Are you on a Mental Lockdown?

Jyoti Shekar

One thing we all have learnt during this lockdown, is that it causes frustration. It costs us our mental equilibrium. Human beings, by nature, are meant to be free. Any captive situation is purely viewed as a punishment. Isn’t that true for you and me as well? Doesn’t that feeling transcend religion, caste, nationality, language, and gender?

eyra mag mental lockdownBut, I now realise that more than 70% of my mother’s generation has been staying at home. All these women have been staying at home from time immemorial, taking it as a responsibility, keeping a smiling face and thinking it their utmost duty to not get frustrated. Right?

Was it also not some form of a lockdown?

In my mind, it was – and still is, for many a women. A lockdown has many features which are very similar to a women’s  life – whether a homemaker or a working woman.

Let us do a spot check. Answer the following in a Yes or No:

  1. You cannot leave the house as and when you want, without planning what would happen to dinner, babies, elderly etc.
  2. Most of your trips outside are for some fixed purpose (essentials) only.
  3. You cannot, at a whim, plan a hang out with friends for a movie or a drink.
  4. You are unable to travel or ever visit a friend in a different city and have to satisfy yourself with a phone call here and there.
  5. While you are free to step out, you do have a fixed ‘come back’ home time.
  6. You are expected to never take out your frustration on other members of the family.
  7. You are expected to be responsible for all household chores, irrespective of whether the maid comes or not.
  8. You are expected to dress up or cover your body a certain way (if not with mask and gloves, then with saree, dupatta, stole etc.).

If even one of the questions above, elicited a ‘Yes’ as an answer, then you are in lockdown!

Isn’t that a punishment?

If you are in such a situation, remember that you are allowed to feel frustrated, angry even. Do not suppress your emotions and do not forget that you have a choice. Half of these rules are applied to us because we are willing to follow them. In many cases, that is because obeying is easier than fighting. But if you really want your freedom (which is a natural desire for a human being), then it is in your own hands.

In fact, the only thing which is coming between you and your freedom, is YOU.

That is why I will call it a mental lockdown. Remember, to raise a child, to be in the family or to love your husband, you do not need to be in a lockdown. Step up for yourself and step out when you want to.

Men around are getting frustrated with being at home the whole time, and hence there are reports of increased domestic violence against women. Data shows that such cases are on a rise. In case of physical abuse, you can call the police or NGOs. But mental abuse, especially not the very obvious kind, is where it gets practically difficult to take help, though it is also classified as domestic violence.

That is when you need to help yourself. Step up against mental or emotional assault.

Step up against people trying to snatch away your freedom.

Step up for the sake of your own happiness.

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