Sleep, Exercise, Meditation, Breakfast, Work, Friends, Weekend Trips, sharing a drink these all seem like relics of a distant past as we struggle to cope with the new normal in the wake of the Covid-19 Global Pandemic. Today we look at the 5 ways in which the Covid Pandemic has affected our lifestyle and discuss some of the ways by which we can overcome the problem if not use it to our advantage.
- The Blurry line between Work – Life Balance: Long gone are days when a workplace couldn’t be imagined without its characteristic hustle. Buzzing of the coffee machines, the incessant ringing of the phones and the fanatic movement of the team members to meet that urgent deadline. Work for a major sector has been completely transformed to the opposite now and experts are debating if this new normal is here to stay. No longer do employees need to drive through the seemingly endless traffic, no more going to that onsite business trip or meeting your colleagues for that heated discussion. As the work from home continues it has benefitted some yet has produced some adverse effects. On an average people are working for more hours than they did before the Covid 19 Pandemic, and it is creating a grave impact on their personal lives.
- The Loss of Livelihoods – There are entire sectors that have been pushed against the wall if not completely perished due to the impact of Covid 19 Pandemic. Hospitality sector is one of the major sectors that has suffered the brunt of the pandemic. The entire hospitality industry got impacted as people were forced to stay home due to the pandemic and were unable to go on vacations or weekend trips the entire business. Localized lockdowns, government regulations to curb the spread of infections left holiday destinations completely deserted leaving those employed in tourism sector partially or completely bankrupt. Not just the hospitality sector – aviation, automotive and small medium businesses continue facing the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic.
- The crippling of the Education System – Due to extended lockdowns and quarantines education sector continues and struggles to conduct their sessions remotely which adds to the problems for both Students and the Teachers. It is indeed difficult to negotiate business contracts over zoom meetings or pacify the clients the same way. It is quite hard to imagine the challenges Teachers might face to explain concepts such as Calculus or perhaps even elementary geometry over such online sessions of Zoom Calls and Google meets. Adding to the problem is the ill-effects of mobile technology, long exposures to the laptop screens and the psychological effects of the lack of peer interaction for the children.
- Addiction to Streaming entertainment and binge watching – During the initial days of the pandemic people thought they might finally get the time off to catch up with their favorite web series. Little did they know that this problem would snowball into an insurmountable challenge that will soon start impacting their sleep, health and even the mental wellness. Binge watching web series or movies on popular streaming platforms such as Netflix, Prime or Hotstar has become the new normal. However, due to the lack of physical exhaustion there is the inability to fall asleep. Unable to sleep a major portion of the population is relying on the company of web series and movies on these streaming platforms sometimes continuously watching them for hours on the end and thereby losing the much-needed sleep. This problem has even created an impact of the global Network industry in which some ISPs have had to reduce the quality of steaming platforms to cope up with the high demand for Internet Bandwidth to support this streaming demand that has raised exponentially since the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic.
- Reduced Appetite, Increased stress and lack of physical exercises – Lack of physical movements such as walking, commuting or even driving on a regular day taking a breath of the outside air and exposure to sun has all been missing from the plates due to the impact of Covid 19. Lack of physical tasks, exercises and spending major time of the day indoors is leading to multiple health issues. As discussed previously it is contributing to increased stress levels it is also creating a shortage of feel-good chemicals such as Dopamine, Serotonin and Oxytocin which in turn is making people feel miserable and increasing self-doubts. There have been high numbers of subscription to mental wellness apps and websites which only shows how much people are struggling with their mental health due to the impact of the pandemic.
#The solution to Covid Pandemic the problems
While the Pandemic is not going to end anytime soon according to experts and virologists, we can make small changes to our lifestyle to cope up with the harmful effects of the pandemic and extended lockdowns.
• Exercise, little but consistently – Exercises such as simple stretching, jumping, or even working with moderate weights can increase the levels of the much-needed Dopamine and other beneficial chemicals that will lead to improved mood and a healthier body.
• Maintain a Work Schedule – Do not ever let work creep into your personal lifestyle and the way to do that is to maintain and follow a healthy routine. Know the limits of your work and your personal space. While at work try to refrain from the personal chores and while with your loved ones try not to think of work.
• Replace that Mobile with a Book or a Hobby – You can also replace that mobile or tablet you are binge-watching or getting hooked on the web series with the book. Not only will it be good for your eyes, reading books can increase concentration, trigger imagination, and most importantly spare you from the harmful effects of extended mobile device usage on your health.
Arunava Bhattacharya: DNI