I know it’s a cliched idea that these times of social isolation have given us time to reflect and meditate (though I realise this isn’t true for everyone) but I’m finding that as a result of this time, I really am reflecting and meditating more.
If I look for the positives in a bad situation then I’ll say that not being able to continue attending social engagements or work commitments is proving to be an enlightening time.
I understand though that social isolation can also lead to loneliness, and both can be harmful to our mental and physical health in the long term.
In the short term though, during a crisis like now, I’ve found there are certain things to be learnt from a change of routine and life perspective.
In that respect I’m embracing the positives.
What is Social Isolation?
“Social isolation is a state of complete or near-complete lack of contact between an individual and society. It differs from loneliness, which reflects temporary and involuntary lack of contact with other humans in the world.”
“All types of social isolation can include staying home for lengthy periods of time, having no communication with family, acquaintances or friends.”Wikipedia
If you are having negative feelings about social distancing and social isolation is affecting your health or wellbeing then do consider seeking professional help, won’t you?
For the most part though, I’ve been fine with social distancing and self isolating during the pandemic, although I definitely wouldn’t want social isolating to go on forever.
How about you?
7 things I’ve learnt
- There’s time to create more, and consume less.
- There’s more time to think, to stop and stare, or just be grateful for the world around you.
- You can develop a better routine for exercising.
- I’ve thought more about the food we eat, and cooked healthier meals.
- You don’t need to be with other people all of the time. FOMO (fear of missing out is real during ordinary times).
- Time alone doesn’t necessarily mean time spent feeling lonely.
- I’ve learnt to embrace new technology and found that I enjoy chatting with friends via online chat rooms like Zoom, and although this won’t replace real life contact, it is a great way to stay connected to people you can’t see often.
In our corner of the world, Dave and I’ve been getting out of bed quite early each morning and going for a daily walk or bicycle ride.
We are lucky to be able to walk through our suburb, along some leafy walkways to a beach.
Not only are we really enjoying each others company but we feel less stressed, less compelled to be fitting in what might be considered a non-essential walk in amongst a thousand other daily commitments.
When we get to the beach we stop, and stare – at the waves, at the sky and give thanks for that moment, and for the beauty around us.
We’re reminded to be thankful for our health, for our families, and for each other. It’s such an energising and positive way to start the day.
Another plus is that I’m only shopping about once every 9 days. How about you? It frees up so much time.
I used to shop almost daily, but now I plan our meals and go with a list, and I’m in and out of the supermarket much quicker. It’s been a real eye opener for me, and something that I’ll definitely carry on doing when all this is over.
I realise that we are in a fortunate position, and I know many others are in really tough situations, but I hope that someway, somehow you are learning to find ways to get through this time with positivity.
“If we can discover that our minds are bigger than our problems, we’ll see that deep down we all have the potential to be truly happy.”Gelong Thubten, A Monks Guide To Happiness
Have you developed any daily rituals that help you?