With COVID-19 climate pushing and testing human’s vulnerability to disease, it has forced every country to land into their own set of rules, which essentially just means – Quarantine – staying home and staying safe and this has given everyone different ways of appreciating (or not) the situation.
Being over 2 months in Movement Control Order (MCO) where the country I am currently in, it gave me a lot of time to think, reflect and explore my perspectives. Quarantine is isolation, but physically. However, it could also turned into an isolation in the state of mind, if the mind is not occupied properly. With the quarantine-life making you see days passing by with just whatever you could do within your home, it made me realised a few things that I feel we potentially took for granted of.
- SPACE – – – Realising now everyone is expected to stay home, it made me realised the value of space. The space where you live in, or the space you spend time at. I would say that I am privileged to experience two spaces throughout my MCO. From commencing the MCO where I am currently residing at; a nice double-storey intermediate home, guarded neighbourhood with decent landscaping and spaces between houses, I thought and feel that I am contented. Contented because one day as I watched the news on tv, I watched how some families are stuck in a small flat of smaller squared-foot home, with their doors being only 3meters apart from their neighbours. At the time of MCO commencing, I was home with my brother. Having enough space to live in, with quite a noise-inducing gamer boy, made me realised how space, at home, matters. Sound is greatly reflected and impacted by space. The smaller the space, the harder it is for you to escape noises.We then were able to travel across district to go back to our hometown. Now I am at home with the family; 6 of us in a home, but thankfully a much bigger space, indoor and outdoor; the yard. Experiencing both of these spaces, my home and my family home, it made me truly realised how space is important not just for moving around when you are in a quarantine/lockdown. It is for sanity. Space equals to sanity. Space is a privilege that is worth spending on.
- LONELINESS vs. Good Conversationalist Skill – – – With the MCO announced quite abruptly, I know some of us were not in time to arrange a trip home to go back and be with the family. Some of my own friends, colleagues, are stuck at home, all alone throughout the MCO. I know for a fact, humans are not built for isolation. Now being in quarantine, it may have caused a few of us to feel lonely. Loneliness is actually pretty common, we just have not truly try to learn and understand it enough until we are forced into quarantine. It is biology, bodily function, just like hunger. Like it or not, loneliness is partially self-inflicted. We need to acknowledge when we encounter it so we are able to pull ourselves out of it. To have your loved ones, such as friends and families ever ready to spend time with you on a call, or texts are so crucial. You do however need to vary the contact; vary the frequencies and expand the number of people you do go in contact with. Why do I say so? It is to have that self-awareness that you are unloading onto someone and it is unfair to keep going to one person and expect them to handle all your stress/mess. I believe in having different people for different things.Of course we all would love to have someone you can always count on, to talk about your day, a confidant. However, not everyone is blessed with a partner, a confidant they can share their daily mundane things with. And there are only so many friends on your go-to list to chat with. That is why I feel during this quarantine, it is the best time to reconnect with your long-lost friends. Explore and make new pen pals via social media or even dating apps.
What I have tried, tested and have worked for me, is setting goals of things to read, of people to reconnect with and even just as simple as making time to learn and understand other topics which I shy away from. Then with these knowledge, you are able to further share it with your family/friends, and make a more meaningful conversations with them instead of the usual “hey how are you” on repeat day-in day out. We owe it to ourselves and our family/friends to NOT be LAZY in our conversation. Being lazy puts burden on others when you are checking up on them. Open the conversation with a sharing or thought provoking ideas. This also helps to uplift and up-level each other in the knowledge department. A definite win-win and a good cure to loneliness.
- MINDFULNESS against Consumerism – – – I can’t help but to notice how the virtual life has become more and more consuming in materialism and also in fame. The rise of TikTok has not only increase the level of nonsense into our daily life, it has also given more platform for consumerism. More and more of social media is now dominated by consumerism. Everywhere you go, be it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even TikTok, your eyes and mind are fed with consumerism – buy more things, it will make you happy. This is a false feeling and approach they are trying to foster. Growing up with fast fashion, I learnt that it is not sustainable to stay in the consumerism path. Not sustainable in a way that not only degrading in terms of finances, but it is harmful for our Mother Earth as it causes more and more waste and prevents us to truly understand what our underlying problems that we have been running away from. That is why being mindful is one of the key to not let yourself fall prey to consumerism.It is easy to spend time scrolling through social media or even online retailers and get affected to purchase something as a quick-win, to feel better about the situation. Learn to be mindful of yourself; what you spend your time on, why you made a certain purchases, when such things occurs. The immediate action you can put to prevent yourself to fall into that pattern is by actively putting yourself in-check of your social media and Netflix-ing behaviours. Limit the number of hours you spent on these platforms and reclaim more hours to meditation, doing yoga, gratitude-journaling, exercise, read and even just have a small conversation with your loved ones. Be in the present, dive in more into yourself and being. Take back control from consumerism and the world of never-ending purchases. Your heart, mind and body will thank you (even your wallet and bank account too!).
These are the few things I have come to realised during my lockdown period. I believe there will be more as we venture through the new norm, but let us tackle things step by steps. Realising now that we are all working from home, staying in for majority of our time (since some countries even forbid walking/jogging in the park), we owe it to ourselves to make the most out of this. Making the most does not necessarily mean you have to learn or gain something out of it. It can mean learning to be contented to live in the present, enjoy the stillness, and appreciate the abundance of time we currently have in hand. Slowly but surely, we will gain something out of this period. It is just the matter of time; making time for reflection and writing it down. Our future self would love to read it as part of memories made for the year 2020. I hope you have also clicked and read a few articles I have linked right here in this post, as they have inspired me to write my thoughts up today.
How have you spent your lockdown/quarantine? What have you learnt? What keeps you contented, so far?