Realities of social distancing

Just about a month ago the students’ daily life was quite normal, although coronavirus started to create concerns among us. Now social distancing that should help slowing down the spreading of the virus has changed the game, meaning that our daily life is very different than a month ago. The university has closed its doors and all the studies
are arranged as distance learning, employees may be temporarily laid off or the nature of the work has changed in a radical way, seeing people is not recommended, because social gatherings are to be kept in minimum et cetera. The Wappu celebrations should have started already; although this is the reason why the snowy weather outside does not irritate that much, because it would not be fun to celebrate Wappu in such a weather anyway. Maybe that is the silver lining here.

Because of the state of emergency every one of us is now facing a new situation in life, where everything has turned upside down. At the beginning I thought that now I for once have time to be home and do all those things for which I do not have time otherwise, for example all those self-help tips I have saved on my phone, including spring cleaning of the apartment and changing your life. However, it did not take long to realise that isolation is not fun at all. As I lost the daily rhythm and my social contacts, also the motivation at work started to decrease, my circadian rhythm got messed up, I got less things done and the lack of social contacts affected my mental health by lowering the mood. The situation still remains the same, because at least I do not get used to social distancing. I also feel guilty about being so inefficient. Especially in the social media other people seem to exercise and clean and this and that, so why cannot I?

This way of thinking does not make things any easier, the least for the person themselves. Many others have difficulties with their daily lives, too, but they are easily covered in the social media. However, the social media strengthens the image that everybody else is doing fine. If the people do not have the courage to share their troubles, the vicious circle is ready and the image of other people’s joyride through the corona isolation becomes more powerful.

Maybe you could be the one who makes the difference? If something feels difficult or does not work like it has worked before, tell it to the other people. Your example might encourage others to say how they are having tough times, too. This could relieve feeling guilty about being inefficient when you notice that other people are not perfect

The state of emergency is a peculiar and difficult situation for all of us. The most important thing at the moment is to live through it. However, when all our familiar routines are gone, we get a chance to consider if we can learn something about this situation for the time after coronavirus. What if we all could learn to have more
compassion towards ourselves and others?