April 2020 looks nothing like I ever could imagine. A world groping with an emerging pandemic, nations shut down, and uncertainty about life, work, relationships and the future. According to Euro News, 3.9 billion people, what is half of humanity, has been asked to stay at home by their governments to break the path of damage of Covid-19. I should know, as I am in a country which accounts for 1.3 billion of this total, amazing India.
For me and I feel many others, this is a time given to us for reflection and faith. Having lived through another natural disaster in the form of the 2018 Kerala Floods which negatively impacted a sixth of the state, I know this first hand. Flooded out my house and with most of the nearby village underwater, I learned a valuable lesson. What hit me while I was without electricity, running water and access to my only home was that the simple aspects of life like family, values and shelter are what truly matters. Faced with the staggering statistics of over a million confirmed cases of the Corona Virus worldwide and the natural anxiety of contracting this, I feel a valuable ingredient in addition to sheltering, washing your hands, and abstaining from any unnecessary contact is: appreciating the small things in life.
Here are some humble suggestions which just may work to lift your human spirit:
Start the day with a good intention. Many cultures see daybreak is a pivotal time for the human spirit. Make the beginning of your day meaningful and positive.
Create an exciting schedule for the day. Many may be working at home or others on hiatus. Either way, write out a plan for the day, yes, using a pen and paper so that it is real. Schedule a cappuccino or chai break- move to another room in your house and maybe face time or message a friend so it feels like a real coffee break.
Launch a new exercise routine. With choices ranging from Instagram fitness influencers to known yoga and health icons, staying in shape and trying out a new routine is perfect for this shutdown period. According to a recent BBC article, staying fit and eating healthily can actually reduce your chances of becoming severely ill if you contract Covid-19. Being in shape has never been more important.
Connect with family and kindred spirits around the world. Reach out to family and friends to let them know how you are and if you can help them. Frankly there is nothing more healing than being of service to someone else, even if it is lending a ear to their problems or helping to brainstorm solutions. This past week I connected with digital nomads isolating in South Africa and Spain and we were able to motivate one another in thinking about ideas for a new business or consultancy. It felt exhilarating.
Travel through Food. For wanderlusters out there, cooking a dish from one of your favorite trips can make you feel like you have gone on a virtual trip down memory lane. Today, I made orange custard from scratch, inspired directly from my memorable trip to Copenhagen Tivoli Garden which has many superb bakeries, one which is picture on the left. Note the delectable orange pastries which inspired my custard concoction today. Cooking your favorite food can be therapeutic and offer you a dose of hygge for the day.
In short, it is the simple things in life: staying connecting with loved ones, staying fit, eating food that is nourishing and transports you, and caring for others which will ensure we survive and continue to inspire our human spirit.