Purpose//

How to Talk about Freedom in a Pandemic

The stay-at-home scenario is making an argument for a new kind of freedom we need to give ourselves for a better life.

Photo by Alexas Fotos/ Pexels
Photo by Alexas Fotos/ Pexels

How free do you feel in a pandemic? In a masked world, every breath is measured in terms of safety. We need to gift ourselves new everyday freedom to feel rejuvenated and light. We can work on ‘real freedom’ from within our homes by trying to break stereotypes, and live our best life in a limiting world. There’s no greater happiness than emotional freedom. 

Author Judith Orloff, MD in her book Thriving as an Empath: 365 Days of Self-Care for Sensitive People talks about how this world is not a realm just of sweetness and light. It has great darkness here and also great suffering. We must take small everyday steps to free ourselves from this uncalled suffering. Some of it comes as a byproduct of technological modern life bringing highs and lows, valleys and peaks. If life is tough and turbulent today, freedom from it is also  possible. Contentment and happiness are within everyone’s reach. 

Give yourself new freedoms to improve your life:  

Freedom from digital stress

The pandemic has made us go digital. It’s bringing in new stresses in our lives. We live in a world of non-stop stimulus. Alerts from texts, emails, tweets, snaps, ‘grams, and that’s all just from our smartphones. Electronic screen time takes up most everyone’s days in such a massive way that most of us don’t want to really acknowledge. Because, face it, it’s depressing that we spend more time with our phones and laptops than physical humans in a pandemic. Unplug whenever you can. 

Kanika Khandelwal Ahuja, professor of Sociology at Lady Shri Ram College says, “Your digital addiction in a pandemic, is giving you invisible stress. Create a time when you unplug from technology. Gift yourself freedom from digital stress. Choose to disconnect as a daily ritual.” The Instagram filter that you love to use, don’t get addicted to it. Know it is a curated portrayal. Your real life is more important. Put more effort and thought into what truly matters.

Freedom from bullying

From cyberbullying to school-bullying, to work bullies. Life will throw a bully at you everywhere. You owe yourself to be free of bullying. We don’t have to deal with other people’s aggressive and narcissistic behaviour. Bullying is also passive aggressive, where the bully sometimes works to harm you behind the scenes, this is the most cunning type. Psychology Today reports how “Bullies can be women as well as men, girls as easily as boys. They can be parents, siblings, classmates, teachers, teammates, coaches, colleagues, and bosses.One of the difficulties with bullies is that they often start out with more power because they are bigger, stronger, or in a position of authority. They also suck in power from everyone around them, so their strength seems to grow as their victims’ strength diminishes. Bullies are only as powerful as we allow them to be.” It is important to set your boundaries with bullies. There’s no reason you need to suffer bad behaviour from people. Free yourself from it.

Freedom from toxic people

Examine the energy some people bring into your life. Do you feel uneasy around some people? Toxic people defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos. Toxic people will never be worth your time and energy. Recent research from Friedrich Schiller University in Germany shows just how serious toxic people are. They found that exposure to stimuli that cause strong negative emotions and the brains to have a massive stress response. Toxic people drive you crazy because their behaviour is so irrational. Don’t be manipulated by toxic people around you. Give yourself freedom from them. Never confront toxic people because they are denialists. They never take responsibility for their actions. Cleanse and free yourself of this negative energy.

Freedom from psychological sabotage

Self-limiting thinking can cause self-sabotage. It is the enemy within. Some of our self-sabotage is so subtle it’s easy to miss. We often fail to recognise how our actions are hurting ourselves. Don’t procrastinate about anything or wait for the perfect moment. Don’t wait to launch things because you are in a pandemic. Look at a low-investment soft launch for your dream project. Choose to not engage in self-sabotaging behaviour. You can start building positive behaviour and create an affirmative voice to guide you. To give yourself freedom from self-sabotage, think abundance.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- Marcus Aurelius

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