Mental health in the pandemic: it’s no Rubik’s cube

rubic

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Emna Makhlouf, a 23-year-old Tunisian and a fifth-year medical student, a poet and an arts lover. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Ages ago, during the “Hectic-ozoic” era of our lives, when we used to practice drowning in oceans of deadlines as a worldwide hobby, how many times have we wished for a break ? Well, it seems the universe has given us just that. Or maybe just like in those hamburgers adds, it didn’t turn out the way it was meant to be.
The good news is first, you are not alone in this and second, unlike our hunter-gatherer ancestors’ fight for survival, ours doesn’t have to be that toilsome.

Here are a few tips to smoothen down the edges of the Rubik’s cube. You’re free to use one at a time or try combining the four of them in your day. Our mantra is : No pressure.

1.Embrace the gray zone:

If you’re at work though minus the commuting eternities, no longer know where you’re standing in space-time and what you can/want/supposed to do, congrats! You’re in the privileged gray square of the chessboard.
This is nothing new, though. All life has ever been, IS A GRAY ZONE and we are meant to learn juggling with its nuances along the way.
Consider this period to be a free trial and you will get back to the premium version sooner than you thought.

2. This is NOT a competition:

Read this as many times as you wish:  no pandemic ever came with a productivity-meter.
While it might be neuron-stimulating thus good for mental health, to catch up with your endless list of movies, enroll in online courses, visit museums virtually, it can easily become an overstrain when seen through a lens of comparison. Just remember you are not meant to step out of this with a thousand new skills. You’re just meant to step out of this. Full stop.

3.Hug yourself:

Which brings us to practicing self-parenting that just comes down to respecting your unique journey and appreciating your own efforts. Human contact is a scarce resource nowadays, but anything from setting a sleep time, to cutting down carbs, to committing to a daily 30-minutes’ physical activity is a hug to yourself.

  1. “We’re all in the same basket”: As the French saying goes. If you were an apple stuck in a basket with other apples, you might as well come together to keep doctors away. Because, first, it is comforting to know that you are not alone in this struggle and second, altruism is a self-multiplier.
    Strengthening the values of community and engaging in common efforts to ease the burden on everybody is, not only a clever survival strategy but also a mental health support. Volunteering, calling a friend, seeking help, practicing vulnerability as well as active listening, are all ways of exploring and celebrating our humanness in times of crisis.

I know. It is all easier said than done but this is just a bud of reflection. There are no deadlines, nor any boxes to check. It is a personal journey, make it yours.

About the author

Emna Makhlouf is a 23-year-old Tunisian and a fifth-year medical student, a poet and an arts lover. Writing and travelling are her biggest passions. They go hand in hand in quenching my thirst for exploring the diversity of the human nature. She is also an activist within civil society, mainly in the fields of human rights, peace and women’s rights. She would also like to engage more in the struggle against climate change,
especially from a feminist perspective. Pursuing psychiatry and above all, contributing in making the world a better place are her dearest ambitions.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Fleeing Venezuela: MEPs to probe humanitarian conditions in Colombia and Brazil

Endocrine disruptors: A strategy for the future that protects EU citizens and the environment

ECB intervenes to clean May’s and Schäuble’s mess

Businesses can lead a revolution in disability inclusion

Media and entertainment in flux: it’s time for the close-up

Questions directors need to ask in the age of stakeholder capitalism

‘Abhorrent’ ambulance attack in Libyan capital imperils life-saving work, warns UN

Competition: The European Commission launches a process to address the issue of collective bargaining for the self-employed

4 ways to become a ‘business baobab’ on the African economic landscape

How to Create a Clear Vision For the Future of Healthcare

China Unlimited Special Report: The trip to China

Women’s rights and how medical students can act as aides of progressive change

Syria’s Idlib ‘on the brink’ of a nightmare, humanitarian chiefs warn, launching global solidarity campaign

Social, cultural diversity ‘an enormous richness, not a threat’ Guterres declares calling on investment for a harmonious future

Commission launches initiative for more sustainable cocoa production

We need to rethink neuroscience. And you can help us

EU Parliament: Deposit guarantee and trading platform transparency sought

Palliative care and Universal Health Coverage: how to advocate for the inclusion of palliative care in UHC

Migrant caravan: UN agency helping ‘exhausted’ people home

Quantum technologies can transform innovation and mitigate climate change – here’s how

Two rhythms and a sharpened pencil: how art can help us heal and make sense of the world

‘Jerusalem is not for sale’ Palestinian President Abbas tells world leaders at UN Assembly

Gender equality in STEM is possible. These countries prove it

The vehicles of our future

4 solutions for reducing emissions from industrial clusters

Here are five tips to make your message clear in a crowded world

Business growth is key to post-pandemic recovery

To feed 10 billion people, we must preserve biodiversity. Here’s how

Palliative care effectiveness at Universal Health Care: an eminent need

From battlefields to boardrooms: 3 steps to building high-morale teams

Forget GDP – for the 21st century we need a modern growth measure

Digital Day 2021: EU countries commit to key digital initiatives for Europe’s Digital Decade

EU Charter of Fundamental Rights marks its 10th anniversary

ECB readies itself for extraordinary monetary measures defying Germany

The EU Commission fails to draw the right conclusions about corruption

Mergers: Commission announces evaluation results and follow-up measures on jurisdictional and procedural aspects of EU merger control

Human rights are everyone’s business, amid relentless crises around world: UN’s Bachelet

Commission presents far-reaching anti-tax evasion measures

Bold measures needed to protect cross-border and seasonal workers in EU, MEPs say

Why lockdowns can halt the spread of COVID-19

The megatrend that will shape our working future

EU approves disbursement of €500 million in Macro-Financial Assistance to Ukraine

Governments, businesses ‘walk the talk’ for investment in sustainable development: UN forum

The world is facing more disasters. This is how data can help us reduce that risk

Can the EU really make Google and Facebook pay publishers and media?

The future of international election observation missions

International Literacy Day: What you need to know about youth literacy

EU-U.S. trade talks – one year on, Commission presents progress report

Yanukovych attempts a violent and deadly cleansing of Kiev’s center

This country is restarting air travel. Here’s how

The public health system in Brazil as a promoter of sexual and reproductive health and rights: how does it help in the fight against HIV/AIDS?

Iran cannot be allowed to develop nuclear weapons: Israeli Foreign Minister

The end of Spitzenkandidat: EU leaders concluded unexpectedly on EU top jobs

How we planted more than 5,000 trees during the COVID-19 pandemic

MEPs list conditions for new EU-Azerbaijan deal

This plastic-free bag dissolves in water

Plastic Oceans: MEPs back EU ban on throwaway plastics by 2021

Syria’s groundbreaking constitutional talks: ‘a clear success of mediation’ says Guterres in Turkey

Human rights ‘core to sustainable development’: deputy UN chief

Focus on EU’s external action and building our stronger inner core: von der Leyen at the Special European Council

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s