Peace of mind in trying times

Farhan Julaihi

Due to the ongoing pandemic, many Bruneians have chosen different ways to cope with the anxiety to find solace.

Nature lover and Malay literature undergraduate Hazirah binti Abang Hadzman, 22, found her peace through her parents’ hobby – fishing. “I used to fish when I was small. I just got back to it recently,” she said in an interview with the Bulletin. “I realised I did not just like the aspect of fishing but I also liked the environment. I don’t fish every day, but when I do it, I feel calm.”

Behind her grandparents’ house, Hazirah’s father built a hut for them to fish. She said the beautiful environment has helped her forget about the world and woes of the pandemic.

“When I fish, I feel calm and in peace as the ambience is comforting. Admiring the beautiful clouds as well as watching the sunset has helped me a lot.

“Moreover, the river provides me a sense of calmness. Admiring the environment reminds me of Allah the Almighty’s amazing creation. It makes me thankful, patient and calm.” She feels grateful that fishing has helped her deal with her emotions.

Meanwhile, mathematics undergraduate Ainul Najibah binti Muhd Daud, 21, focusses on singing to take her mind off from the pandemic. “I am not the type to sit at home without doing anything, so it was stressful for me when the second wave hit.”

Ainul said singing has become an integral part of her life as it helps release negative emotions. “Singing has helped me go through a lot of my problems as it helped me to express my negative feelings.”

Ainul also records herself singing and posts the recordings on her social media platforms. “I usually cover songs that blend with my voice, which are mostly melancholy in tone,” she said. “This type of tunes are helpful in expressing my emotions compared to just singing songs that are ‘loud’ in nature.”

Another was Amal Aqilah, an English Studies undergraduate. She said her method to disregard the worries of the world is through journaling.

Aqilah picked up journaling right as the second wave of COVID-19 began affecting the nation. She has since used it to cope with stress.

She highlighted that not being able to hang out with her friends caused her to lose the people she shared her problems with if she was having any issues or worries. That is why she felt that journaling has helped her.

“Since we are staying at home now, sometimes it is normal to get caught up in a lot of emotions in this trying time because we are not able to see our friends and even some of our family members. Although it is still possible to interact with my friends virtually, it just does not feel the same.

“I thought that journaling would be a good hobby. Since the pandemic has made social distancing a necessity to be followed, I thought I would find an alternative on how I can vent about my problems.

“Simply writing my thoughts and feelings has helped me realise that I am not alone in dealing with my problems.”

Aqilah added that by journaling she is able to escape from reality as she immerses herself in writing her emotions and feelings.

“Journaling is a way for me to escape reality. Even if it is only for a brief time, it is enough to help me to calm down.

“When I journal I find it easy to gain control of my emotions instead of letting them deteriorate my emotional state.” Even though the pandemic can bring negative effects to an individual, Aqilah has looked on the bright side as she said that it was a good opportunity to spend more time with her family.

“We can’t always control our thoughts; COVID-19 is real and sometimes we cannot help but to think of the worst.

“So we try to find a way to deal with our negativity, which for me is through journaling.”