Updated: Jun 18, 2020
This pandemic has put pressure on each part of our lives; whether it be our mental health, economic security or social relations. Each one of us have faced a disruption in our normal lives. The question that we must ask ourselves is, do we just want to go back to the way things were, or do we want to come back stronger after this ends?
On 23 rd May, at 5:30 pm IST, the COVID-19 helpline conducted a webinar with the title “Resilience, Relationships and Resurgence”. With an international panel, the event drew more than 100 viewers on Facebook and Zoom. With one of the co-founders, Ms. Nikita Gupta, as the moderator, the event hit the ground running with an address by Mrs. Sharon Wilson, an accomplished life coach from the United Kingdom. Taking an optimistic view of the Quarantine, she highlighted how this times is allowing people to slow down, spend time with families, express kindness and connect with our loved ones. She put her own spin on the title of the event, describing this time as an opportunity to Recover, Reconnect and Reappreciate. She pointed out that we are going through this trauma together and must endeavour to recover together as well. She underlined how we often take relationships and resources from granted and this pandemic forced us to appreciate them more and more importantly focus on the things that are truly important to us.
The next speaker was Dr. Kanika Ahuja, a professor of psychology from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University. Focussing on Relationships and Resurgence, Dr. Ahuja talked about how uncertainty and stress has deeply affected all our relationships. Describing her own study, she explained that as compared to before the lockdown, married couples and dating couples reported a decrease in relationship satisfaction and ‘love’. According to the investigation of the happier couples, results showed that watching TV or Netflix together, planning the future, revisiting memories, doing mundane activities like chores together, sharing pictures and being physically intimate (if possible) were the key to maintaining a happy relationship during this period. She concluded leaving a pearl of wisdom “Feeling love inside of you is not enough to maintain a relationship, even expressing that love is not enough. You have to get up and do something. So, hard work and effort is what it takes for love and relationships.”
The last speaker, Ms. Jessica Corvo, is a Resilience Coach from the United States. Taking a distinctive approach to the topics, she described COVID 19 as a way for the Universe to help us learn and grow, but together with everyone. For all the people dealing with various pressures of the pandemic, she suggested a simple tool – “Wait, why am I talking?”. She explained the importance of pausing and observing one’s external and internal world. This helps one determine whether the situation requires a response and also gives one the chance to create a better self-understanding. She explored a process which could be useful for people dealing with trauma and abuse at this time – Acknowledge your trauma, process your emotions and examine your surroundings to keep yourself safe. Flowing from this, she recognised the difficulty in responding to a loss of loved ones during this time. Here, she advised attempting to view the loss as less definite to help with the grieving process. With so much uncertainty and suffering around us, it is sometimes hard to see the silver lining of this situation. However, these three strong women highlighted how important it is for us to focus on our mental health and take full advantage of every opportunity afforded to us. This too shall pass, and at the end of it, we will come out stronger.
Event Report by – Josika Mahindru