The nationwide closures due to the Corona Virus are a clear reminder that many things are outside our control. Many of you are experiencing your world come to a halt as people are being asked to stay in their homes and out of public places. While some choose to consider it a welcomed break from the routine, others are anxiety-filled and stir crazy!
Inevitably, stress, anxiety, boredom, amidst a plethora of other emotions, may find you during this time. In today's world, unless you work from home or homeschool your children, then you may not be used to being at home for such an extended time.
Eating home-cooked meals, sharing time, and space with those you live with can be a foreign concept!
So let's all take a deep breath and remember one thing. What we DO have control over is the way we handle self-isolation over the next few weeks. There will be lots of time to think and reflect on our lives and the situation at hand.
Everything in life can be a teacher, even adverse events, so the critical question is- What will you choose to do with your extra time?
Here are ten ways to combat isolation and be the best you during Corona Outbreak 2020.
1.Maintain Self- Care
Don't slack on healthy habits. Maintain the basics, eating, sleeping, drinking water, and resting. Overeating and staying up late may be challenging for some of you!
Use this time to get social. Catch up with your friends and family online or on the phone rather than isolating them. Try talking about these experiences together to build deeper relationships. Connect with yourself. Journal this experience of self-quarantine and check in with your emotions and thoughts on it day by day. Tip- For those with kids at home, its not uncommon for children to pick up on the energy of caregivers. Use what you have at home to play with your children. Dance parties, furniture forts, indoor homemade obstacle courses, talent shows, games, and cooking together are just a few ways to get active with them!
Have you wanted to start a project but haven't gotten to it? Go for it! It could be DIY project for your home or one related to your goals and dreams.
Sitting all day isn't suitable for anyone. The number of online resources are endless when it comes to exercise content. You don't need much other than yourself to workout, so get physical in your living room!
How clean is your closet really? Take a look at different areas in your home and assess what you really use. Explore what can be donated, sold, or thrown away.
6.Pick up a book or article
Do you have any Audibles or ebooks waiting to be started or finished? Take this time to invest in a great story!
Give yourself permission to rest. Explore apps like Insight Timer or Calm for mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation guidance.
8.Create Memorable Meals
Take the opportunity to share a meal around the table. Pick a country on a globe or a map, look up recipes from that place, and make it for dinner! During dinner explore being present for that time. Each person at the table can pick a conversation starter question and go around the table, learning each other's responses.
Go online and learn something new. Find a podcast or Youtube channel you've never tried before and see where it takes you. You can also virtually visit museums from around the world. https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours
10.…there’s always NETFLIX!
There are tons of excellent documentaries and shows online. Just don't forget to share your experience with someone else!
Over the years I’ve heard the phrase “be yourself” or “be true to yourself” on what seems to be a constant replay. And, though it sounds nice, I found myself struggling with the meaning of these sayings:
How is one supposed to be themselves in a world full of so much noise?
I believe that each person is surrounded by unique noise, the experience changing from person to person. For me personally, this noise manifested as social, cultural, and self-imposed expectations coupled with an unresolved acknowledgment of trauma. For other people, this noise experience can take hold through religion, social media, or perhaps even stored memories and experiences. My question is:
How is someone supposed to be themselves or know themselves when they are surrounded by constant noise?
The choices you make, the automatic behaviors and habits, the ego, all of these are things that can show up in your life, adding to the noise that surrounds you.
But, as I began to dive into my life experience at a deeper level, meditation became a powerful tool, something I used to examine myself and my actions. I leveraged its power to become a keen observer of myself and my actions. Through this practice, I realized that a lot of my actions were hard-wired patterns of behavior, ones that often revolved around other people. I found myself suddenly aware of my need to be constantly people-pleasing. I recognized when I volunteered to help others with their problems so I could distract myself from my own. I painfully watched myself caring for others to the point of my own detriment. All of these habits, however, only became apparent when I sat with myself daily in silence. Only in moments of meditation did these specific patterns of behavior begin to unravel.
A lot of people have this perception that you have to quiet the mind to meditate and, frankly, that isn’t true. Meditation is about being with yourself and allowing for all things. For some, that may be being void of thought. For others, it may mean creating a time to learn about themselves or gain perspective.
Meditation is a tool that allows me to see myself. When I meditate, I begin to invite in the thoughts, actions, and experiences of my life, simply sitting with them as an observer free of judgment, allowing myself to be my own guide to learn of my habits and behavior or even to learn what is next with a road map of what to create. Through this practice, I’ve been able to be this witness or a neutral observer of myself seeing patterns of behavior. Each day I allow this process to unfold naturally without pushing or pulling anything away. I simply allow whatever shows up to show up.
Now, after about forty minutes of daily meditation for four years, I am able to sit and just be with myself, completely void of thoughts without having to invite unraveling of patterns or actively seek out what is next. But, when these thoughts do occur I have learned to let these thoughts come my way, listen, and then simply return to being in the silence. This practice has made me turn more inward, so much so that silence has become golden. Now, when I am surrounded by actual noise, both literal and conceptual, I immediately feel the need to find quiet - and myself - again.