lot. A strong sense of mental health requires a person to be expressive, confident, being free from depression, anxiety or other psychological issues. Numerous people engaged in such activities like as mentioned earlier some practiced yoga & meditation daily; people understood the concept of “me time” which they utilized for their healing; many started to write to express themselves; to increase self-awareness, many started journaling; a lot of people served the community helping others in whatever way possible; many came closer to the nature; consciously tried to be positive during those tough times.
Some invested their time in hobbies like painting, art, dance, music, cooking, baking etc. I remember speaking to someone who overcame the difficult phase of life as she knew the spiritual principles. It was due to spiritual & religious practices she was able to tolerate any pain & gained a positive perspective towards life.
She followed the teachings of Lord Krishna. Reading Bhagwadgita on daily basis helped her a lot clear her doubts. She learnt Mahamantra chanting during the pandemic which turned her life around. She organized Bhagwadgita challenges, book distribution, weekly discussion etc. this is how they were also able to impact many other lives as well. Due to Mahamantra chanting meditation, she was able to connect with the divine.
The spiritual books written by Srila Prabhupada also helped her gain a different & beautiful perspective of life. It gave her a lot of strength. She started writing again. She also started an Instagram page where she poured her heart out & also shared her spiritual & psychological knowledge. Due to these spiritual & religious activities, she found the purpose of her life. These activities helped her add meaning to life. She also gained peace of mind & satisfaction.
During the pandemic, the mantra that helped her was “Yeh mat kaho khuda se meri mushkile badi hai, mushkilo se kehdo mera khuda bada hai.”
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