2020 is cancelled!

Error 2020, please try again in 2021! But now, by the time we thought 2021 would start us anew, “Bammm!” The 3rd wave of MCO hits us hard.

First it was thought that in 2020 we were supposed to have flying cars. Instead it is COVID-19 that is wandering around. Everyone is forced to switch norms. From jogging outdoors to running around your house – indoors. From having Zumba nights with fellow mates to joining Instagram Live workouts – indoors. No more eating out. All sectors have been ordered to shut down. Economy slows down, social activities are banned, the education system suddenly goes haywire, workers work from home, roadblocks everywhere, health practitioners are suddenly overloaded with nonstop cases, and the WORLD is in chaos.

Yes. Still in chaos. Yes vaccine is here on another note, but still.

Coming back to COVID-19, not only the cases are rising. Mental health issues are also on the rise. Switching norms at a sudden rate are, definitely not easy. Staying at home, coping with office work, it is a fortune for certain families to understand the working hours. That the focus should be on work, first. What about those who have small children to attend to due to closed nursery premises, online classes for primary students, which constantly need monitoring? Or simply the conducive environment at home that’s missing?

How on earth should we keep our sanity? Maintain our emotion, deliver work efficiently, at the same time, able to not neglect the family?

It’s just that most people are now blending in, fitting in, everybody is trying their own, very best to survive. Children are getting used to online classes. Workers are getting used to working from home.

How should we maintain our sanity?

Hold on. Take a deep breath. Breathe in, hold, breathe out.

Be thankful that we are still alive. Be thankful that we still have our loved ones. Be grateful that we are still able to control ourselves as some might lose over it.

Try to be close to nature. Take some time for gardening. Have a mini nursery of yours. If you don’t have much space, try a hydroponic system.  Grow some vegetables, cute ‘lil flowers, cactus, or any plants that don’t need much care. Talk with nature. Get some sunshine in the early mornings.

Have a schedule and a proper working space at home. Never skip meals, especially breakfast. Even though you are working from home, to keep up the mood, act as usual. Wake up, dress up. If you normally come to work at 8, start to work at 8. The situation is the same, only the environment differs.

Try to pick up a hobby. Brisk walk, cycling, jogging, playing badminton, Zumba, yoga, any kind of hobby that is associated with exercises, or simply reliving your love for art and crafts. Not interested in any of those? Allocate playtime with your loved ones – your children, or even your furry animals.

Nobody has the authority to say no to you going to social media. If you need some laughs, and you can get that from Tik Tok, go for it. If you need to go to Instagram to post some insta-worthy pictures, you may do so. If you think that you want to get involved with some serious discussions on Reddit, you are most welcomed.

Keep some close friends to keep you sane. Talk with them. Communicate. Share your daily stories. To point out, close friends does not mean that you can’t share with your partner or spouse. But understanding the fact we are so used to having friends in the office where we share gossips and rants, keeping some close friends in WhatsApp or Telegram Group does help.

The key is, find something that could and will make you happy. Release your stress, find your inner peace.

Whatever it is, there is always a reason for why this happens. Maybe the Mother Nature needs a rest. Maybe humans need to relearn the meaning of human touch and communication. Maybe everyone needs to appreciate the love. Maybe we need to be more considerate and selfless. Just maybe. Sending love to everyone who might need a heads up through this pandemic, we are in this together. Stay sane, stay safe. Again, pull yourself together, we can do this, again. And have some faith, we will win!



Raihana Ahmad Jalaluddin

Centre for Language Studies (CLS)

Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM)