Red alert. Red alert. Red alert.
All I’m hearing are these big loud sirens ringing in my brain.
But the truth is I’m not actually hearing anything at all.
We’ve gone from loud to silent to loud to silence again.
Every step we take forward feels like a million in the wrong direction.
Green and orange and yellow and red they’re just four different colours.
When did simple colours become our level of freedom?
Within splintering seconds the things we take for granted become those we wish for.
They say humans, loving beings need 10 hugs a day in order to prosper.
But how are we supposed to even feel alive when there’s no contact?
The right to embrace has become a privilege that we no longer hold.
The laughter and warmth we feel surrounded by those we love is gone.
Red Red Red and all I hear is Alone Alone Alone.
Where can we find the adequate meeting between physical and mental health?
Why must we sacrifice one for the other?
Why can’t we be selfish and greedy and have them both at the same time?
The right to breathe without suffocation has become Lethal.
What we hear on the news sounds like a dystopian land that I am simply not apart of.
Covid-19 has stripped me of my year 19.
My year, my life is not for me.
I cover and cleanse for the sake of my family.
The isolation that breaks my heart turns me into a hero.
We stay inside to be brave for those that can’t.
For the decisions I make don’t affect me but every person surrounding me.
How can we risk the safety of the cute, elderly couple walking down the street.
Yet I don’t feel like a strong person.
The ones we see in the middle of an action scene on big screens.
I feel the red slowly seeping into me.
Red sucks me dry of my drive.
Red suppresses my real needs to hold and to be held.
Red is scary. Red is sirens.
Red is loud. Red is lockdown.
Some days it rains so hard if feels like the sun is fast asleep.
The dark clouds consume the entire sky with no space for any sprinkling of light.
Days go by with storms of water that fill up holes and flood little villages.
But the grey will turn to white and the white to blue.
The damp earth will become dry.
The sun will shine and we’ll have our sign.
Rainbows never cease to appear after the ruins.
High in the sky explodes a stream of colours.
Colours so intense that humble us in the presence of G-D’s creations.
Red is bold. Red is bright.
Red brings terror to our eyes, blinding us to a surreal reality.
Red is death and Red is beautiful.
Red is the first we see.
Red, Orange, Yellow, Green.
We don’t want red.
Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo,Violet.
We do want red.
The beginnings and the ends revolve around the colours.
Red can suffocate me and it can make me breathe again.
After every obstacle we have the pleasure of persevering through.
We see red.
My eyes are red from the storms of my own mind.
We are pained from all of the implications.
We push away our own clouds because all alone we can be strong.
Strong for those who aren’t.
Until the rainbow comes and puts us in a colourful haze.
Where Red will be Green.
For now we find our own rainbows.
We must be the sultry Red.
We must be the appealing Red.
We hold on and be the hero.
Let’s be the saviours whilst reframing Red into its own alluring category.
Red alert. Red alert. Red alert.
My Red will be my guide.
Combating fraudulent feelings.
We are social creatures. We often rely on others to help keep us going and motivated. For some, these extended months of social distancing may have posed an extra challenge on them, their motivation and work performance. These people don’t only rely on social support but need it.
Feeling Like A Phony:
The Imposter Phenomenon was first coined by two psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes. It is a term used to describe people who feel they are not rightfully deserving of their position. These people often feel like their cover will be blown and people will know that they are incompetent and a complete fraud.
In the article “Great Pretenders” written for the Scientific American, Birgit Spinath talks about the three main components of this phenomenon: feeling like a fraud, having the inability to accept praise and attributing your successes to luck instead of to your hard work.
There are two ways in which this can play out. There’s the over-doer who prepares and reviews material even once they have already mastered it. This causes them to become stressed knowing that they won’t always be able to perform at such a high level. They have essentially raised their own bar too high. The under-doer will beat around the bush and fail to prepare. This person will procrastinate or do other meaningless tasks to avoid the true task at hand. If they nonetheless succeed at the task, they attribute it to luck.
According to an article written for the Journal of Business and Psychology, the social environment can, to some extent, act as a buffer to help reduce these feelings.
Say it Louder:
The first step to overcome this challenge is to recognize that you are experiencing it. Saying it out loud may take away some of its power. Tell someone who you trust that you’ve been experiencing this so that they can offer some support, even if it’s virtual.
Make Yourself a Mantra:
Aibileen Clark was onto something when she made the sad little girl repeat the affirmation “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” in the movie “The Help”. Write yourself an affirmation to read to yourself listing your positive virtues and capabilities. You may not believe all of it but repeating it over and over will help internalize it. Reminding yourself why you want or need to do a certain task and the benefits you’ll gain will make you want to do it more.
Practice Makes Permanent:
Maxwell Maltz wrongfully assumed that one can fully integrate a habit in twenty-one days back in the 1960’s. Fifty years later, researcher Phillippa Lally and her colleagues finally put the hypothesis to the test. They found that it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a habit to become routine depending on its complexity. Although missing one day here or there won’t do much damage, avoid skipping days to ensure that you keep up the momentum. Habits are hard to change but with some work, you can start feeling like you are worthy of your position.
And finally, you are were you are meant to be wether you feel deserving of it or not. You may as well take the plunge and do something great!
How much time does technology actually save us?
Breaking the ice
We built technology to help us live life easier, right? We use it to save time and spend that time with our loved ones.
We humans in our current day and age have been reliant on computers, smartphones, e-mails, and recently with social distancing guidelines videoconferencing.
Being able to send a text message without using ink or paper or having to wait for it to go through a bunch of post offices to reach the recipient saves us a lot of time. What about phone calls? We can talk directly with the intended person without having to meet them in person. Pretty crazy how far we’ve come as a species.
Smartphones are getting better and better every day, and staying organized is a huge part of saving our precious time. Using our phones to keep up with school, work, as well as family and friends at any time is what this technology is all about. Accessibility is now easier than ever, but so is the ability to get distracted.
In order for technology to save us time, we have to understand that it is heavily user dependent. A person who is being distracted online by scrolling through social media is not saving time, but instead wasting their valuable time. On the other hand, a person who’s doing their job from home is saving the time of the commute to and from the workplace.
According to an article written by Gemma Francis for The Independent, Mobile devices were also revealed to save people significant time. For example, the article claims that “mobile phones alone save people approximately 1 hour every week by making navigation more efficient and providing users with updates on traffic and public transport time.”
A poll conducted revealed that modern technology saves an average individual two weeks annually that would be spent on routine banking and shopping activities. For instance, “the survey showed that the amount of time spent in the bank is reduced by forty minutes every week in the last ten years as people embraced online and mobile banking.”
An article written by Alison McGuire for the Irish tech news states that, “at Marriott Hotels, 92 percent of business travelers originating from Spain, the UK, France, and Germany revealed that technology has made it possible for them to have more free time to engage in leisure while on their business trips.”
In conclusion, technology just like other things can be used for the wrong reasons or for the greater good. We can use it to create something terrible or something beautiful that helps humanity.
The choice is all yours.