Life is a grind.
It has always felt so.
Today is no different.
When life was arguably normal, I can vividly remember wishing for a pause.
Moments brimming with mindfulness.
Time to be with me.
A glimmer of hope on the horizon, a reason to keep pouring energy into my everyday.
More time for my child, to be who she loves being, beyond the long hours she spends at school.
More quality time with my family to foster relationships.
Reasons to be together, to bond, without being distracted by what defines our everyday.
To sleep better. To consistently get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.
Have you ever felt so?
Have you wished for any or all of the above?
And just then life decided to grant my wish. Our wish.
Life has come to a standstill.
The wheels of our routines, our everyday life have come to a screeching halt.
How are we reacting to this new reality?
We’re startled by the crisis.
Life feels pointless.
We’re struggling to find any meaning in the circumstances we’re in.
The future, as well as the present for that matter, appears bleak, uncomfortable and disturbing.
But the matter of fact is, this crisis is a great leveller.
All the labels we’d attached to our existence have been blown away.
Whether you were a stay-at-home mom or a working mom or a homeschooling mom.
Today you and I are all the same.
The stay-at-home, homeschooling, working moms or simply put, just MOMs.
We are all together in this.
Everything we’re feeling is valid.
We’re allowed to cry, to get upset, and to feel frustrated at how unfair all of this feels.
We are allowed to feel a pause or even a full stop.
We’re allowed to take up space to ask for virtual hugs, to ask for the support that we need, and to respond to our needs.
But in the middle of all the angst, all the fear and negative feelings we can do one more thing.
To use this pause to analyse what stories our mind is spinning for us.
To look closely if the things are really as bad as our mind is making it mean.
Stay at home.
All these instructions trigger a fight-flight-freeze response in our social interaction loving minds.
A surge of negative feelings, a suffocating feeling of being trapped can make our pulse race, leave us feeling anxious and breathless.
The meanings we are giving to the circumstances aren’t clear, they’re confusing, jarring and disturbing.
If you’re feeling so, trust me you aren’t alone.
I am with you.
Because we feel stuck, life appears pointless.
We’re unsure what it is we want from life right now, or how to get there.
We’re putting all of our time and energy into things that aren’t fulfilling us, leaving us feeling empty.
At times like these, it can be helpful to brainstorm loads of different options with a cup of tea.
We could try changing something – even if it’s something really small like our thoughts about the situation.
And that’s what I tried my hand at.
I decided to stop focusing on what could go wrong and directed my attention towards what I have at hand.
To change the dialogue I am having with myself.
Instead of feeling trapped, I can choose to feel gifted.
” You can practice social distancing on social media too.
Stay away from people who are infected with negativity, a lack of kindness, an unwillingness to seek truth, etc.”
~ James Clear
Gifted with the grant of the wishes I have been making all along.
To shift the trapped feeling into a feeling of being grounded.
Exactly like what winters feel like.
Winters are the season of silence, quiet, calmness, harshness, ending and detachment.
Winters are also the times when trees lose their foliage and look barren and lifeless while spending time to grow deep roots, to grow firm and strong.
To prepare to face any storm.
To prepare for a promising future – the spring and summer.
Focus on what you’ve got and where you can go from here
We’ve got a chance to use this break to be at home with ourselves, undistracted.
It is entirely up to us how we choose to make use of this time and opportunity.
How are you choosing to show up?
♥ We’ve got a pause that we can utilise to create progress.
I have been using the extra time at hand to read books like there’s no tomorrow.
A huge pile of unread books (mainly e-books) are what have my focus right now.
I am also utilising this time to complete the online courses that were craving for my time and attention all these days.
If you’ve been secretly wishing to kick back to fit life, shed a few extra pounds and take ownership of your weight.
It’s a good time to take my FREE Weight Loss Ownership Course.
♥ We have the peace of our homes (that’s purely relative and subjective) that we can use to bring calmness within.
Now is the time to invest in self-care.
The one thing we all know we NEED but keep putting off until an unforeseen tomorrow.
I once read an argument in favour of self-care that said,
If you don’t spend time loving yourself, you’ll spend time chasing people who don’t love you either.
And this not only freaked me out but made me stop and rethink if I was really too busy to take care of myself in small ways.
In the past few years, I have mended my uncaring ways to include many small self-care rituals in my every day – including but not limited to:
Regularly moisturizing my skin
A quick before bedtime skincare ritual
Guarding my sleep time
Keeping my social media activity in check
Being mindful of my fitness routine
Watching that I eat healthy most of the time
And in today’s digital age, everything we need to learn is just a click away.
Yes, YouTube is quite a magic lamp in that sense.
♥ We have been locked down but it shouldn’t stop us from feeling fired up.
It is totally up to us how we want to feel in the circumstances we are in.
You can choose to feel deprived and restricted by the limited stocks in our pantries or the fast depleting produce in our fridge.
You can use it as an opportunity to unleash the creativity within and create new recipes from as many or as few ingredients you have at hand.
I have chosen the latter and every day of the past week, my family has eaten at least one meal that has the food we’ve never tried before.
It can be unnerving in the start but gets exciting with each success.
Undoubtedly the lack of fresh produce has wrecked my routine that features fresh salads in a variety of forms.
I am not letting this stop me from my fitness goal in any way.
I have been stirring up salads from all sorts of vegetables that I never in my wildest dreams thought could feature in my salad bowl.
I’d be honest, the results aren’t always tasty or exciting but never the less my changed attitude has helped me stay on track of my goals even in this rough patch.
♥ We can let fear paralyse us or inspire us to sow seeds for a better future.
With the schools shut down, I have had more time to self-reflect than what I have on school days.
And revisiting my past, I noted how I’ve felt pangs of anxiety and uncertainty at every bend in life.
Isn’t that the highlight of current times too?
Aren’t uncertainty and change the only constants of life?
Haven’t we lived, grown and thrived despite uncertainty all along the course of human existence?
Then why should we slow our endeavours to grow now?
We learn to drive a car despite full knowledge of how dangerous a road accident can be.
We strive towards fitness and workout regularly despite the knowledge that we’re all to die one day.
Simply because everything we do, helps strengthen the quality of our existence.
Every effort we take helps us fulfil the purpose of our life.
Then why should we let fear paralyse us now?
♥ We can let the chaos in your life, force us to seek comfort around us or to find peace within us.
Anywhere you look on social media, you’ll notice people
Justifying spending days doing nothing,
Eating comfort foods all day,
Sleeping most hours of the day,
Debating if this phase is the new normal
Or worse, wallowing in the self-pity of how much added work these times have thrown our way.
I don’t say that you should not let your feelings show.
And neither is indulging in activities that help you relax wrong in any way.
But justifying an unproductive existence that isn’t serving you would only add to our misery in the long run.
Letting your feelings take control over you instead of vice versa won’t lead us to positive outcomes.
Leading a reckless, unhealthy lifestyle will wreck our health and immunity in a time we need to be our healthiest selves to stay safe from the pandemic.
I have talked about actionable steps to process negative emotions in my posts,
♥ We can use this opportunity to take action toward our life goals.
This crisis, the pandemic might have thrown all our plans for the immediate future out of the window.
But it helps to remember that
You’re working from home, working out from home, eating, educating kids and entertaining yourself at home.
Your home feels like a whole new place when you look at it through the glasses of our changed circumstances.
In such times, you need to change your perspective.
As you adjust to this new routine, make sure you aren’t putting your goals and dreams on pause.
This is the perfect time to commit to a new daily routine that prioritises what you want in life.
A routine that replaces the temptation of a mindless TV binge or snacking all day or swirling a glass of wine.
A routine that takes you closer to the goals you want to crush in a year, in 5 years from now and also in your lifetime.
If you’re feeling unsure of your life-goals and would benefit with a goal planning workbook planner, my How to Set Goals and Crush Them guide might come in handy for you.
♥ We can choose to stay overwhelmed or to choose what strengthens our positivity and bonding
With the kids home all day now it can be a struggle to maintain peace and order at home.
Added responsibilities with not much help around can be overwhelming with each passing day.
In such times having a set routine has been my saviour.
I have planned a basic plan for the day with Pari (I let her have her say in her routine) to help keep her doing the things she needs to do.
This saves us both from losing our minds or drive each other crazy out of boredom or fatigue.
And may I add how tiring homeschooling or pursuing school curriculum online can be.
I am hoping things will get easier with time.
♥ When nothing seems to work, watching my daughter go about her day can help me realign my focus
What would it look like for you to approach your life with the presence and the joy of a child putting stickers on her face?
Or painting without worrying if her artwork is anywhere close to perfection?
Think about it.
She’s wholly present, she’s not thinking about what tomorrow will bring or the chaos happening around the world.
She’s right here in the now.
She’s curious, she hasn’t decided that she knows what will happen next.
She finds joy in simple pleasures: she’s happy to be home.
How you can spend your energy in more productive ways?
Stop telling people they are going to be okay.
Instead, offer up the truth.
We don’t know what the path forward looks like.
We don’t know if we are going to be okay.
We do, however, know that whatever comes our way, we will face it together.
You designed a life for yourself before this scary phase and you will design a life for yourself after this pandemic crisis is settled.
The fact that this is happening doesn’t take away your skills to build an even better life after this difficult time has passed.
Make the most of this pause.
Spend it in ways you’d always wished to.
So that you’re proud of yourself of having tried your best when you get to the other side of this crisis.
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