This is the most ANNOYING piece of advice to get during this time, but it is the most relevant and most important. I resisted it for a while, all the while making valid excuses for it; ” Can’t you see I need to keep myself updated about the news 24*7? What if I miss something important?”( because apparently that will change something). “Don’t you see I have to keep discussing this and find some way or loophole to continue going out of the house?” (I never found any, and I haven’t left the house in 2 weeks)

Control the controllable.

“Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our actions. “

Epictetus, Enchiridion and Selections from the Discourses

This quote by Epictetus is a part of my journal entry from yesterday and I spent a significant amount of time thinking about it during the day. You know, in between episodes of Downton Abbey episodes and “emotional overeating with Isha.”

How true it is- the only thing in our control are our own actions. A virus, its effects on people’s health, how fast it is spreading across the world, how many people it is affecting, how it is crashing the economy, the panic and anxiety, the sensational reporting of the issue- nothing is in our control. The only thing we can control is ourselves, specifically our actions. Our actions are what are going to change the course of how things are currently happening- whether in our personal lives while we are in quarantine or whether in the world outside us.

Are we running the day or is the day running us? Are we taking control of what we can actually control?

We can’t control the spread of disease in the country, but we can avoid stepping out ourselves to aid and abet the process.

We can’t change the amount of negative news and the amount of panic and anxiety it causes, but we can find other topics to discuss with our loved ones who are prone to panic and anxiety and are overwhelmed with the situation.

We can’t prevent the radical and destructive effects of the virus on the most marginalised people in the country, but we can contribute to organisations that are working on ground to help them and we can definitely spread the word about them.

We can’t prevent the misinformation across the world, but we can talk to our family members about how their WhatsApp forwards about the virus are doing more harm than good.

We can’t prevent being quarantined inside our homes, sometimes with other people, but we can control how we react to the situation. This is easier said than done, I know it, believe me. However, a small change of perspective and learning about how people are stuck in foreign countries and cities without anyone they know around them will make you feel much better about the situation. You can decide how to feel about this.

Take control of your own actions.

Other things you CAN control:

  • Your routine
  • How you spend your time
  • Whether or not you do the things you KNOW will make you feel better, i.e. exercise, walking, just moving your body. (Today I saw a fellow building member walk up and down the stairs!)
  • What content you consume and how much
  • How much water you drink
  • What you eat and how much

Read more on how to stay sane during the quarantine.