We are facing an unusual time, as for the past two months quarantine has been affecting our life for the better and for the worse.
To protect our own health and the health of others we are practicing social distancing and self-isolation. Being alone can affect us in all different ways.
Some people may already live on their own and be content to have little contact with others, while for many other people this may be a very lonely experience.
Whereas some may live with a partner or family and still experience loneliness due to them not being understood or cared for.
Signs of loneliness can include feeling fatigued, lacking/increased in appetite, feeling anxious and generally having a low mood.
It is fair to recognise that changes on our routine could increase feelings of anxiety, insecurities around work, loneliness, worries about the future which is why it is crucial to establish new healthy habits if you haven’t done it already.
Spending all day with our children while working remotely from home while at the same time tackling home schooling can feel incredibly challenging although perhaps, like any challenges that life throw at us, there is something to learn about the level of our resilience and our limitation.
At the same time, it is important to remember that the lock down is not going to last forever, the key aspect is flexibility, being able to adjust to the new normal. I may be a useful starting point to ask ourselves:
What does this current situation make possible for us?
This could be used as a moment where we can treasure the time available with our loved ones, to bond deeply with our friends, children, and family as there is more time and space available to make connections with the other. Our homes are becoming offices (if are lucky enough to have a job) schools, places of leisure, gyms, cinemas, private restaurants.
If we are at the other end of the spectrum and do not have anyone to rely on in our life this could be an opportunity to notice what is missing in our life in order to get more in touch with our needs, perhaps asking ourselves what kind of relationship we would like to build?
There is no need to wait for pubs and café to re-open, social media can put us in touch with old and new friends, I guess it could be a step forward towards reaching out for human connections, which is what life is about.
This could be a time that we can use to deep into our thoughts and emotions, to become aware of our deepest needs, desires, and interests.
Perhaps having less distractions from the outside world can help realise that we are human-being and not human-doing. Maybe this process can give us the opportunity to review or discover our priorities, our values, our likes and dislikes, and most importantly what matter to us.
I guess it is a reminder that we all have a choice on how we want to shape our life during and after the lockdown. Most importantly: What skills we are intending the learn that will be beneficial to us when we will return to what is so called these days “normal life”?
Being in touch with our inner values is vital in leading a life filled with satisfaction, consequently planning our routine according to these values is the key to achieve our goals. Some people may be struggling with planning or executing the tasks relevant to their goals and this can also be an opportunity to look at the expectation we have from ourselves and the way we talk to ourselves.
It is known that to acquire stable Mental Health we need to improve the relationship with ourselves therefore paying attention at whether the goals we set are achievable and measurable. This factor alone can be an indication on how much expectations we put on ourselves. For example, people who have the tendency to sabotage their goals may would benefit from stepping back and to notice what is standing in the way.
Sometimes unwanted behaviours come from unmet inner needs. I hope that quarantine has been an opportunity to get to know our inner needs better, trusting that we are doing our best, that we are always learning in life, perhaps making some errors todays will teach us to do better tomorrow if we are able to let go of our perfectionism. Maybe this could be an opportunity for all of us to practice better self-care in all aspects of our life and take our inner needs more seriously.
Perhaps Quarantine has been an opportunity to practice more Kindfulness towards others and ourselves.