I always wonder how we’ll be changed by this pandemic. Would we ever look back at the crises as something that strengthened us or disrupted all the systems? But then it reminds me of Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years of his life confined in a small prison amidst horrendous conditions. Nothing broke him – he just outgrew his fears. He faced stern resentment yet worked on developing his inner strength. And this gives me the motivation to change my perspective and see shelter in place as the only chance to strengthen in place. When we start seeing life this way, it feels a little lighter and more powerful. Talking of what I’ve learned so far, here are those life lessons:
Life Lesson #1 – Personal Hygiene
Everything else aside, personal hygiene is the first thing I’ve learned during this time. And it’s much more than brushing my teeth and taking a shower. Of Couse that keeps me clean and fresh, but developing personal grooming habits also keeps me energized for other tasks. As much as I love being in elastic waist pants, dressing up a bit more brightens up my mood. As I’m also working from home, it’s button-pants time for me. Discipline with smaller tasks motivates me for bigger ones as well.
Life Lesson #2 – Uncertainty of Future
Uncertainties are upsetting, and today’s pain is certainly challenging, but it doesn’t have to change into suffering. Pain becomes suffering when we feel unloved and abandoned. You and I have just been isolated at home – no one’s alone at it. Anxiety is normal, but since the future isn’t guaranteed, I’ve learned to be more mindful and refuse to worry about things beyond my control. I’m accepting the reality, setting practical daily goals, and celebrating each step that I take towards keeping myself sane. It gives me the ability to cope with even more challenging tasks that are yet to come.
Life Lesson #3 – Work-Life Balance
I thought maybe I’d be more productive since I’m away from my noisy colleagues, pointless meetings, and awkward coffee-time chitchat. But the tiny colleagues at home are needier than anyone else. And then even my spouse is finding a way out to get work done. So, I’ve communicated a workable family plan where each person has his/ her responsibilities and breaks so we can bring out maximum work-family output. We’re redesigning our habits, monitoring our progress, and doing our best to sail through this phase without much stress.
Another way that keeps me on track is by playing block games – I enjoy these a lot and they retain my flexibility. Plus, I have my me-space, so I’m prepared for whatever’s up on the day.
I also practice meditation sometimes, but the way block games keep me at ease is a bonus lesson I’ve learned during this time.
So, let’s create a positive, compassionate, and secure space for all of us – if you have any more tips, share it with the world. And remember, locked down outside unleashed a creative giant for Mandela on the inside. It can do the same for you and me – we just need to stay confident to battle the enemy!