As whispers of a possible lockdown made its way through social media chats, office meetings and dinner conversations, I felt a sense of dread at the possibility of being imprisoned in my own home.
The world has ventured into unchartered territory, especially when the norm was the hustle and bustle of navigating everyday life with the added “excitement” of traffic, deadlines, juggling family commitments, work commitments, and making space for social time, downtime and me-time.
The looming feeling of nothingness enveloped me as I imagined a traffic-less, bustle-free 21 days.
No school. No office. No shopping. No leisurely restaurant lunches. No outside walks.
Now, 10 days into what I thought would be a dark and gloomy forced stay at home, turns out to be quite a refreshing change of pace. Perhaps we all needed to stop and smell the roses, which we rarely do in our haste.
Introspection: It has forced me to dig deeper and think about the world. Where it has been, where it will go, what life will be like after lockdown and, more importantly, how I would like my world to look.
Where there’s a will there is a way: Yes, I am unable to go out and visit friends and family, but this has forced us to find creative ways to stay in touch and have fun. We are using social media to chat, make video challenges with each other, and we are even enjoying games night with our group of friends. If a relationship is important, you will make time to nurture it despite social distancing.
Self-care: We often talk about and I often write about self-care, and while our daily lives don’t always allow sufficient time for self-care, this lockdown has taught me that reading a book or taking a bath can do wonders for my mental health.
There is a lot we can do without – period.
Appreciate the importance of doing nothing: The thought of being home and doing nothing felt like a waste of time, but now not only am I making time to do nothing, I am enjoying it, too.
It’s time to reimagine our lives: We cannot go out to our favourite restaurant, but that does not mean we cannot treat ourselves to a gourmet meal within the confines of our home.
We must extend our love to encompass nature.
We are all interconnected from China to China Town, from downtown New York to downtown Johannesburg – each and every one of us is at risk of this virus and we all have to play our part.
Being in lockdown has taught me the importance of not taking the seemingly little things for granted. If we look deep within ourselves, we may find that we have been ungrateful. My advice? Use this time to list things you are grateful for, bond with your family, bond with yourself, and ask yourself: what is my take-away from all of this?
Author: Nabila Mayet-Cassim
Get in touch via Instagram: @blendedbooks