Since December of last year, I’ve been taking an online class with a woman living outside of Beijing. When I spoke with her two weeks ago it was her seventh week living indoors. Her spirits were high, she was grateful for the time she was spending with her family, and she said they had only one person remaining in the hospital recovering from COVID-19. When I asked her if you get used to it, she said, “yes, you do.”
Like many of us, I’ve been home for three weeks and fully inside, with the exception of socially distanced walks through my neighborhood, for nearly the same amount of time. I’ve experienced fear, anxiety, joy, uncertainty, happiness, respite, connection, disconnection, gratitude, and tension.
Through the range of emotions, there are a few things that are working really well for my peace of mind.
Meditation has become part of my everyday routine. Before this, I was meditating most days for at least five minutes. Now I’m making a point to do it every day. It helps. I have been searching the Insight Timer app for guided meditations for wellness, positivity, and gratitude. I make time in the morning for a 20-minute meditation and sometimes take a 20-minute break during the day to meditate again.
Meditation boosts immunity, is relaxing, and eases anxiety and tension. I’ve enjoyed meditations that include visualization the most.
I am grateful to be employed and to work from home. Since I’ve been home full-time, my calendar has been full of virtual calls. Early on, I had 18 meetings in two days – the most I can remember in a very long time. What I’ve come to appreciate is that these calls are an opportunity to connect. At first, I wasn’t sure how I was going to sustain the schedule. As my calendar opens up more, I look forward to these virtual meetings and am savoring them.
It’s important to remember not everyone at home is working. Using free apps like Zoom, Voxer, and Marco Polo help me stay in contact with other communities, including people who aren’t working.
Acknowledgment and Acceptance
I acknowledge that I have had some tough hours and days in the last month. I have also been working on accepting this lifestyle as my new normal. This weekend I noticed a shift. My husband and I watched a movie in the middle of the day on Saturday; I can’t remember the last time we did that. I reveled in the relaxation and downtime of the moment. I felt a sense of calm and acceptance with what is.
While working, I’ve been taking breaks throughout the day. I’ve been eating my lunch away from my desk and taking walks outside.
Whether or not you’ve accepted this new, temporary normal, it’s still uncertain and drastically different than what we’re used to. Taking breaks is important to catch your breath and reset.
This morning I danced to four songs that make me smile. I did this because I wanted to experience joy. I wanted to move my body, smile, laugh, and be joyful. It worked. Life is still here to live and the joyous times stretch each delicious moment.
As we enter into another week of spending time indoors, may these findings help you find relaxation, joy, and acceptance of what is.