Given, we are living in the new normal now. While there is no denying the fact that a pandemic as big as what we are currently facing is bound to change one’s way of living, it is hard sometimes to pinpoint exactly what some of these big attitude changes are.
Here are my most evident ones –
- Filtering the outside noise – Social media has always come with its own dose of ugly and there are now significantly a greater number of people engaging online at a higher frequency than earlier. It has become more important than ever to effectively filter out what you allow to enter your mind space and what stays. I have ruthlessly unfollowed and muted people on Instagram; commenting turned off for most posts. New Facebook connection requests are strongly filtered. WhatsApp group notifications have been put on mute. And no, I have zero FOMO moments, this is pure JOMO. I have reached Marie Kondo expert level 8/10, and life is so peaceful I wonder why it took me so long to get here.
- A-level prioritization – Never, I repeat, never have I so unconsciously been able to prioritize what needs my emotions and actions till now. It is disconcerting when I think of how some of the most hyped news these days fails to rattle me. It affects me, but it no longer freezes me in my tracks. And while the noise filtering is conscious, the prioritization I have to say is mostly unconscious. It is almost as if very automatically there is a mental system that starts classifying various levels of graveness in my head and does not demand a strong reaction till it reaches red alert level. I do not understand the reasons behind it. Is it the many distractions and escape routes available? Is it the heightened awareness around mental health issues? Is it this need to live every moment as best as possible given and despite the Covid uncertainty? It is like my brain decided to play out Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F@#k effortlessly, 2 years after I read the book. I do not know if I like it yet, but the soul feels clean so far.
- Mental Health – Suffice to say, very aware of the ups and downs. The big change here is the conscious action taken when I figure it’s a down. Automatically social media is put on hold, chai is brewed, candles are lit, couch is seized, blanket thrown over. Hygge all the way.
We are conscious there is a raging pandemic outside seriously affecting many people. I have had a job loss myself and it was hugely disappointing. Politics is a shit-show right now all over. We have parents back in India, where daily case numbers are breaking their own records. All of this is being taken in with the knowledge that 99.8% of it is not in our control. We have contributed where we could and are taking care of our own the best possible way in this situation (and vice versa). There is also an acute sense of gratitude knowing we have the better deal so far by virtue of living in a well-managed small country. As cliché as it sounds, there is a roof over our head, food on the table, good health which we are putting every effort in maintaining, responsible and disciplined family members, a few close friends with whom we can be our cranky unfiltered selves when needed, and the good side of social media to share in the collective pick-me-ups.
It is unfortunate that a pandemic had to be our wake-up call on some fronts, but like the wise ones say – it is never too late.