(Anyone reading this blog from the future; this is a post from the Coronavirus pandemic and quarantine of 2020.)
Here we go. News, interviews, articles keep talking about social distancing. Considering I’m not an expert so instead I’d like to focus on self-distance and self-isolation. At a time when we’re socially isolated from the outside world and living in insecurity for extended periods of time, it is very important to exercise self-distance and self-isolation from ourselves as well. We have to turn to ourselves. We need to listen and listen to our inner voice. We have to ask questions. How do you want to spend today? How do you feel?
There is already a boom of online tools and tips that can help to stay safe and well. You can join online (free) courses, watch motivational talks, do at home exercises, download meditation apps, listen to podcasts, join online yoga classes and so on. Staying home (check out my previous post), being indoors, locking ourselves down impacts us on so many levels. Physically, and mentally too.I’d say that as things slowly start to shifts – and lockdowns ease – spa centers, massage studios and psychologists will have full agendas– people will want to (start to) take care of themselves again.
One of the best things you can do for yourself right now is self-distance. Distance from social media, news, harmful thoughts: whether for a few hours a day, a week, or an entire weekend. Take a break, sit down, breathe. If you can or if you’re interested then meditate. Listen to a reassuring song you like, or read a long-planned book. If breathing helped – and believe me it always does – then don’t rush into your day but take a few breaths instead (still in your bed if that’s what makes you going) and try to understand how you feel. If this is not available to you right now – perhaps you may have young children to take care of or you go to work early because you’re not subject to quarantine – then while you’re making coffee or sitting on the bus towards your workplace try to focus on what kind of day you would like to have. Pay attention to how you experience the first first moments of the day and try to be present. By the time the evening comes, if possible don’t spend your all your free time on your phone and reading the news, but try to stay in touch with yourself and think about the day you had and how much you have achieved.
In times like this, not only social distancing is key to get through this faster but also self-distance and self- isolation so that when all is over; you can come out of it stronger(read my next post on this topic). All this will end, and we have to be ready for what comes after. It won’t be the same, it won’t be easy but if you keep your sanity now, you’ll be able to be there for the after.