This piece describes the feelings and experiences of a courageous refugee in the UK who is both studying and working on the frontline. Her strategy for coping with lockdown can be used as an inspiration to us all.
When Lockdown happened, my first few days were days of anxiety and a feeling of lack of control, just as I felt a while back when I was still fighting for my [refugee] status. However, unlike others who are still fighting for their rights to remain in this country, with whom I empathise, I was able to focus on work and increase my hours to cover many shifts that were left uncovered as many people continued to call in sick.
Caring for all those who needed me to be strong and being there for them gave me a sense of responsibility. My compassion is also a way of giving back to my community, and in the process, taking away my attention from myself. I have continued to volunteer by making calls to check in with asylum seekers who have struggled in various ways through this process as they deal with their mental health.
Sometimes, taking care of others is the best way to take care of oneself.
That has been my lesson through this trying time!