There has been so much going on in the world for the collective. Many of the incidents that are taking place are not unique, however in the modern world, especially in the Western world I think that we become so used to hearing stories of horror, terrorism, plagues, starvation, and violence taking place in other parts of the world that we almost become immune to it. That’s not to say that we don’t pause for a moment when we hear something on the news or via social media, but much of the time it does not effect the bubble that each of us have created for ourselves and our familes.
With Covid-19 taking place this changed that comfort for many people. A worldwide pandemic meant that wherever you were living in the world you were effected in some way. These are unprecedented times where we were forced to focus on the things that are important. We went from our everyday lives to wondering if it was safe to step out of our houses. The usual mundane trip to the supermarket was no longer mundane because we did not know if the items that we “needed” our essentials, as opposed to “wanted” would even be on the shelves. Businesses were closed down, jobs were lost, people were stuck in unhappy homes, abusive homes even, children became endangered, schools closed and loneliness sky rocketed.
But through all of this there has been an undertone of people coming together. There was a look in the eyes of strangers, a knowing, that you are going through the same thing. Now that the pandemic has died down and shops are beginning to open along with schools and there is a return to business as usual, there is a huge feeling that change is taking place. There is an underlying anxiety because we all know that a lot of change has taken place, yet no one knows what it will mean for them. Will your job be the same, will you remain in the same workplace, are you a business owner, will you be able to travel as usual. There are so many questions for all of us but the good thing to note is that worrying about any of these things will not change them.
Change does not have to be bad and sometimes one door needs to close in order for another door to open. This can be applied to jobs, businesses, relationships and friendships. This time that we have been able to spend with family has been invaluable in terms of getting to really know the people that you live with and also in getting to know yourself. This time of spending so much time with each other does not come without its challenges and irritations of course but its a great opportunity to dig deeper and find another way of dealing with things.
I have used this time to indulge in some self reflection and getting to know myself. Rather than worrying if things will return to “normal” I have asked myself what that normal was for me and if I want to return to it. I have put practices in place and taken up hobbies that I have been interested in but felt as though I did not have enough time. I have taken time to write, play, talk, exercise, go for walks and express gratitude. There is so much that I am grateful for and I have had the time to reflect on that.
Being at home more has also made me very conscious of what I will allow in my home. In the earlier days of the pandemic when it seemed like many of my whatsapp contacts and some friends turned in to doom and gloom news reporters I had to distance myself slightly. I watched a few minutes of news to get the jist of what was going on for the day and then I turned it off. I protected my energy and what I was taking in through my eyes and ears. I was selective with who I spoke to, what I listened to, and who I shared my energy with. This is definitely a practice that I will keep in place going forward. I have learned that I do not need to open myself up to everyone who wants to speak to me.
This pandemic has highlighted the fact that:
- Worrying does not change anything.
- You need to put yourself first and look after yourself because if you do not you will not be of any use to anyone else.
- Express gratitude everyday.
- Protect your energy at all costs and be selective with what you watch, listen to, and who you speak to.
- Prioritise spending time with those that you love and really be present and enjoy the time.
- Move your body each day whether that is walking, dancing, cycling, yoga, aerobics, strength training, Pilates or strength training. The possibilities are endless and the most important thing is to get moving.
- Get outside as much as possible and really take a moment to breathe deep and connect with nature, it is difficult to feel anxious when you do that.
- Allow others space to deal with things in their own way. Some people find talking to others helpful during times of anxiety, others prefer to withdraw and be left alone. Appreciate the differences of others. Most of all it is not personal.
I would love to hear how you looked after yourself during the pandemic and any lessons that you learned.