As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and the end is unpredictable, what is important is to stay positive and follow the lockdown rules.
From trying a hand on art, innovations, meditation to social media, people from all walks of life are searching for ideas to spend their time during the lockdown.
As experts point out it is essential to maintain a positive attitude by motivating oneself and others to keep moving forward in the day-to-day life.
Artists, who were not getting much time to shape their creativity, now claim they have much time to explore staying at home.
“Loneliness makes creative people more creative. During normal days we don’t have much time for painting but the lockdown period has given me much to do so to dig out my creativity”, says Salim Khamis Zahir al Salmi, Oman’s budding artist.
He said he could do a couple of paintings relating to ‘stay at home’ to create awareness among the general public.
“Not only that the painting helps people get awareness about the environment that sucks us, but also will remind us of the situation that we were stuck in. Art is the best medium to express your ideas or feelings”, Salim said.
Said al Ruwaidhi, another artist who also works in the health sector, said unlike the normal days, he is getting more time and space for generating more creative ideas.
“During the lockdown, the passion within me is coming out to the extent that I explore my art as much as I can”, he said, adding, “I am enjoying the lockdown boredom with making best out of the worst”.
With distancing is no longer an obstacle thanks to technology, communication with family members, friends, professional contacts or colleagues can be done with the tip of a finger.
“As the pandemic continues and so does the lockdown, we must shift and embrace the new mindset”, advises Dr. Hassan Mirza, psychiatrist at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital.
The mindset, according to him, “is that of a simpler life, which allows us to do the things we always wished we could do, but couldn’t due to the busy schedules and long times spent outside home”.
Similarly, being hopeful that this pandemic will end, and it will end just like the pandemics in the past, such optimism is always associated with better mental health and even physical health by boosting our immunity.
“People should remain productive during lockdown, set a routine, exercise, eat healthy, sleep well, stay connected, and do something pleasurable every day”, Dr Mirza says.
While living in lockdown has led many people to undertake some creative works, some Whatsapp groups are engaging their members into entertainment activities by employing knowledge expansion techniques like quiz programmes.
‘Ayalkoottam’ is such a group consisting of book lovers who conduct informative interactions that help the members expand their knowledge and intellectual capacity, in addition to taking the steam and mind off the pandemic fury.
At 9 pm every day, when the quizmaster gives a ‘ready’ call, all the members in the group take a position for a more than one-hour-long session that includes questions from Oman’s heritage sites world literature.
“It gives us a way to all be together in these crazy times even though we cannot see each other”, Shoukat Ali, the admin of the group.
With all the tragic things that are happening in the world as a result of the coronavirus, now might seem like an unusual time to talk about being positive. Yet staying positive is a core ingredient in the recipe for successful coping in a crisis.
“If we organize our time and set a certain schedule with activities, we can take full advantage of this time like the way we do, adds Shoukat who is also the managing director of Al Bhaj Books.