During that time, I came across this quotation from the Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh: ‘The way out, is in’. Of course he was speaking from a spiritual perspective, but I liked it and thought it was very meaningful during our days of quarantine.
When I looked around me, there were a lot of people who decided to turn this occasion of uncertainty into an opportunity for them to take their lives forward in a beneficial and joyful way. Everyone started to look around for various creative ways to keep him or herself busy at home.
Even though I am usually a very outgoing person who loves to socialize, travel and go out with friends, I started rethinking about my own life, and areas where I could bring about a positive change.
A professor of mine at university had once said: “Creativity comes out most from places where there is the most restriction”. These words have always stayed with me, and gave me courage during the initial difficult days of the quarantine.
So I started thinking proactively and some of the things I started on a daily basis were:
- Making a schedule and timeline for each day: This worked like a school timetable. Yes, it may sound army-like, but this helped me create some order and set boundaries when working from home. Of course, this strict timetable also included fun activities, recreation and socializing (virtually). And this helped me look forward to something I needed to accomplish each day when ‘locked’ indoors.
- Focus on health: started regular exercise with a greater rigor than before. As the world was going through a health crisis, this automatically started to take top priority in many peoples’ lives.
- Reassessed eating habits: moved towards a healthier diet. This also meant trying out new recipes, and ingredients I hadn’t tried before, and I started enjoying cooking at home.
- Making a self-care routine: with meditation and yoga at top priority. This brought a peace of mind, calm and groundedness, which I was craving for.
- Discovery and enjoyment with new computer and phone apps: Of course being in lockdown also meant spending more time on my computer, so this way I discovered many interesting online apps, software, and videos.
- Socializing virtually: As socialization moved more and more online, I came closer to friends living in different parts of the world, including reconnecting with old school friends, through setting up of regular online meetings with Zoom, Skype, and Whatsapp.
- Finding online groups with similar interests: As a lot of people started having online meetings, I found various groups of people who shared similar interests around the world through platforms like Meetup, and Facebook groups.
- Re-arranging and re-decorating my home: This was also an opportunity to rearrange furniture, experimenting with the decorations, and creating a haven at home. I also set up a good music system, as listening to music at home every day became more and more important.
The lockdown has relaxed a lot since it first started, and we can go out more freely as compared to before. Yet, some of these interests changed into habits, and have stayed with me. Other changes faded out (as I will confess) I found them too difficult to continue on a daily basis. But that’s the fun in life, always changing and evolving, leaving never a dull moment!
What new interests or hobbies did you pick up and start doing during quarantine? Do leave a comment below, I would love to hear your remarks!