By Cha~zay Sandhriel, Ph.D.
Today is April 8, 2020 and society in almost every country is in some form of lockdown. This can be more challenging to some than to others. As an extroverted introvert and hermit by nature, this lockdown doesn't ruffle my feathers. The only thing that has changed for me is the weekly visits for some one-on-one time with some friends at a local Caffe. Other than that, from a mechanical point of view, daily life has remained nearly the same. I work from home and I live on a mountain along the edge of a forest. I walk outside and in less than 2 minutes I find myself in the forest. Not everyone is this lucky and I think of people who are cooped up in small city apartments with children, housemates or roommates and I think especially of extroverts and people who can't stand being at home. To those people their homes may feel rather like a prison than a sanctuary and safe haven. While I'm hoping that people are finding their balance at home and with the people they live with, it won't come to anyone's surprise that perhaps many marriages are also falling apart during this time because people can't stand being this close to each other. When I look outside, however, I see clearer skies, I breathe air that hasn't been this fresh in who knows how long, and I hear that even the chirping of birds has become more clear.
It's Time To Think Ahead
Whatever your situation, now is the time to do some planning for your future. The tragedy this Coronavirus has brought will end, although the virus itself will remain in our world. More importantly, this is just a warm-up for what's to come later. I've talked about this HERE. Now is the perfect time to plan to make some serious changes to your life, so that if and when society is faced with a similar situation, you will be ready. These changes may have to do with the type of work you do, who you work for, where you work, along with where you live, what country you live in, who you live with, and so on.
The Health of Our Body
Another group I thought about are the people who are avid outdoor people; skiers, climbers, runners, the dare devils and adrenaline junkies who are now confined to their homes and apartments. It must be so difficult to restrain that inner drive to want to be outside. But it's the right thing to do right now because everyone must play their part. No one can be selfish these days! Having said this, consider purchasing a stationary bike or treadmill for your home. Not being able to move is not healthy for the body and the lack of outdoor movement is also not healthy for the mind. A couple of years ago I injured my left foot and to avoid having to put metal and screws in my foot to fix the issue, I decided to stay off my feet for a year to see if I could heal the tears naturally. It has been two years now and I'm nowhere near healed. But I did get a vibration plate, which is a piece of equipment called Fit for Life, that I can stand on and it vibrates my body. It helps in losing water retention in my body, which is a side effect of not moving. Weight gain is another.
Technology – Our Saving Grace
We also have technology on our side, helping us through this difficult time and making it easier to connect with other people. Businesses are becoming quite creative and they find new ways to serve their clients. I talked to a friend in the San Francisco region, whose hair dresser now mixes their clientele's hair color and mails it to them so they can color their hair at home. Teachers are teaching via online platform and as I stated in this article HERE, the e-Learning industry raked in a whopping $105 Billion by 2015 and is expected to rise to $325 Billion by 2025. My sense is that we will get there before 2025.
Make Change Your New Best Friend
Now is your chance to make some drastic changes. As you are designing your new life, make it drought resistant, which means that your business would be sustainable or even flourish during a time like this. Way too many people have already, or will soon lose their job. While this Coronavirus is taking lives, and this is tragic, we haven't even seen the economic after-effects of these events and the increase in suicides heading our way, because people without a job or even the hope of a future job are a depressed people. Sadly, there are always those people and those companies who will exploit vulnerable people and milk these tragic times for everything they can. I see it already in my inbox with all of the spam email featuring masks, disinfectants, new investment opportunities – you name it.
Some Questions To Ask Yourself
Take out a notepad and a pen and grab a cup of tea or coffee and take an hour or two to go through these questions.
- What is the most difficult for me to deal with during this self-isolation?
- What do I miss the most during this period of self-isolation?
- What makes me recharge my batteries?
- Where do I best recharge my batteries?
- Is my current living space the ideal place for self-isolation for up to one year?
- If I had to be in self-isolation for up to one year, what kind of living space and area would be most ideal?
- If I had to go through a one-year period of self-isolation, would I prefer to do it alone or with another person or several people?
- If I could redesign my job or career, what could I do that brings me joy and is at the same time stable enough through anything the world may face?
- Is my current space big enough if I had to self-isolate for longer periods of time?
- Does my current balcony, patio or garden give me enough freedom to get sunlight, a space to be outside but still in self-isolation?
- Do I have the opportunity to plant my own vegetables where I currently am?
- Do I want to have the opportunity to plant my own food?
- Can I get to an uncrowded hiking or walking trail from my house without having to first get into a car to drive there?
- If gasoline was no longer available for a period of time, could I remain where I am and not worry about getting food?
- Does the food I eat need to be refrigerated (meat and dairy needs refrigerating and has a short shelf life)?
- Do my eating habits include foods that require no refrigeration (nuts, flower to make your own bread, dried fruit, etc.)?
- Do I have enough candles and lighters at home should the electricity go out for pro-longed periods of time?
- Do we have enough reading material and games to help us remain light-hearted during a completed lockdown?
- Are my spiritual practices solid enough to help me through a truly tough time (meditation, prayer, spiritual guidance, etc.)
- Who is my support team to help me stay focused, grounded, and sane during a complete lockdown?
These are just some questions that may spur your mind to thinking about how you may want to make some changes in your life that will undoubtedly support you in the future. Use these questions to reflect on your current situation and to help you look ahead. Then come up with a plan on how you can change to your new reality. Make the best of this time of self-isolation!
As a last pointer, remember to bring some comedy into your life, even during a lockdown. Watch some comedy shows, read some jokes or watch some uplifting movies that can brighten your spirit.
We will get through this!
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