As the news channels keep showing about the dead bodies being thrown out in the Ganges and as pyres burn away the deceased , there is a feeling of fear, anxiety and grief that is being experienced by all of us. My country, India is in the midst of battling the second wave of the Pandemic caused due to Novel Corona Virus. Every single day the pain just reaches a higher level when the cries for getting the basic healthcare grows stronger. Majority of the deaths, if analyzed closely are being due to the breakdown of the health care system that is just not adequate to meet the sudden spike in the critical cases. The medical fraternity including doctors and nurses are under high stress and risk as well. Families are being wiped out. Loved ones are being lost . People of all age groups and belonging to every strata of the society are being affected . No amount of money or having high level contacts is helping anyone survive. There are tears , regrets and sighs escaping the hearts of the aggrieved ones. There is no certainty in life and certainly there is no dignity in even death. People across all castes and races are facing this grave paralysis that has almost crippled the human society . Not only the religious sentiments are being hurt, but the very humane aspect of humanity is at stake in the current times.
Few videos and images circulating in the social media are so disturbing that the one can easily lose sanity . In between all these cacophony , we are all trying to float and keep our hearts strong even if we hear the loss of close ones . A lot of us are indirectly related to this pain where we have not been hit directly, yet when we get that call saying our friends are suffering or we see a notification that is nothing but a distress call, we immediately get that churning effect in our stomach or the burning sensation in the heart. The ache is unbearable .
Among all these chaos we have to lead our daily lives even if seems so difficult. A lotb of it is not under our control. How do we survive then? How do we keep ourselves sane if being positive may seem meaningless as of now ?There are many tiny little ways to do so. Some can engage in their hobby, some can engage in their day to day family activities and keep their mind busy, some may take refuge in social media, some may paint while others may create or listen to music ;some may read and some may pen down their thoughts as poems. There are many many ways, if one can indulge in actively. However, there is nothing that can replace the calming effect one gets from being close to nature. The green therapy is absolutely necessary for survival and during the lockdown when we are leading caged lives, this has become all the more essential.
The Mental health organization declares May as the Month of Mental Health Awareness Month. Each year, starting on the second Monday of May, the Mental Health Foundation hosts Mental Health Awareness Week, the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems and inspire action to promote the message of good mental health for all. The theme for this week had been set as nature. There has been many research to show that nature impacts mental health in a positive way. When we look at the Sun rising daily, it fills our heart with hope . When we witness the vastness of the ocean, we realize how small we are! The infinite stretch of the sky makes us believe that we too, can fly high. The passing of clouds sometimes signals that time is never constant and any moment of despair shall also pass. The ants that laboriously work hard makes us think that even tiny ones, with consistent effort can achieve their goal. When it pours, everything becomes more clearer signaling that sometimes it may take a storm to clear our life paths. The love of animals teaches us compassion and shows how love can be selfless. There are many such examples.
There are few ways by which we can connect with nature:
1 ) Look close: Nature surrounds us all, it is only us who forget it’s existence in the daily rush . How many times have we ignored the near- by park or the little patch of greenery that lies adjacent to where we stay? It is time to look within close quarters and find those points where we can indulge in the bliss that the ‘Prakriti‘ provides. Sometimes we can slow down and be a little observant to hear those magical calls of the birds or notice the change of the weather patterns through the windows which we might never have been able to do in our fast paced urban lifestyle.
2) Engage actively :-Sometimes we can slow down and be a little observant to hear those magical calls of the birds or notice the change of the weather patterns through the windows which we might never have been able to do in our urban lifestyle. Now is the time to pause and peep into these little joys that can make a lot of difference.
3) Bring Nature close to you; In the current scenario, it is difficult to venture out . So, the other alternative into bring the nature into our close vicinity. Having indoor plants can be a great source to lift our mood, make us feel calm and help rejuvenate. If there is a balcony then, one can have a small terrace garden and then the difference can be felt immediately. Gardening is a stress buster and even if one does not know everything, there are many YouTube tutorials to teach you every aspects. One can also seek advise from elders who have a steady experience in gardening.
4)Exercising in the lap of Nature: If it is possible, then spending your exercising time in the lap of nature is the best thing to do. Currently a lot of home gyms are being set up due to the restrained lifestyle that we are leading. However, one can take a brisk walk or a run close to nature to feel alive .( Only if possible ). Spend some time on the terrace or open the windows to feel the brush of wind across your face. The feeling of anger, frustration , anxiety can certainly go down once this becomes a habit.
5) Creativity with nature: Sometimes to keep the mind connected with nature, we can take help of virtual mediums as well. Taking candid pictures, writing about nature or painting can help one connect with it as well. Because imagination is very powerful and as human beings we can certainly train our minds to visualize our imaginations . The fascination while describing a daisy or the joy of capturing the myriad hues of colors in the evening sky can certainly help uplift the mood as we can see it through the vision of the mind . Reading poems based on nature can bring solace to the aggrieved heart .
Nature is an integral part of us and we have to live in harmony with it and can never replace it. To protect nature should be one of our prime mission in life so that the earth, the only home that we have can be protected for future generations to come. Below are some lines of the famous poem by Robert Frost for my readers titled as ‘Tree at my Window’. Hope this helps you feel positive and understand the importance of being connected with nature so as to have positive mental condition.
Tree at my Window
by Robert Frost
Tree at my window, window tree,
My sash is lowered when night comes on;
But let there never be curtain drawn
Between you and me.
Vague dream-head lifted out of the ground,
And thing next most diffuse to cloud,
Not all your light tongues talking aloud
Could be profound.
But tree, I have seen you taken and tossed,
And if you have seen me when I slept,
You have seen me when I was taken and swept
And all but lost.
That day she put our heads together,
Fate had her imagination about her,
Your head so much concerned with outer,
Mine with inner, weather.
Also sending you one of my favorite from my garden! It got its name today as Flaming Rouge !( By my beautiful Writing Community) and how cool is that !