If you are not an essential worker – and if you are, I am eternally grateful for your existence and contribution, the world will never forget – you are probably at home, right now. And tomorrow. What to do with all this waiting around..?
I am well aware that life at home looks different for all of us. Aware of my privileges; I can work from my own desk, which gives me a safe income, I have a safe home, I have physical and mental contact with another human being. I am young and healthy, live near the canal and the river with the forest that surrounds it. I have time, which I never thought I would have. It is from that position that I write this, but I am directing it at everyone in the hopes that it resonates with some of you.
After coming home from my yoga teacher training in India mid-February, I completely and fully over-committed, again. Certain that I was heading down the route of burn-out, again. But everything seemed fun and right and I was still meditating and cycling daily to stay grounded. Then overnight, basically everything in my diary was cancelled.
It took government orders for me to slow down.
In this new gap, where we are not allowed to physically meet other people, or to stay outside, or to go to events, many of us might feel a rising sense of pressure and overwhelm. Everywhere we look we are told to “use this time well”, to take this opportunity to do…what? For me, it is important not to ask ourselves “What can I do now?” but rather:
- WHAT DO I NEED DURING THIS TIME?
If you have no clue, here is a a different approach to get the same answer:
- What do I want to say that I used my time during the Coronavirus lockdown for?
For some of us, it is of course a perfect time to initiate a project that we have wanted to do for a LONG time. A project that is just for fun. Such as:
- Get to reading all the books in my bookcase.
- Write actual letters to everyone I love.
- Pick up the guitar.
- Refurbish the living room.
- Learn to draw hands.
(Dedicating myself to one project is ground-breaking for me. Like I am a child again, without the scattered brain from living in times of information overload. Learning Italian has my full attention.)
But many of us could use this time to slooow down. To actually go inwards and not commit to anything at all. Quite the opposite of what it sounds like, it can allow you to feel like you are still living – alive – even in the midst of this “just waiting around”. Secondly, it will build a more real, a more YOU, foundation for life after lockdown. Here are some examples:
- TAKE HONEST BREAKS FROM SOCIAL MEDIA. I cannot emphasize the impact of this. When was the last time you were simply sitting or laying down on the couch, looking into a wall. This is honestly one of my favourite things to do and I don’t do it often enough.
- Breathe fresh air. Go out for short walks or simply stand by an open window and close your eyes. Inhale, exhale. Do this as often or as rarely as you would like.
- Make a list of some aspects that you don’t miss at all from your normal life. Consider ways they can be dealt with, minimized, even removed – for when you have the energy to.
- Journal about your days. Stay in tune with your feelings: your heart is not a dangerous place.
- How can you make sure you rest and rejuvenate as much as possible during this time?
It is a really tough time we are all going through. But we can in the smallest format possible create a dream life within it. (Taking baby steps if that is what we need. Taking steps back, if that is what we need.) And get a beautiful head start for when the lockdown ends.