Thriving In A Pandemic-Stricken World: Insights From The WomanlyLive Team
We've had a lot on our plates ever since the world went into successive lockdown waves and quarantine regimes. The past year has been devastating for many of us, leading to loss of life, employment opportunities, physical interactions, and mere normalcy.
Pandemic stress is real, and many of us have been forced to fight it in silence and isolation. With our health on the line, everything from our personal to professional life has been shaken to the core, teaching us lessons we never thought we'd have to learn.
As an empowered international media house, WomanlyLive has been fulfilling its role to bring creative content your way. Read on to find profound insights from our team members regarding the strategies they follow to bust stress and thrive amidst a global crisis.
Taking Brief Breaks From Work
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Every day comes with its own set of challenges, especially if you're working from home amidst a global pandemic. It is imperative to take out time to breathe and refresh yourself, so you're ready to take on the day like a boss.
"I usually try to take some time to cuddle the cats and watch a series or a movie. I try to keep the weekends free of work and will spend a day having a mini picnic outside in the fresh air so I get some sunlight time, like a plant!"
-Ra'eesah Manack, WomanlyLive Team Lead.
Ditching The Screens
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We often struggle with keeping our tech devices away even when we're not working. Ditching our phones and laptops and finding time for ourselves can be challenging, but it's not impossible.
"I have a rule to switch off work notifications at a certain time and I never bring my laptop to bed at night to make sure I do take a break. I actually work 2 jobs so finding time to myself is really tough even on weekends but those boundaries usually do the trick. I enjoy going outside and just soaking in the sun for a few minutes. Taking walks during my breaks instead of being stuck in the same space all day helps me unwind."
-Siba Mosana, WomanlyLive Writer.
Finding Solace In Mood-Boosting Activities
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Engaging in positive and mood-boosting activities can be a welcome respite amidst a global pandemic. It's best to work out a list of things you enjoy doing and stick to them the same way you follow your work schedule.
"To boost my mood I have a few activities that work on different days so I'll just listen to what my body's craving on a given day and do that. So some days, I'll listen to a podcast and do some yoga. On other days I'll blow up my friends' phones and talk for hours."
-Tumisang Mosito, WomanlyLive Writer.
Spending Time With Loved Ones
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We all have someone we like to confide in when the going gets hard. The pandemic stress can be too much to handle on your own, so relying on your loved ones can help lessen the load.
"Being around friends and family is extremely important to me. I have been brought up to know that my family is my support system and I can turn to them anytime I might need it. My friends have always been a huge part of my life because everyone that I'm friends with I have known since childhood. Having such close bonds helps me to stay stress-free because I know that anytime I slip there will be many people around to catch me."
-Daniella Segell, WomanlyLive Writer.
Getting A Healthy Supply Of Natural Light
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The lockdown may have restricted us to our homes, but that doesn't mean we can't go out to enjoy nature. No matter how busy you are, find some time to unwind by going outside and breathing in the fresh air.
"Having to stay indoors can be very demoralizing, but seeing as it is the best way to keep safe, I must do it. After a long day, I tend to take a walk before the sun fully sets as I don't want to be walking under the sun's hot rays. By taking a walk and exposing myself to natural light, I find that reduces stress and fatigue. I also find that this makes me sleep better. I feel energized when I am back indoors, and I try to repeat the process every other day."
-Titi Dokubo, WomanlyLive Writer.
Carving Out Mindful Moments
Do you feel like you've had a long and stressful work week, and you're not in the mood for anything else? Find solace by engaging in an activity you love or practice mindfulness to soothe your mind, body, and soul.
"I'm busy from morning till evening despite working from home. However, I usually wind down with a good book or a web series to take away from the chaos of the day. I'm currently reading Elif Shafak's 'The Forty Rules of Love' and watching a super cute Korean web drama. Unfortunately, the third wave of Covid, where I live, is pretty rough. So I restrict myself to walks around the neighborhood in the morning and have started Johanna Soh's YouTube workout programs (honestly, I may have indulged a bit too much while at home)!"
-Annette Shadeya, WomanlyLive Writer.
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Practicing empathy amidst a global crisis has helped people gain more perspective and value the bonds of love and togetherness. In times of sheer chaos and uncertainty, random acts of kindness and support can help lighten someone's day.
"During the pandemic the thing that kept me going was really opening up to people about how I felt, I even started doing therapy online. It really helped ground me and made me realize that we can't strive for perfection because it doesn't exist. It's helped me become more vulnerable with my friends and family and it helps us bond over our shared struggles, not to say that struggles are the only experiences you should bond over. I love helping people, especially when they're feeling overwhelmed, and I just tried to show my support through constant catch-up sessions over video calls and texts. The other thing I loved most was that because I couldn't come home I was able to use delivery services to surprise people, so if my friend was sad or upset I could get her favorite coffee order delivered and similar small things would cheer her up."
-Sadiqah Hajat, WomanlyLive Writer.
Taking A Break From Social Media
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"My way to practice digital detox is by deleting Instagram from my phone for weeks. I can stay 3 to 4 weeks without checking my Instagram profile. I avoid using my laptop during the weekends unless it's absolutely necessary. It's quite hard to stay disconnected from devices for a longer period of time but I try as much as I can. I also deactivated most notifications from my mobile. I think I've only got left WhatsApp, email and bank apps."
-Camila Santiago, WomanlyLive Writer.
In The Words Of A COVID-19 Survivor
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"When I got coronavirus myself, along with the illness came fatigue. I wanted to sleep all the time. There was no taste and therefore no appetite, so I had to set timers for eating, timers for sleeping, and in general, somehow distribute life over alarm bells. The illness is gone, the timers are gone, but the scheduling habit remains, so that's how I cope. There is time to work, there is time to eat, there is time to sleep, time to read a book, or time to learn something new. If you cram everything with work, soon you won't have the energy to do it because your brain can't cope with the workload. Unfortunately, I was able to cope with it only with a complete reset of the whole body, but, hopefully, it will only get better."
-Alina Kompanets, WomanlyLive Designer.
Prioritizing "Me Time"
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"I make sure to use my break as no screen time as often as I can. I get up from my desk often to fetch water, stretch my legs or even just to break away from the screen. When I'm not working, I try not to look at internal emails or messages, it helps my brain understand that it's time to relax. I love reading. Currently, young adult novels are my guilty pleasure but for those days when I need more excitement, I binge-watch my favorite shows (Friends, the Office, etc.). If I really need a break, then I get up and walk outside for a bit to make sure that I get some fresh air."
-Homarya Shaik, WomanlyLive Designer.
Engaging In Fun Activities
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We're all surrounded by a stressful environment, and operating in such turbulent times requires taking healthy breaks from work. Work out your definition of feeling light and freshening up after a hectic workday, and relish in the feel-good vibes.
"I do have 19 cats to pet every day, but I guess that's cheating. Aside from cats, I'd say taking daily short walks (about one length of a decent podcast episode) and baking whenever I get the chance (working with dough is basically meditation in and of itself) has been a huge help!"
-Kateryna Shyrokova, WomanlyLive Designer.
Unwinding After A Busy Day
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There is a thin line that sets apart work and personal life, especially if you're working remotely during a global crisis. You can experience physical and mental lethargy from long hours of sitting and continuous working, which can be detrimental for you in the longer run.
"With any job, it is important to find a balance between work and free time. I find myself sitting in front of my laptop till the wee hours of the morning. This can be unhealthy as your mind needs to take a break, and you need to stretch those legs out a bit. I usually go for a walk outside, do a quick session of yoga in the evening, and my goal is to watch a movie or an episode of a TV series to end off my day."
-Faaiza Dada, WomanlyLive Proofreader.
Staying Sane Amidst Successive Lockdown Waves
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"It's been a beyond crazy ride, to say the least. I never thought a global pandemic would send us all into lockdown waves and quarantine regimes. My physical and emotional well-being have been greatly impacted, but it has also made me more humble and grateful for what I have. When the going gets super hard, I seek refuge in cherishing some alone time, whether it involves meditating, reading my favorite book, or watching a movie or series. My biggest takeaway from these trying times is taking care of myself as well as checking up on my loved ones. And being hopeful that eventually, we will all come out stronger from the other side."
-Ayesha Muhammad, WomanlyLive Writer.