Lockdown diaries: Wisdom from authors in quarantine

New Delhi (IANSlife) Life in lockdown and the pandemic has made people go through a whole spectrum of emotions, they may have never expected. While some people are going through rough patches, others are dealing with stress and anxiety. There is a need to escape the rut of everyday life, and a need for some wisdom to keep our sanity.

Many people are taking out time for books, picking their favorites off of dusty bookshelves or trying some new genres. Some are busy creating lockdown diaries and penning their thoughts through these difficult times – all to keep their mental wellbeing intact. Budding authors take about how they are keep their sanity during this crisis.

Meditation as a way forward

For some authors, meditation and writing are the way to cope with the crisis. Nitish Bhushan, author of ‘Love Swipe Blackmail’ talks about how meditating and writing bring peace during the hustle. “Since the lockdown started I have made it a point to meditate every single day. It helps me keep my mind at peace and it also helps me focus on the positives; eliminating negative thoughts to a very large extent. I have also been writing and working passionately on my upcoming ideas and trying to keep my days as productive as I can. I do read stories where people struggled and fought back; it also gives me inspiration and ideas for my future works. Writing has helped me a lot alongside reading to help not lose my perspective. At the close of my day I pick up something for light read,” he told IANSlife.

Planning brings relaxation

R.K. Mohapatra, author of ‘Mutual Funds’, shares that planning for the future and writing during the pandemic puts him at ease. “It gives new ideas and outlook and creates a parallel reality of intellect, sometimes tuning off the depressing talk around the pandemic as there is constant stress that needs to meddle.”

“The fear of contracting the virus is always going to be on our minds. Planning for the future is another way to keep ourselves busy, and it’s good for the mind too. As the world is battling with an uncertain and unprecedented crisis, personal finance planning and reading more about it a good activity to indulge in sometimes. The future is uncertain, and so is life; it is good to plan for the future,” he advised.

Experimenting with writing style

Clinical psychologist, Pulkit Sharma, who is also a spiritual counsellor and author of the book ‘When The Soul Heals’ has tweaked with his style of writing and shifted from long pieces to short ones during the lockdown.

“I have been re-reading some great classics to keep my motivation levels up. ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Viktor Frankl, a book based on his journey from a Nazi concentration camp prisoner to an evolved psychotherapist; ‘Siddhartha’ by Hermann Hesse, a novel that chronicles self-discovery and spiritual enlightenment of a monk; and ‘Ramayana’, the great Indian epic which focus on human perseverance, total surrender, divine grace and the ultimate victory of good over evil are the books that I find truly inspiring.

“Besides this, I have been writing short pieces to help my readers understand and deal with the gamut of emotions and challenges they are facing during the pandemic. I end my day with a short entry of gratitude in my diary. During difficult moments, I simply pick up this journal and read these entries,” he shared.

Writing journals for healing

Aarti V. Raman, author of the book ‘The Worst Daughter’ shared an excerpt from her book talking about how the pandemic has taken over our sanity.

“The opening scene from ‘The Worst Daughter Ever’ has the heroine, LJ Raghavan, locked up at home for the New Year. Voluntarily! This is because she has serious self-esteem issues, possibly undiagnosed anxieties and definite body positivity issues� all of which lead her to choosing to spend the first day of the New Year alone. Eating pizza. Feeling really bad about how alone she is.”

With the global pandemic, this lockdown is now more of an enforcement, with lots of us, stuck within the four walls of our homes – working, living, doing all the chores while dealing with the fear of the pandemic. “WIth no end in sight. And we didn’t volunteer for it like LJ!” reiterates Raman.

According to Raman, writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal or diary helps gain perspective.

“That is what I have been doing and it really relaxes the mind and prepares it for future. Mental sanity, much like physical sanity, requires a lot of care, whether from professionals or ourselves and our existing support systems. The bottomline is: Do what makes it easier. This is a pandemic, not a productivity contest. So, when we see friends or family baking up a storm, knitting, taking up yoga or crafts, posting on social media about how kickass they are feeling; you do what’s your daily best and that is enough.”

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