The need for mental wellness and self-care has stared many in the face, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has unfortunately been a traumatic experience for a great amount of the population, with many dealing with issues relating to loss, grief, unexpected setbacks, fatigue and burnout as well as the increasing need and desire to achieve one’s dreams following the increased pressure from social media and hustle culture to have everything together and to hasten one’s pace and efforts towards achieving everything. The unfortunate result of all of this is being exhausted, demotivated and demoralized. On the backdrop of home, social and work responsibilities, often all colliding under one roof, life during COVID-19 has been, for many people, a stress fest.
In light of all of that, the idea of self-care and self-love have become pivotal. It is important to put oneself first as this is where one’s perceptions and ideologies are formed. It is important to be able to positively look within in order to be able to develop a positive outlook of the rest of the world.
The COVID pendamic has made it clear that it is essential to search for and get into activities that ultimately make one feel fulfilled. Whether it be a hobby, a new career, taking on a passion project or anything else you can think of. The fundamental factor is to do something on your own, that brings you joy. Oftentimes people are left taking on tasks out of a sense of duty or obligation often neglecting their own sense of happiness and fulfillment. This often results in the inability to see life as nothing more than duty and hard work, a very demanding perception which can make life difficult to enjoy. Making time for something loved may mend this and give life a new meaning.
Apart from the need to do things that are loved, there is the need for one to be able to express themselves in a truly authentic way. The pressures of everyday life can often leave one’s voice stifled. The lockdown in particular saw an increase in instances where women and girls’ personhood was being attacked. This was seen through the rampant increase in violence against women, girls and gender diverse persons. Wherever possible, escaping those spaces for ones that bring out one’s light can be helpful. Women’s organizations have been fighting back by creating events and spaces exclusively for various women to escape. These spaces essentially encourage the act of individual expression. Events such as the Hot Girl Summer workshop or the Feminist Healing Spaces, are created to escape, express and let loose. I do realize that these may not be accessible to all, but these may be useful to those who are seeking such spaces and simply do not know about them.
This epidemic has also done a good job at revealing the need to cultivate one’s own trade. It was a sudden occurrence which had several sudden impacts trickling down as new variants came up. The situation seems to be persistent but life keeps going on. The need to prioritize one’s needs stared us all in the face as the possibility to enter into sudden ruin was much higher than it has been in the last five years. Hustle culture with all its pressure, has called for individuals to be more innovative, and doing so can only be born out of learning about oneself. This is not a call to pressure yourself to start a business or some sort of trade if you haven’t, just pointing out that this may be a great time to explore one’s interests and passions.
Covid-19 has been a roller-coaster, rapid changes and all sorts of scares all around. It is a time in which the world was forced to be steady. Rather than live externally, the lack of activity for many has brought about plenty of introspection time, this is a call to embrace that and lean into oneself, particularly for the sake of self-empowerment.