COMMENT: It’s okay to not be okay nowadays

These are not normal circumstances, we are in a high state of distress

By Manal Faheem Khan

KARACHI: While we all may be either working from home, or off from work, studying online or simply sitting around doing nothing, one may still be feeling a high level of fatigue. And that’s completely normal because it may seem like we’re all getting some time off and things have slowed down, but there are still many reasons why you might be feeling more tired and demotivated than usual.

Firstly, we are in a high state of distress even as we sit in our homes. A life-threatening illness looms over and threatens to destroy social fabric as we know it. And while it was important to slow down and stop destroying the planet, suddenly coming to a halt like this has been nothing but jarring.

We’re constantly vigilant, looking over our shoulders, making sure to not infect others or be infected ourselves. Every day we’re bombarded with news of the increasing death toll world over, about healthcare systems collapsing, about the people left without jobs because of the lockdown – its a lot of bad news all at once and it’s only natural to not be able to cope with it to the best of our abilities. The future doesn’t look very promising for anyone.

Of course, social distancing isn’t making matters any easier. At a time when we would like to be near our loved ones, we have been separated and confined to our homes. So many people are stuck abroad while their families are in some other country, some cannot meet their parents or their friends even while living a few streets away. We’re alone, and we’re scared.

But there’s another small thing we may not be realising: our sense of self worth is tied to how productive or financially successful we are. We are constantly competing with one another over clicks, likes, money, promotions, getting into the school we like and that is where we get our validation from.

Maybe this realisation should be enough to remind ourselves that our personal, physical and mental developments are also just as important. Are we remembered by our loved ones? Do our colleagues think of us fondly? How many lives have we touched by being there for people selflessly, how content are we in our own mind and bodies? Perhaps that is what our self worth should be tied to and whenever all this blows over, which it obviously will, we will be left with a lot of battle scars and a chance to change the way we’ve been treating ourselves and others.

So be kind if your siblings are feeling gloomy, and be considerate if you haven’t been ‘productive’ nowadays. You’re fighting a bigger battle than is evident, it’s okay to not be okay nowadays.

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