None of us would have chosen this challenge, but here we are. In this strangest of situations, some of us are overworked and traumatized, others are at home, unemployed and worry about their financial situation.
The first thing to do is to take good care of ourselves. This is easier said than done and it includes the expected list of things:
Make sure to get a good amount and good quality sleep. Make sure to eat well. Exercise. Manage anxiety. Keep your space orderly and clean. Limit exposure to news and social media.
These are all the usual pieces of advice that we have come to expect, but repeating these advices does not make them happen. What can we do during this lockdown period to try to adhere to these principles, and why is it more difficult than ever?
Most of us have lost the structure that underpins our normal lives, from going to work to visiting people, our lives have assumed an amorphous blob like property. Without structure we gravitate towards things that are easy and give us instant gratification, often not those things that make us healthy and happy in the long term.
Try and build structure into your disrupted life, both physically and temporally.
If you are working from home, try and have a designated work space so work does not intermingle with life. If possible, try and maintain work hours that are distinct from downtime.
If you are unemployed, try and add some structure to your life, learn a new skill if possible, take advantage of the time that has been forced on you to study that thing that you have put off for years.
Keep structure as far as going to sleep and getting up. Avoid the tendency to watch a screen into the late night and then sleep until some time the next day. Keep a schedule of sleep as if you had some task to wake up for, even though this strikes you as slightly absurd.
Exercise is key and is as simple as taking a walk. We are blessed with wide open spaces, sidewalks and scantily traveled roads that allow us to safely go out. Spring, in spite of its back-sliding is coming. Walking will also help you sleep.
Not being anxious would be unreasonable at this time. The key is to not let anxiety consume you. Watch the minimum of news you need to keep informed, dwelling on every detail of the news cycle induces anxiety and does not make you better informed.
So we are here in this odd time, our lives upended, our routines changed. Being angry at the situation we have been thrown in is useless; looking for someone to blame, a waste of time.
The question is, is there something we can take from this time, something that can be positive.
We have all collectively been forced into what people often call a retreat. Seclusion , lack of many of our usual distractions, a simplification of life-life being forced back to its bare bones of existence.
Maybe now is a good time for some introspection-is the frenetic pace of your normal life what you need and want. Is there something from this forced seclusion that you can carry back to normalcy when it resumes.