Do you feel like your perception of time is changing during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here is a reminder, it’s been five months since we declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
Do you feel baffled by the passing of time these days more than you did before? If you do, you are not alone. A recent study from the UK suggests that 80% of participants felt that social distancing during the pandemic is altering the perception of time for them.
What Do We Know About Time?
Let’s start with what we know about the time. Time is an interesting concept and not very well studied. However, we still don’t have a full understanding of something as simple as time. Well, time might look like a simple concept but it’s not. When you are in the middle of a boring conversation, you might think that an hour passed, and you realized that the conversation lasted for only 15 minutes.
Although we don’t know much about time, we know one thing, time is relative. This doesn’t help in having a better understanding of time. Our experience of time is not the same, whether between two people or with one person at different times.
We measure time with meticulous precision in seconds, minutes, and hours. Still, our experience of those seconds, minutes, and hours depends on how we spend that time or how we feel. Our experience and density of our experience have a major impact on how we process time. When the density of one’s experience is high, it might feel like time is passing at a different rate. When you have a lot of activities that can lead to density. As a lot of things are happening in one moment.
Why the Pandemic is Altering our Sense of Time?
Let’s just start by saying that as with anything else, the way you perceive time during the pandemic is specific to each person. When we don’t have a lot of things to do, it seems like time is going by slowly. However, a high-stress level, feeling unsatisfied with your life or being older is linked with time going by slowly.
On top of this, any time your routine changes, your perception of time will change as well. Sometimes we don’t want time to move fast. If we want to slow things down, here are a few things we can do differently. The first thing is to be mindful. When you are not on autopilot, you are more likely to have a full experience of each moment and take it for what it is. The next thing is novel experiences that will make us feel more excited and time might go slower.
Keep in mind that fear and stress will affect your perception of time. It will seem like time is slow and you can’t wait for it to be over. On the other side, if you are engaged in healthy and life-affirming activities that can give you a dopamine-boost that will help you if you are bored.
If time is so slow and dreadful, keep yourself busy but be mindful about it. Doing any goal-motivated activities will help you have a better understanding of your time, your life and what are you doing with your time.
If you feel like time is going fast, take some time to be mindful, slow down, and find a middle ground. We don’t want time spinning around us without enjoying it and we don’t want to feel bored either, which is often linked with slower perception of time. Whatever you do with your time, make sure you enjoy it because if something is limited for all of us, it’s time.