For some of us, having to stay home for an extended period of time may sound like bliss, while others may find themselves feeling completely thrown off, and wondering how to manage their time meaningfully. It certainly does not help when we see motivational messages calling us to use this time wisely. We may feel pressured to learn a new skill, or at the very least improve our current ones. There is a pressure to be productive, create art, make music, or read the books we never had time for. There has been an explosion of online content to enrich our minds. Yet we have to remain social: working from home, family video chats, to make sure the kids are well fed and entertained. At the same time, we are being called to evolve - to seek new ways of being, meditate, unite in preparation for the new world that is emerging. But what if this is all a bit too much?
Our normal lives have just been disrupted. Old routines have died, and we may struggle to create a coherent structure to our days. This is especially difficult if we are also dealing with all the feels from this pandemic. It is so tempting to lay around the house in shock at all the awful news around.
During this time, it’s more important than ever to have a grounding practice. We recommend a short meditation right after waking up to anchor yourself before starting the day. Scan yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. Notice any heavy sensations and breathe deeply into them. Being present and awake to the pain of the world is the only thing that allows you to also be present and awake to the goodness of it. Close the meditation with a prayer of gratitude. You are home. You are safe. You are healthy.
If the flesh is willing, HOA recommends kicking off your day with Surya Namaskar. A quick series of Sun Salutations will get your blood pumping and warm up the body. You will feel energised enough to skip that cup of morning coffee.
As you go about your day, you may consider these simple prompts:
Have I connected with myself?
Have I connected with someone I love?
Have I done what is needed?
1. Have I connected with myself?
On top of a meditation practice, HOA recommends exploring new ways to fall in love with yourself. Even if you’re in isolation, you can be your own best company. What you do to connect with yourself is entirely up to you. At HOA, we enjoy journaling, moving meditation and a quiet moment drinking tea, but it can be pretty much anything that gets you in a good mood. Dance, draw, sing or write - it doesn’t matter if you don’t think it’s any good, as long as you enjoyed the process! This awakens your creative energy and the motivation to pursue larger goals in the future, such as learning a new skill, or discovering a new purpose.
2. Have I connected with someone I love?
If you have the capacity that day, you should consider reaching out to someone. Check in with them to see how they’re doing. Let them know you’re there for them. Send them resources to find the support they need. Simple acts of love during this time can have profound impact on our collective vibration. Psychologists have warned about an impending wave of mental health issues following this period of isolation. It is our social responsibility to check in on family and friends who are more vulnerable. We are blessed to be living in a time when a simple meme can brighten up someone’s day.
3. Have I done what is needed?
In a previous blog, we discussed compulsive behaviour as a crisis response. Sometimes this compulsion manifests in the most insidious ways: you may not even see anything wrong in this behaviour. It may come through as excessive exercising, starting too many projects, or developing too many ideas. You may feel like you have to be productive but it saps your energy and leaves you feeling more anxious and unfulfilled. During this time at home, we can slow down and focus on the things that are truly important to us. We can learn to live simply, yet meaningfully.
With the prompts above, you can craft a daily self-care practice that will help you keep your sanity from day to day. By starting with small, simple steps we can begin to recover a sense of normalcy and be grounded by a nurturing routine.
Written by Izzy Liyana, content creator & writer for HOA