Updated: Sep 5, 2020
1) SELF-REFLECTION: The fact that the majority of us either lost our job or switched to working from home, we now have a population who is spending a lot of time at home and a lot of time with themselves. All of a sudden we can observe with a closer look what we are really like in our daily lives, what thoughts stream through our mind, what type of food we consume, which activities we engage in, and what frustrates us.
From our morning routines, throughout the day, until we turn off the lights, the collective is forced to look within and notice not only the habits but also the mental space that we are in as humans living in the 21st century, and our overall state of wellbeing.
After some months into lockdown, a lot of people started to pick up healthier habits and notice what they could be doing better in their lives. Lots of us are feeling inspired and are now planning new life goals or even diving into long lost dreams. Some of us took this time to let go of unhealed heart aches and past memories we didn’t even realise we were holding on to. Others have embraced what they have in their lives and the loved ones that surround them, and are now determined to make better use of their time and truly count their blessings.
The point is that we all had the opportunity to look at ourselves in the mirror and pay attention to things we were normally too busy for, working all week and rushing here and there. I think that the outcome of this is a general sense of gratitude for things we may have taken for granted pre lockdown, but also a positive change in behaviour as meaningful questions are now being asked and poor habits are being trashed.
It feels like the general ambiance in the air around me is that of people who are more at ease, rested and refilled with what is essential, authentic, and healthy. I think that after lockdown, we are going to witness individuals that are confident and in line with themselves.
As we are slowly easing out of lockdown, I started to see a couple of people here and there and I noticed that my friends were overall less distracted/agitated, more present, and some of the extroverted ones who are usually very talkative, were now listening more to me and taking the time, to just be - together.
2) KEEPING TRACK OF A CALENDAR: I’m sure that pretty much all of you had a well updated diary, perhaps a paper notebook version on your desk, another one on your outlook and maybe even a third one at home or in your purse/wallet… and why not the one on your phone too and let’s not forget the endless to do lists lying around.
Before lockdown, I was personally a huge fan of keeping a calendar and notes of my things to do, see, or buy… but what I realised is that it fed my anxiety big time and I’m betting that I’m not alone in that.
Of course we all need to keep track of a calendar to an extend because that’s just how our society runs and unless you have an outstanding memory you certainly need to write down somewhere your meetings and important dates… but there’s also a limit to this and perhaps for those who did not need to keep track of a calendar during lockdown, you probably felt lighter - and certain that going full on back to the old ways is not an option.
I suppose that it is quite obsessive to constantly think about what is going to happen this week and the next; it prevents you to fully live in the now. For my part and for a lot of my friends, we will certainly take it easier on the to do listings and calendar planning from now on.
I will engage in it as necessary, within limits, and absolutely keep the ease and sense of freedom felt during lockdown, although the rhythm will of course be different. Even though the pace of our lives can be fast, we still have the power to control the rhythm of our hearts, thoughts, and actions.
3) SLOWING DOWN: Didn’t it feel strange at first to have to wait in line before entering the grocery store and to have to be mindful of others and our distance everywhere in the street? It could certainly feel quite unnatural and slightly irritating at times but as the weeks went by, it enabled us to slow down and start to see the life around us.
I personally started to greet people a lot and thank them when they would wait on the side to let me pass on a one-way pathway - because of it, I started to feel much closer to my community than before, it felt as if I was actually taking the time to see them and it came with a feeling of belonging, which we desperately need in our big cities.
While waiting in line to enter the shop, I was forced to slow down instead of rushing in with my headphones on my ears and blinders on my eyes as I would usually do ; by having to wait 5 – 10 minutes, I would actually take the time to be grateful to be here and able to buy food so easily and in such diversity, I would just look around me, breath in and out and enjoy myself, and that felt good.
This applies to anything else during lockdown; no gyms, restaurants or social places were open, and so we all had to start to be content with what we had, slow down a little bit, and appreciate just being alive.
This is a lesson that can and should be taken on board after we go back to normal as it is certainly a healthy mindset ; by committing to slowing down and live life for the little moments, you do things with much more quality and integrity because it will come from a place of rest, openness and gratitude.
4) TAKING THE TIME TO SPEAK WITH LOVED ONES: This has been a time to catch up with old friends on the phone and perhaps some family members as well. It was also an opportunity to truly listen to them: not just go through the usual chat about what we did last Friday night or how our spin class was… the conversations came from the heart for the majority of us because we were all supporting each other on a personal level but also going through understanding this pandemic together and what it meant for the world.
People shared meaningful conversations and even discussed their emotions and point of view in great detail. It opened space for better human relations and certainly showed us all that, it is in fact all we have in this life.
I am sure that a lot of you - including me - went through a spring clean in your relationships and perhaps realised that some people are maybe not what you want in your daily live going forward... when at the same time you beautifully strengthened your bonds with others. That’s ok and often necessary - after years and years of friendship or same toxic patterns with relatives, it can seem difficult to break free of it or even see that you want to... but in this unusual climate, where we had so much time on our hands, we couldn’t do otherwise but to be truthful to ourselves, and appreciate the people in our lives - and let go of the ones that no longer served us.
This time away from people (apart from the ones we lived with, if we did) allowed us to press the pause button on the social life which is always healthy for some time and beneficial to an extent, in order for us to recharge our batteries. I have no doubt that once we're back to normal, people will remember this time and appreciate seeing and speaking with loved ones on a whole new level.
5) STRESS, ANXIETY, & PHYSICAL PAIN: These three factors are widely known as the biggest disease and unease of our modern times (especially so in the West, but quite globally now anyway).
What is interesting and encouraging is that a lot of people said that during lockdown they stopped having back pain for example (no longer sitting all tense at their desks for hours daily) or stopped feeling so stressed, no longer having the usual pressure on their shoulders… instead finally getting the opportunity to just be… with nothing to do… nowhere to go.
I even heard about a French survey that showed that a certain percentage of people reported being even happier in this lifestyle and were in fact not looking forward to going back to their normal lives.
Another interesting fact is that some of us realised that it isn’t just our full time jobs and busy routines that gives us stress… it’s just us, and the way we choose to live and think - because even in lockdown, with nothing to do whatsoever, some folks still felt anxiety and stress lying at the bottom of their belly and wondered how it was possible considering that there was nothing to stress about.
It is a pertinent observation and enables us all to take responsibility for how we feel, and act better going forward, for our own sake but also perhaps for the collective and the dynamic of shaping a healthier world.
I hope that this has opened our eyes and showed us that we absolutely need to relax our body and mind. I strongly encourage people to practice meditation and any form of self-care regularly, physical activity is also essential and time away from phones, screens, and news to an extend is important as well.
6) SHIFT OF CONSCIOUSNESS FOR A BETTER WORLD: It’s no secret that there has been a lot of turbulence and “chaos” in the world lately and in the spiritual community, it is said that we are preparing for a shift in human consciousness. We are now moving towards new ways of living which include being more in touch with our emotions and well-being, our full capacity as individuals but also cooperation as a collective.
We might be trading violence, greed, and separation for oneness, kindness, and intelligence.
We have been hearing for a number of years now that a lot of us are gradually discovering psychic abilities of all sorts and they seem to be so much more accessible to humanity than 5 – 10 years ago; there is clearly a new quality of vibration and energy around us.
I personally think and hope that in future, people are going to come together and realise that we are all beings that want to be loved, appreciated, and seen. When you take away fear and confusion, you will see that all of us just want to live in harmony, discover our inner power as well as being of use to our community and loved ones.
Perhaps capitalism and the governments as we know them will fall, only to give birth to something better and more in line with our collective consciousness. Perhaps we will have new ways of communicating and new goals to work towards and I pray that we will no longer destroy the environment, each other, and the other life forms around us; it certainly seems to be at the forefront of our conversations and deep desires.