Advice To Get You Out Of An Idle Pit
Updated: Apr 14
Many South Africans have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, which seems to have made itself right at home with no plans to vacate, except leaving many feeling some type of stagnation.
While the pandemic has seen many South Africans make bold strides towards finding their mojo in online business circles and having no trouble complying with social distancing, others have fallen into an idling pit that haunts a procrastinating mind during trying times.
South Africa may very well be facing a recession and a higher unemployment rate, but many people have been creatively finding new ways to stay afloat and relevant in their circles, as well as finding ways to financially support themselves and their families.
The pandemic is having a significant negative impact on mental health, with an escalating number of South Africans reaching out to depression and anxiety helplines due to unemployment or loneliness caused by the lockdown, while others have stopped looking for ways to stay active and stimulate their minds.
According to psychiatrist Dr Sandeep Govil in Delhi, India: “Sitting idle for a longer duration can lead to anxiety, depression, poor thinking capacity, loss of concentration, and even decline in memory. Such ailments can build up into serious complications like forgetfulness, loss of attention, and severe depression.” He adds that sitting or lying down, which involves little to no activity lowers blood circulation in the body, making you slow, even mentally.
“I think 2020 left us all with a feeling of uncertainty and now we find ourselves at home, which has not only affected our waistline, but also our mental health,” says Wiedaad Samsodien, psychology graduate. “The danger comes when we compare ourselves to other people. We see people who are hustling or starting a business, and that makes us feel less good about ourselves,” she continues.
“We need to be mindful of these comparisons, because this is where our attention is being focused and it contributes to our mental health. It’s not only the food we consume, but also what we consume through our eyes that affects us and has certain reactions within our bodies.”
Wiedaad adds that social comparison also creates a block for us, because we then conclude that we are less or not doing as much as the next person. “It’s important to recognise where you are in the cycle. You may not be able to start a business, but you are doing the best that you can at this moment in your life.”
A few ways to help eliminate idleness, courtesy of Dr Govil:
1. Engage in physical activity: Start running, play a sport or start dancing. These will help with blood circulation.
2. Practice mindfulness: Use some of your free time to start doing yoga for 15 – 30 minutes a day, which will help you gain perspective and decide how you can use the time you have.
3. Eat and sleep healthy: Eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep (7 – 8 hours) can help eliminate stressful thoughts.
4. Communicate and seek support from family: If your mental health is suffering, seek support from loved ones. This will settle your feelings of anxiety and give you strength to start anew.
Author: Fikiswa Majikela