When a big event like the pandemic happens, it is a dangerous and sad event.
We all faced a disruption in our lives.
It is also an opportunity to change. I believe that life crises such as the quarantine, push us to do what we normally resist. This is an account of what I have done since March 13 when the isolation started in Peru.
The first thing that I did was to journal every day. Up to then, I was lazy and often neglected to write anything. Every day when I sat down at my desk I have been writing. This gave me a chance to put on paper just what I was feeling with the knowledge that no one else had access to. I didn’t worry about hurting feelings.
The important thing was that everything was out in the open. Then every week, I read back what I have written and thought about the feelings I showed during this period. This has helped a great deal with self-understanding.
Then I realized that the feelings I had could be dealt with through meditation. My morning routine came under scrutiny. By getting up a little earlier, I could start meditating. I found an old CD and used the extra 20 minutes to practice meditation. Through an excellent book and watching Ted Talks I learned about mindfulness and applied the techniques of observing my thoughts from a distance. This has been very useful in getting a feeling of inner peace.
I was an avid news junkie. I was particularly into politics. Now that I was more aware of my feelings, however. I came to understand that I reacted emotionally to the news I was watching and reading about. I was getting upset. During this time I read a piece about Stoicism by Ryan Holiday. One of the tenets of this philosophy is to only be concerned with things that you can do something about. Otherwise, let it go. Do not get emotionally involved. I decided to stop watching the news and reading about politics. Instead, I listen to beautiful music and watch scenes of nature.
I also realized that the work I’ve done in the past may not be available in the future. Instead, I looked to new opportunities like coaching and writing. I need to develop new skills and learn new things. That is OK with me.
I notice that the changes I’ve made were easy. I didn’t resist but fell into a new routine. I’ll admit, I like routines and look to establish certain things so that they become habits. But looking back over the past five months, I am surprised at how many big changes I’ve made.
With these changes, I notice that I am happier, calmer, and able to concentrate easily on the work I do. I’m not saying that everyone has to follow my formula. I Only suggest that a big life event does present an opportunity to change to something more peaceful and enjoyable. Carpe Diem