This is a really difficult piece to write. Perhaps the simplest way for me to get out of this would be to not write it. But I am writing about strength and to do so, if it needs me to gather my own strength first - then I must do so.
These are really trying times - for all of us. At one extreme, the whole self-isolation 'thing' is starting to drive us mad, we miss our routine, our activities and most of all, we miss our people! At the other extreme, there is tremendous suffering in some areas and health care workers are working flat out. No matter which way you look at it, it's not easy.
So I thought I’d do my bit by reaching out - reaching out to offer love, hope, connection and ideas. I will begin with our mindset to isolation and then move into some tangible actions that may help at personal level.
1. Focus on the OUTCOMES!
A lot of us are starting to feel bad. We are feeling bad for ourselves and everything we are missing out on. We are also worried about our teams, lost business, our children and so much more. Sure. It’s natural and the right thing to do.
Yet, allow me to offer another dimension to this.
What is isolation?
Isolation is at its core an ethical and necessary precaution and this time, we're doing this not just for you or for me or even any one community. We are doing this for the entire world!
I understand that the effort is taking a huge toll at so many levels, but do take a moment to absorb just how much your actions are helping to keep people safe.
If this is what it will take to drive the best possible outcome for the most amount of people, then together, let's do it with pride. Perspective is important.
...let's do it with pride. Perspective is important.
2. Remember we are in this TOGETHER
TOGETHER! Let's not take this word for granted.
Often people, even children, suffer isolation alone. I am referring to those placed in isolation due to illness (while the world carries on) and also to those who are isolated just as a way of life. It is hard and often leads to depression, anxiety, anger and more.
The way I see this, at-least, in the current scenario, there are so many of us affected that even in our loneliness, we're in this together. Everyone from the government to employers are trying to help.
I truly hope that when this is over and done with, we'll have a new level of empathy for those who endure this as a way of life and suffer alone.
...there are so many of us affected that even in our loneliness, we're in this together
3. Make a list!
Now for some action at an individual level. I know that there are many of you wondering what to do with all this extra time so let's begin.
a. Take a piece of paper
b. Write at the top: What are all the things I've wanted to do and I just didn't have the time
Now is your time. We may have to park some items such as travel but put it there anyway to serve as a reminder.
c. Stick that list in a place you can see and begin to work through it
I usually stick stuff on the fridge or in my cupboard!
4. Work on yourself
If you are wondering what to put on that list or you feel too deflated even to make a start, then begin with working on yourself. I may come across as extroverted but much of what you see is the tip of an iceberg. Writing by nature is a lonely activity so here below are some tips from a very silent Vinita within.
a. Use your time to learn:
Remember that online course you wanted to do, or that added skill you wanted on your CV? Go enrol!
if you feel like a bore, I'll be happy to say that I did my trading course mostly over breaks like Christmas and Easter, wrote my book mostly between 4 and 6 in the morning and did my six-sigma black belt when I was on maternity leave.
Get on it.
b. Create before you consume
Creation is the ultimate flow! Write an article. Paint. Sketch. Cook. Dance. Knit.
When I recorded my trading course on Udemy, I didn’t step out for four days straight because I didn't want to break flow. You will be amazed at how time flies when you are chasing a purpose.
...time flies when you are chasing a purpose.
c. Write a journal
If you are all by yourself, I cannot think of a better time to get in touch with your inner being. If you don't know what to write then start by asking:
- How might you describe your thoughts and your emotions now?
- How might they be affecting your behaviour?
- What did you do with the first 10 weeks of this year?
- What might you want to do differently from here onwards?
See? it's working. Start.
What about all those books on your book shelf waiting to be read? Now might be an amazing time to make yourself a nice cup of coffee and spend a day devouring a book.
If you’re going to be spending a lot of time at home, you’re going to start finding that not only does it get messed up a lot more, but also little things could impact on your mood - so maybe lift your home to life your mood!
To conclude, although I've focussed on things to do when you are alone, you can do these with your family. Also, there is a lot you can do for the community such as delivering food and groceries for people who need help. I am working on the premise that once you feel good about yourself as a person and as a unit, then helping others will come natural from a heart filled with abundance. It always does.
In the times when you’re alone, really really alone, remember, you inner being is asking to be looked after so be kind. Look after yourself and then some!
...when you’re alone, really really alone, remember, you inner being is asking to be looked after, so be kind. Look after yourself and then some!
Take care and thank you for connecting.