Keeping yourself busy during the social-distancing period?
Are you getting affected by the constant news about coronavirus? Then this article is for you!
Let’s understand the most essential thing we need to do for ourselves!
I don’t think that I even need to explain what Social-Distancing is. But there are a few other names for it as we have heard –Self Isolation or Quarantine or Lockdown or Janta Curfew in India.
Quarantine, Self-Isolation or Social-Distancing… call it anything. One thing is for sure that all of us need to do it for the benefit of the world, for our own country, society — but most importantly for ourselves!
When we first got to know about the disease, I am very sure all of us started sharing posts of what was happening in China and somehow we all felt that it won’t reach our own country. But as things took a turn, it reached our own locality and today many of our close ones are affected by it in some or the other way.
Many people are dying all around the world. Most of them are working for the benefit of others by risking their lives. Many are not having a roof to stay under, or food to eat. Millions have been affected in all worst possible ways we cannot even imagine!
At times like these and knowing there are people out there who are going through such hardships without any mistake of their own, all we can do is to support them by staying at home.
Are you feeling bored because of Social-Distancing?
Well, this article is not to tell you things which you already must have read or heard. This article is for the privileged or the people who can follow social-distancing : people who have a roof to stay under and food to eat, people who have the opportunity to work from home or for those who don’t even have work to do at home. Also, for the people who are cribbing about not getting enough liquor to drink while millions do not even have alcohol based sanitizers to clean their hands. For the people who are “bored” at home or are feeling suffocated by staying in their 3BHKs with huge balconies and for many such “fortunate” people who are really privileged in some way or other.
This article is for all such different kinds of people who have understood the seriousness of the problem or the crisis the world is facing, and want to follow social-distancing but are ‘bored’ staying at home.
Trust me guys, if you are bored with yourself, you have a serious problem. And it is okay to have such a serious problem. Not everyone has the same emotional intelligence or tolerance or the mental stability to survive living with yourself in a closed environment as self-isolation is needed.
To be honest, this article is for all kinds. I do not intend to be sarcastic but I used the words – “serious problem” with respect to how much we as humans need to understand what being with yourself actually means.
Keeping yourself busy?
To make social-distancing a success, I am sure, all of us are trying to keep ourselves busy in some or the other way. By cooking food at home, helping at home for cleaning, sweeping, washing clothes as of course our maids are on paid leaves at home and safe.
We are spending time watching movies, binge watching series, working out at home and posting videos about it online. Most are taking part in stupid challenges just for passing time, playing online games with our friends, doing video calls and taking screenshots of it, because trust me, everyone is guilty of doing things for Instagram. Apart from doing things for Instagram, people are actually doing things like reading or writing.
Working from home was supposed to be nice but the drawback is that there is no time limit now and everyone is working harder than they actually do and it becomes frustrating as they are not being able to go out and get some fresh air.
All these things are good, really great that we all are trying to keep ourselves busy during the social-distancing phase or the lockdown period.
But one question-
- How many hours did you actually sit alone and speak to yourself? You keep staring outside the window and keep thinking about past mistakes or future decisions or pending work or failed relationships, etc. But have you thought what if, what if you start meditating?
When we think about meditating, we always have the excuse of avoiding it by saying “I don’t have time”, “I am still young, meditation is for the old”, “meditation is for the people with problems”, etc. But these statements are fallacious.
Human Beings are known to be social animals. Agreed.
- But how many times have you thought about escaping routine life, skipping school, college, office in the hope of getting some free time? How many times have you escaped routine life to travel in the hills and get some peace looking at the valleys? How many times you wanted to get high by drinking or smoking or by other means?
You know it deep down that you have always tried to escape! Always! In some way or the other!
You have always cribbed about not getting time for anything. And whenever you got time, meditation was never on that list. Well, you have time now and you can make use of it to build good habits and healthy lifestyle physically, mentally and spiritually.
All I am trying to say is that, you cannot escape yourself, you cannot run away from the reality. No matter what you do, the situation is not going to change, you have to face yourself at some point in life. Social-distancing has made it possible.
What should I do when I meditate?
This question is often asked about meditation-
- “What should I do when I meditate?”. The irony is, Meditation itself means not doing anything. To not do anything is meditation. To sit idle by closing your eyes is Meditation.
Next common question asked –
- “What if I get a lot of thoughts when I try to meditate?”. The answer is, yes you will get thoughts, but the art is to observe the thoughts, let them come and pass, observe what you feel. Let the thoughts come. And do not ‘try’ to meditate by trying to stop the thoughts. It is okay. Let them come.
I am asking you all to do one simple thing – Sit on the floor by crossing your legs, close your eyes and just sit. Let thoughts come. Sit.
Observe your thoughts
When you start sitting, you will observe, you are not able to sit still for more than 5 minutes. You will feel restless. In fact, you will feel like doing some work. When you sit for meditation, you will remember all the important things you had to do which you were not doing otherwise and procrastinating maybe. But now once you sit, you are looking for an excuse to get up. Even after that – Just continue sitting. Your body is not used to sitting still. You always want to do something. The only time you are still is when you are asleep or dead. But you have never been still while being conscious.
That’s why when the opportunity of being at home or following social-distancing or self-isolation has arrived, you are not able to cope up with the reality that you are alone and cannot go anywhere or do anything. We all are indeed. Right now we have our family or friends around, but there are going to be times when they won’t be around.
We are never ready to live alone or spend time alone doing absolutely nothing. Whenever possible we always have some source of entertainment around – Music, Television, Movies, Laptops, Radio, Newspapers, books, etc. People spend hours scrolling social media. Some people love their work so much that even if they get breaks, they won’t spend time doing something else or be with themselves. Because of the lockdown in many cities, humans have got the opportunity to be at home or to follow social distancing, and hence it is really necessary at least now that you learn to be all by yourself by doing absolutely nothing and also by not talking to anyone.
You can spend time looking out of the window but how much time do you look within yourself?
How to build the habit of meditating?
To get used to meditation or sitting idle by closing eyes and doing absolutely nothing, I am going to give you an idea for how to go about it.
- On the first day, let’s say today, you sit idle by closing your eyes for 5 min. Set an alarm of exact 5 minutes. Set an alarm for 10 minutes the next day. Keep increasing 5 minutes every day and try to sit like this for half an hour daily till your body gets used to it.
- I really want all of you to do it. Try it once if you have never. If you cannot spend 30 minutes for yourself in 24 hours, 30 minutes by not doing anything, then you have a serious problem because you do not know what life actually is then. Work, family, relationships, entertainment, politics, day to day activities are a part of this life, these aspects are not “LIFE”. Hence these 30 minutes are important for you to understand what life is. Develop this habit for next 14 days and continue it for the rest of your life.
Because, with all the silver linings of social-distancing and lockdowns which has decreased the world pollution levels and has made cities look prettier, it is very important for all of us to reduce the pollution of our own thoughts and make our minds prettier for ourselves and others around us.
Just understand that life is in the present. Not in the past or in the future. No matter how hard you try to escape, you have to face yourself. Meditation will help you to be in the present and live in the very moment. I cannot even list down the benefits of Meditation in this one article. Just one word – Infinite.
Seek help during social-distancing if needed...
Social distancing can be difficult if bombarded everyday with news about people getting affected across the world.
- AVOID watching news if it affects you emotionally. Watch news to get latest updates by the government.
- START talking to your friends and family members and help those who are not mentally strong as you.
- Mental Health is equally important as Physical Health. Also, if you are going through any mental disorders or are having any symptoms during this social-distancing phase or lockdown period, please consider contacting psychologists or counsellors.
- Additionally, you can also practise Pranayam and Anulom Vilom to keep anxiety at bay.
- Please meditate. It will help you to achieve a great lifestyle.
This article was to help you understand, that no matter how hard the situation is, social distancing is giving you the opportunity to know yourself, be with yourself, have your ‘me time’ spiritually, understand yourself, forgive yourself and most importantly to learn to “ACCEPT” yourself and the situation around you. Accepting is the first step of being at peace.
If you need any help or advice, please do not hesitate to contact me! You can message me on my social media handles or leave a comment below. I will reply instantly to help you!
Stay Safe! Stay Peaceful from within! Take Care!
Some SELF HELP BOOKS for you to read in this difficult time:
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