IT’S THE SMALL THINGS
Twenty-five weeks into quarantine and more of us are antsier than ever before. While the economy is opening up and businesses are slowly getting back into the groove of things after quite a slow down and slump these past few months, I do not think we have gone back to “normal” quite yet – at least, not the old normal that we are all accustomed to and know. For starters, face masks and face shields are now the norm when leaving ones home and curfews still exist. Skeletal workforces are still heavily considered as most companies have employees on work from home shifts to ensure proper social distancing rules are met. Health has undoubtedly become a priority, and strict hygiene measures are now protocols that are enforced almost everywhere. Zoom, Microstoft Teams, Facetime, Whatsapp calls, you name it, for most of us, has become a bigger part of our lives than we have ever imagined – in my case, I did not even know of the existence of Zoom until March. Today, it is what brings us together – from board meetings to birthday celebrations. But what exactly is essential in keeping ones sanity intact these days when it is so easy to be on edge? Here are some of my thoughts:
It is of extreme importance to establish a routine of sorts – whether you stay at home for most of the week or not, having a schedule to stick to especially in a time of adjustment and/or change helps give us a sense of control and normalcy that we, human beings, unconsciously seek. Most especially for those of us who work from home, it is so easy to get distracted and lost in our freedom and ample time, that we can have the tendency to loose focus on our priorities. Sticking to a schedule – whether daily or hourly – always solves this problem and at the end of the day is not only good for one’s sanity, but is also conducive to productivity.
Find a hobby that will keep you away from social media for most of the day. Although it is practically impossible to abstain from social media given that it is a news source for a lot of us these days, dwelling and aimlessly wandering about is also unhealthy as it unconsciously has us comparing our lives with others. Pre-pandemic, this was already a big issue, but now that mental health is an even bigger concern and the degree of people’s sensitivity and choices vary even more, if you notice that being on social media for long periods on end is affecting your overall well-being and making you assess your lifestyle in a negative manner, then lay off it first. You will thank yourself later.
Lastly, never underestimate the value of physical activity. Whether it is an online workout session, a walk outside, cleaning your home, or just a few push ups – I have never believed in the effect of endorphins as a stress reliever until this quarantine season happened. Even for a short period of time, doing something physical gets your mind off whatever you are thinking, stressing or worrying about and enhances your perspective and outlook later on. On a personal note, while it does take up time as well, it also boosts ones energy enough to get on with the rest of the day in a more efficient manner.
At a time when it seems like a crisis such as COVID-19 is never ending, it is always much easier to dwell on the negative. When in reality, we have more than enough to be thankful for, no matter what. God is fair, I always believe in that. No one really has everything, in the same way that everyone has something. It is about choosing to count our blessings and be grateful for them, rather than sulk about our weaknesses and what we lack in life. At the end of the day, a positive outlook and mindset begets happiness and content.