With a vaccine in our future we can feel hopeful. Like you, I wonder when and then pray that we all stay safe until it is administered.
Isolation has certainly given us time for self-reflection. The freedom we have always enjoyed is gone. We can’t call up a friend to meet for coffee or go out for meal. No more browsing in shops or going on trips. No one-item grocery shopping or attending a music concert or the theatre.
There are still ways to connect with others, via phone call, Zoom, Skype or FaceTime and while it’s better than nothing, it certainly isn’t the same as an eyeball to eyeball conversation. And I do miss the hugs!
Cooking and baking has always been my respite and more so these past months. A friend and I like to refer to our minds as ‘monkey minds’ and cooking slows down the constant flow of random thoughts. For me it is one of the few activities where I must totally concentrate on the rhythm of chopping, stirring and measuring to be successful.
I have had other friends tell me it’s sewing, meditation, music or playing pickle ball or enjoying games of bridge. Many get lost in a good book, television or movies. We have all discovered ways to centre our thoughts and cope with our present reality.
I think the most shocking thing for most of us is that we are coping well. Yes, we all have our ‘down’ days. Maybe, because of our age, we know ‘this too shall pass’ and so we just put on our big boy or girl pants and carry on.
My friends and I chat about how blessed we are because we have a home to live in, a steady income and are healthy. We also laugh about how tidy/clean our homes have become and some of us have even cleared areas or things we have been meaning to do for a long time.
As this New Year begins let’s give ourselves credit that, for the most part, we have remained positive; we’ve probably spent more time in the fresh air than we have since we were kids; we have come to value our resilience and most days we find a way to laugh.
It might be time to think about plans for the coming months. How can we maintain our attitudes, especially if you experience the winter season as many of us do.
I’ve thought about this and my plans include:
- Meal planning – dinner only (I used to do it when our kids were small and now I want to have one less thing to think about each day. So far it’s helping) I’ve completed 2 weeks.
- I just started a 30 day meditation course to see if it helps me control my ‘monkey mind.’ It only takes about ten minutes so it suits my attention span!
- I have a set schedule to clean our bathrooms. Never had one before so I shall see how it works. Again it takes away the constant thoughts of “I should.” I’ve completed 4 weeks.
- Continue my walks and add in physio-recommended exercises. I’m good with walks, sporadic with exercises.
- Take at least one course each month on line. So far I have completed one on working a food processor, one on making bread and two on writing.
- In the summer my husband and I went to different city parks for walks. We are going to continue this plus takes regular trips to the mountains.
- Only watch the news once a day.
Will I continue? Who knows. I don’t get fussed if I don’t complete the goals. I just find if I state them, I’m more likely to carry though.
I do want to be as kind to myself as I try to be with my family and friends, so no judgement. I learned this a long time ago and it continues to serve me well, especially these past months.
So…… it appears that we will continue to enjoy our own company for a few more months. What can you do to make the time enjoyable?