We are all losing count of the days of the week and the days that have passed in quarantine. So here are the five lessons we have learned so far.
Number 1: The realization of everything that was taken for granted.
And we don’t mean big things like tropical destinations. It’s those little things that would never come to mind when you're listing what you are thankful for. Like waiting in line at a busy market for fresh fruit without having to worry about gloves, masks, and 6-foot distancing. It’s hugging your grandparents. It’s tickling your nieces and nephews. It’s rushing into your favourite coffee shop on break at work to grab a cup of coffee. Or it's squeezing in an early morning gym session surrounded by people practicing the same healthy mindset.
It’s realizing that everything that was once routine is now a blessing. That all those things that were considered typical in life were really opportunities that we were lucky enough to have.
Number 2: The unity that is being built through separation.
There is nothing like having everything taken away from you to realize that the titles, the social standings, the outfits, the stuff, never mattered to begin with. We are all human beings simply trying our best. Yes our worlds might look different, our interests and opinions may vary but we are all just trying to figure it out. It is hard not to feel vulnerable with all this alone time. That's because it's forcing us to change, to evolve and to grow. It’s forcing us to connect and create in new ways. It’s teaching us that every single person is stronger together than they are alone.
Those family dinners, phone calls with old friends, game nights and movies are still happening. It doesn’t look the same, it’s now virtual parties on zoom, game nights on apps like House Party or watch parties on Netflix. It’s different but we are getting through this. Being alone really shows how much it means to be able to be together.
As challenging as the distance is, this is bringing together communities in a new way. We are all going through something together that is uniting us instead of dividing us.
Number 3: The love we needed a second to truly feel.
It was easy to scream "bye" to your loved ones running out the door. To say "see you soon" to a friend after a dinner date. To rush through life in a hustle and bustle. We all needed this to understand the importance of slowing down. Of enjoying the little things in life, like noticing the sunny days, or the Robins coming around for the beginning of spring. To realize what it feels like to miss someone or someplace. Like truly miss, when you feel it in your heart. It almost feels sad at first, but as the days continue, it’s clear that it's not pain that we are experiencing it's really love.
It’s having time to take in how much love you hold, who you miss laughing with, the places you miss visiting and the moments that really matter.
Number 4: The importance of living in the moment.
There is nothing like being completely out of control to make it very clear that we must focus on the moment to get through this. Which we will, one day at a time. Focusing on what can be controlled truly transforms the emotions and feelings experienced.
That means opening the windows to feel the breeze. It’s taking time away from work when you need to decompress. It’s inhaling through your nose for a count of four, holding your breath for a count of four, exhaling through your mouth for a count of four and holding for another count of four. It’s slowing down when you need to, so you can take things in. Meditation works wonders but if that isn’t your thing try taking a few minutes to write out five things you are thankful for each day. This all helps to ensure that you are living in the now. That you are being present in your conversations, and in your life. That you are controlling the one thing that you can in the world, and that’s you.
Commit to the process and be kind to yourself on both the good days and the bad ones.
Number 5: The value of practicing a lifestyle of growth.
Staying home all day makes it really easy to snack and snuggle in bed. That is okay to allow yourself to do on the days when it’s needed. Yet focusing on your attitude in the morning and your true strength and resilience will transform you. It will give you the courage to create something new. It will give you the push to stick to your routine. It will allow you to keep your head up. To challenge yourself to a new book, a new course or maybe even a new skill. That might mean committing to reading this month. Or learning to take this time to cook new recipes or try new workouts. Maybe, just maybe, it’s taking the opportunity to step into something new so that when this is through you're a step further than when this began.
Focusing on self-growth right now will not only open your mind but it will open your heart to lead others with a helping hand.
The Be Do Have Movement Team