I wrote a blog in January about not having a plan for 2020. Little did I know that any plans anyone had for this year were about to be completely thrown into disarray. The world currently feels like a little child has picked it up ,as they would a toy house, and given it a massive shake & turned it completely upside down.
In Ireland, we are over two weeks into a life of social distancing/ self-isolation/ quarantine, and more restrictive measures were put into place this weekend for the next fortnight.
This has affected everyone in different ways and I wanted to document some of my own musings from the last few weeks:
- I have experienced spontaneous bursts of gratitude for what I have (my job, my home, my health) tempered with huge bouts of guilt, for those that are sick, bereaved, those on the frontline working 24/7 and those businesses who have closed and staff being let go
- I’ve been rotating between denial (it’ll be grand, sure it’s only a few weeks) when I’m distracted indoors working, interrupted by sharp reality checks when I turn on any form of media, hear of people I know who are sick, have holidays months down the line cancelled already
- The Handmaid’s Tale keeps coming into my head. I’m well aware that this is nothing like Gilead. However, I’m reminded of the flashbacks of normal life that June/ Offred had before she ended up in the crazy, dystopian world
- I’m sure everyone is feeling disbelief when they wake up in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning and thinking “Is this really happening or was it just a crazy dream?/ Am I in the middle of a movie?”.
- It is helpful to think of it day by day or even in two week blocks. We’ve already gotten through the first fortnight & by Easter, that’ll be a month done. Catastrophising about the worst case scenario and this being never-ending just makes it too hard for the brain to digest.
- The sense of community and solidarity is a great source of comfort. Normally when you go through something traumatic like a death, breakup or a job loss, it is common to feel like you are alone as everyone else is getting on with their lives. Although a lot of people are feeling lonely at the moment, we are all going through the same thing.
- I’ve been longing for nature and trying to get out in the outdoors as much as possible. Even with the new restrictions, I am going on a walk or run every day. Hoping I never take this for granted again.
- There is a lot of social media about meditation over the last few weeks. I have been doing 10 minutes a day for the last few months and inspired to keep this up, especially over the last fortnight.
- Apparently it is normal to feel pretty tired at the moment, with so much for the mind to take in. In order to feel more alert in the mornings, inspired by Pat Divilly’s coaching group, I’ve been trying out the #wimhof 30 second cold shower method in the morning (I rotate between hot & cold). Nothing like it to wake you up!
- I’m amazed by all the forms of communication people are using to stay connected. I’m loving WhatsApp voicenotes, which I’d never used before! Also tried Google Duo, Zoom & Demio over the last few weeks. There hasn’t been a day where I don’t feel connected to my family and friends.
- Disruption is the mother of invention and I don’t think there could be anything more disruptive right now than a pandemic. Many are having to rethink how they do business and we are already seeing lots of creativity, new ideas. This is fundamentally going to change how we operate and live our lives in the future.
- I’ve also discovered new podcasts (Alone, A Love Story), new series (The Happiness Diaries) & although I’m not getting much time for my current read, Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth”, is weirdly apt
- My decluttering has been accompanied by music and dancing. I don’t care that I can’t sing or dance or that my neighbours might think I’m a nutter, bopping around the living room with the mop has definitely released some happy hormones!
- As awful as this is, I am intrigued to see what the silver linings are. We are already seeing positive impacts on the environment and hopefully this “backs to basics” lifestyle will make us value community, connection & camaraderie more in the future,