After 2 months of job hunting and getting rid of a stressful job, I finally found a casual job to pay my bills. Last Friday, when I was celebrating the joy of working the whole week, the news of the lockdown in my city broke out. It came as a shock to me because I just had one peaceful working week after a long time. I got an email from my employer and was asked to take holiday leave.
The next morning while I was still in shock my panic-driven mind took me to the supermarket to stock up my kitchen where a lot of empty shelves added to the anxiety. “What am I supposed to do”, “Should I be buying as much as I can, or should I keep calm and buy normally”. Trust me, when panic hits around, it’s hard to stop the imaginations of mind whirling away to those ‘end of the world’ movies I had watched in my life. I could see people not exchanging smiles and standing miles apart from each other, something that I don’t see quite often. This was the beginning of a new struggle with the new social etiquette in a city where I already didn’t have a lot of friends.
Life had begun to slow down and the city moved into a partial lockdown which didn’t take long to change into a full. My movements were now controlled by a new code of conduct and the idea of choice was no longer applicable. It was hard to believe that something like a virus has grown so big that it’s re-defined the parameters of our normal life. My capitalist mind went frenzy.
I couldn’t ignore thinking about all those people and everyone I know in different parts of the world suffering directly or indirectly due to this new change.
All those philosophical thoughts I had read regarding the impermanence of life simply appeared true. I realized that my good health which most of the time I take for granted is the greatest blessing I have right now. But even with these realizations, there was no escape. By fate or by coincidence, the only choice I have been given is to be in isolation and follow social distancing. In a moment, I could see all my plans, desires, and even next week’s to-do list go into the black hole. For someone like me who likes to take control of things and follow a strict lifestyle, the idea of having nothing to look forward to is unimaginable.
Stick to the Routine
The first hard decision I made in this lockdown is to keep up with my routine even without a reason to wake up in the morning. My dad has always told me, “Whether you have work or not, wake up with the sun, dress beautifully for the day, and let things come to you.” Although I don’t follow it all the time, I like to be up early instead of staying in bed until late.
New Goals? Flexibility with Yoga
The second thing I did was to make a list of things that I have always wanted to put in my routine like being able to reach new levels of flexibility in my yoga practice. I have been using some nice Youtube videos like Yoga with Adriene to improve my Vinasaya flow. I have been spending a couple of minutes doing breathing exercises followed by meditation right after my yoga. Trust me, post-yoga meditations have always been deep for me.
While I knew news channels will continue to occupy a bigger part of my day, I decided to give myself writing tasks for my third book. So, during the first day of the lockdown I figured out time slots which complement my writing. This will help me prepare an initial draft work which I can further use for the final set. My previous writings from travels, bus trips, boring meetings, and sleepless nights have helped me to write two poetry books: Half Concrete Half Water and Half Concrete Half Water Part-II
It’s very easy to follow prey to overeating when stuck in a stressful situation and not having much to do. I usually plan my diets and I continued doing that this week as well. This is helping me to use my groceries judiciously and practice mindful eating. This week I didn’t rely on quick meals and spent more time cooking a dish. This has been a good activity for engaging the mind and also boosting creativity.
Watching the Sea and Sky
This may sound a bit melodramatic. I often like to stand out on my deck and spend an hour at least watching the sea and sky and the beautiful Wairarapa ranges. I don’t want to realize ‘how little I am in this world’ right now but watching Nature slows down my thought process. It felt more like an open eye meditation when I did it last evening.
Talk to Family
Another thing which I have been doing since the last four days of isolation is to talk to my family and friends over the phone or video calls once in a day. I am grateful that the Internet is still available because the memory of a past lockdown without the internet isn’t very comforting. I also have been finding some time to get along with my flatmates who are my only source of live social interaction. Trust me, this is a big blessing as well!
While I have been keeping myself engaged in various ways, I had multiple moments of restlessness and fear. I guess a lot of us out there are dealing with a lot similar to this. I feel it’s time for each one of us to use both positivity and precaution to overcome the hard times we have all been put into as a planet. I am sure we will thrive through this.
A lot of sunshine and courage to you! Kia Kaha
PS: The points included in the article above aren’t professional recommendations or advice. They are the writer’s thoughts and experiences. Also, the links included aren’t any endorsements but simply resources which the writer finds suitable for them. They may or may not be suitable for you.
#stayathome #staysafe #kiakaha #VasudhaivaKutumbakam