Open your mind...
There is an eerie silence in the air. The leaves are blown away gently by a light wind. The town looks like it has no inhabitants. Laughter no longer rises towards my window. The atmosphere is tense, there is a sense of fear lurking around in the minds of all.
We as humans always feel entitled to many things. However, the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown phase has proved us wrong. While we have generated superhumans in the form of medical professionals, delivery professionals, those managing the supply chain and more, the negativity in the air persists. Think the lockdown period has locked you down? Or have you perceived it that way? There’s a difference there.
The difference lies in perception.
Life has gone topsy turvy. But, the coronavirus pandemic has taught us many new things while reminding us of the other things we have taken for granted. I perceive the lockdown phase to have taught us lessons everyone needs to learn. What is in store for us post this phase? What can we expect in our lives from the lesson learned?
Each one of us can emerge as better human beings as we observe this loss of freedom is for the greater good of all. Let me tell you how.
10 Lockdown Lessons to Begin Life on a Fresh Note
1. Greater awareness of self
Social media is abuzz with posts of people feeling lonely, having too much time on hand, or not knowing what to do. You can use the lockdown to enjoy your own company. Yes, I know this sounds tough when you are used to being busy. Take the time to slow down, listen to yourself. Observe your thoughts. Learn to manage them better. When you begin a new phase, you will witness a calm sense of approach towards your professional and personal life.
As nature has begun her healing process, it’s time to be responsible for nature and all the life she offers.
2. Practicing self-love
You’ve been running the race against time all this while. Utilize the time to practice in a self-care routine. Read that book you’ve always wanted to! Try cooking. This is a time to call those friends you’ve always wanted to connect with. Sign up for online sessions. Do what makes you feel good. And, you know what? You’ll emerge from this phase as a person attentive to your needs. Why? Because you are finally learning to prioritize yourself first. (Deadlines? They can wait.)
3. You are what you eat
If you’ve felt sluggish or demotivated often, the lockdown period allows you to be mindful of what you eat. Your body responds to what you eat daily. Those who have access to maintaining a healthy diet will find themselves motivated to continue the same habit post the lockdown phase. You will glow and radiate optimism from within.
4. Respect Nature, be more giving
Mother earth has sent us a warning. While we as humans have been busy chasing our ‘wants’, we have taken much more from nature. As Mother Earth has begun her healing process, it’s time to be responsible for nature and all the life she offers. Use this phase to re-establish your relation with nature - be mindful of what you eat, express gratitude, respect nature in all her forms. Don’t wait for someone to clean up the environment. Change begins from you. (If you think nature is not important, remember you’ve rushed to buy your vegetables first instead of a plush car during the lockdown period.)
5. Less is more
We live life in an instant mode. We want faster travels, quicker responses, instant relationships, and ready-to-eat food. We buy mindlessly, splurge on things we don’t need and push for a lifestyle that adds no value. We need products to make us feel good, look good, and honour the ego within us (And, we still don’t feel good!). The expensive shampoo that promises a mirror shine, the leather bag that enhances your personality, the countless pairs of shoes you won’t be using. How does buying in excess serve any purpose in the lockdown phase? What effect does it have on the environment? The lockdown period will leave people with an improved sense of buying things they need, not what they want.
6. Exercise without the fuss
The lockdown has cut off access to the gym for many regular gym-goers. However, the challenge of working around in a small space has also provided an opportunity for innovation. As time has flown by, social media itself has been instrumental in playing a role to send home the message, “Yes, you can exercise at home.” This reduces the need to use equipment (and waste electricity) while relying on natural ways to build up health. I imagine the post-COVID-19 experience to be one where people rely on their willpower to workout without excuses.
7. Building connections
How many times have we honestly connected with a friend when he/she needed it the Building most? We’ve either been too busy or never had the bandwidth to lend a helping hand. Use this period to reflect on the relations you have in life. How much time have you given to building connections? As social distancing has created much distress, humans finally feel the need to connect. This period of loneliness has made everyone realize the importance of building meaningful connections. This is the time to rebuild relations (from a distance) while retaining the sweetness for ages to come.
8. Look inwards for strength
A lot of importance is given to building your physical health. The isolation phase has affected people who have not been able to manage their emotions. What matters now? The need to build mental health. An individual needs to know the body is also a result of one’s thinking. What you eat and the thoughts you nurture play an important role in how you look and feel. This period will leave a person with an improved awareness to build their mental health. Those who build the habit of looking inwards will be able to continue a fulfilled life post the COVID-19 period.
If you deepen the connection with self, you will realize you have all the resources you need.
9. Focus on the moment
Mindfulness brings your awareness to the moment. You may have realized the number of years spent worrying about the past or the future has not resulted in anything of value right now. The isolation during the lockdown is also an opportunity to practice being mindful in every moment. Mindful meditation and activities done with a higher sense of mindfulness bring peace and contentment.
10. You have enough
The phase began with a lot of hoarding. As time has passed, you may have realized that you have enough and your anxiety will not reduce by buying more things. If you deepen the connection with self, you will realize you have all the resources you need. If you keep looking at what you don’t have, you will always be reminded of scarcity. Look at what you have and practice gratitude to find greater peace.
Most importantly, self-discipline and accountability is the key to take you through the phase as a shining star and be a beacon of hope for all during the coronavirus pandemic. A person who carries forward these qualities even post this phase is a winner for life!