It’s been 2 months in lockdown. Yes, it sure feels longer. That’s because each passing day acutely reminds of the world that we used to live in. And all the things we can’t do in lockdown.
But for those of us who are fortunate, (pure luck that we were born into the circumstances that we were born into, which allowed us to build on top of it) to have shelter, food, and security do have a number of ways to stay sane.
Also, this is not a productivity contest. Don’t. Stress. Please. If you are absolutely sane without any of these on the list, good. You can read just for fun 😍
1. Learn a new life skill – For those who never a lifted a finger and somehow miraculously got fed, lived in a clean environment, had fresh clothes to wear now realize the work that goes into staying alive. Learn to cook, do the dishes, dust, clean, launder clothes, vacuum, sew on a button, fix a light bulb, unclog the toilet and ten thousand other tasks that go into being a fully functioning human being. There are no excuses, and there always won’t be unconditionally giving moms, grandmothers, house help to rely on. And even if there is, please become an adult, and learn what you need to learn to survive.
2. Clear the clutter – Have you recently noticed that you don’t need too much to live? Five high quality pairs of clothing. Your personal productivity tools maybe. And well, food. What is all the other crap we keep buying, subscribing to, or hoarding? Fashion season after fashion season. Festival after festival. Flash sale after flash sale. Month after month. This is a good time to take stock. Of what you really ‘need’ and ‘use‘ vs. fluff that has been lying in endless storage units, packed basements, clogged cupboards, dusty drawers and even medicine boxes. Donate. Give away. Or simply trash. Live a simple and high quality life.
3. Hone a creative skill – Humans need to communicate. Two months ago, we used to express using the clothes, jewelry, and shoes we wore. Tell stories of our adventures with the far off exotic places we traveled to. Convey our intellect and mastery through our job titles and work profiles. As these avenues dry up or vanish completely, we still have so much to get off our chest. Communicate using creatives ways that you never thought you were capable of. Your writing, your poems, your blogs, your stories, your songs, your dance moves, your sketches, your drawings, your doodles, your photographs, your spoken word, your knitting, your food and any other conduit you feel you once used to be able to express your soul’s melody in. Work at it, hone it, and see how well you will be understood.
4. Exercise your body and work out diligently. – Our body is capable of far more than we put it to test. We stay snug behind excuses of ‘no time in my busy day’, ‘i do a lot of house work already’, ‘i don’t need to workout to stay healthy’. But the more we sit, sleep, perch, remain, sediment, and sloth in front of our devices, the less our body recollects what it means to be alive. Our body was designed to run hundreds of miles on a hunt, climb tall perennial trees, squat through dingy caves, jump across vast gorges, and more importantly endure. Let’s not cut it too much slack during lockdown. Go outdoors into nature, take a walk, run, jog, stretch, move, exert, set goals and employ your muscles that will in turn help release endorphins into your brain too.
5. Up-skill for work/profession or just to keep you your interest/passion. – We all live in times where having multiple skills, being more than just one thing, knowing more than just one trade is looked at as favorably (and in some cases an essential skill even!). We studied engineering yes, but doesn’t mean we can’t be creative writers. We got MBAs yes, but doesn’t mean we can’t learn about stoicism. We are doctors who can perform a heart surgery, but doesn’t mean we can’t learn about the intricacies of the stars in the universe. There is no better time to ‘learn‘ anything that you ever wanted to explore. The internet and its gazillion bytes of information just need to be used wisely and deliberately without going down the tik-tok, instagram, facebook rabbit-hole.
6. Connect with family and friends. And i mean, truly connect with them. The only way we will get through this is together. It’s a cliche, but true. Humans are social beings and we do poorly in isolation. To the extent of not being able to survive. We talk, we narrate stories, exchange ideas, reassure apprehensions, console loss, and re-build lives. It’s absolutely clear that we are nothing without our close family and friends. Hold on to them, nurture these relationships and strengthen them during this time.
7. Pause. Contemplate. Meditate. – With all the items on this list, possibly the one thing that each of us should do for certain, is push the pause button. On the world, and life we had built. And contemplate about it all. Does it all still make sense? Are we living the life we truly want to live? Are there things we need to tweak? Can we be happier? Are we even sad in the first place? What is it that we truly need for our soul?
Pause. Contemplate. Meditate. Who knows what you will find in the dusty corners of your mind that might change the whole game for you.
Stay home. Stay safe. Stay sane my friends.
Wishing you a blossoming and blooming life when we come out of our dark caves.
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