Finding meaning in life during the lockdown by a Clinical Psychologist
Updated: May 8
The unprecedented lockdown has brought the entire world to its knees. We have never been so confined in our homes, where we are playing multiple roles- of a professional, of a husband/father, of a mother/daughter, and taking care of the entire house.
Our previous distractions such as meeting with friends or going out have been suspended. The COVID-19 virus looms large above our heads and the moment we step out we are overcome by an overwhelming fear of catching the virus. The elders in our house are even more susceptible. There is added worry and precaution added to their wellbeing than what was previously.
No one has done this before. It is an absolutely new situation we are adapting to. We are bringing forth as much as resilience as we can but even our resilience might get punctured by anxiety, worry, and constant negative thoughts. In circumstances such as these, how do we find meaning in living and going on?
Meaning in life is a concept introduced to Psychology by a survivor of the Nazi camps- Dr. Victor Frankl. Just as this lockdown is unprecedented, the attacks on Jews were also the same. It was more extreme in the sense that they were separated from their families and treated like slaves. They were made to stay in Nazi camps for years, hundreds of them huddled in a small room with no access to medical care. If any of them were not capable to work, they were executed. In such terrible conditions, who would want to continue living?
Frankl realized that finding meaning during these circumstances changed his perspective towards suffering.
He found meaning in simple events such as the sunset which he imagined his beloved was also seeing. The thought of being able to see his beloved one day filled him up with hope and gave him the strength to endure the harsh conditions of the Nazi camps.
At this point, more than ever it is imperative to find meaning in your life.
1. What makes you hopeful?
2. What is it that you would like to do once the lockdown ends?
3. How differently would you like to live your life because of this lockdown?
Using this lockdown as a catalyst for our own inner growth can have powerful implications. Engage in the activities which give you hope and happiness and look forward to a future free of Coronavirus!
Written by Vartika Modi
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
If you thinking that you are unable to cope mentally, you can seek professional help.