How confinement can help us rethink how we live
Before the crisis, a lot of us were living at 300 mph, always doing something, multi-tasking, so busy with to-do-lists that the day never really ended. Confinement has probably changed some of that.
If you are at home, have you managed to slow down? Or have you wildly jumped on every possible opportunity: the saved videos you had never viewed, the series you had never finished watching, the online theatre shows you had never seen (amazing!), the pile of books you never had time to read (bliss!)… ending up suddenly realising that you were still going on at the same speed, doing, doing, doing, as if you still had a to-do-list and deadlines. A client of mine was saying the other day: “I caught myself saying to the children: “come on, to bath, quickly!” Quickly? Why? There was no appointment, no school for the children the next day, no obligation to do things in a specific time frame. Because it has become a habit. We get up quickly, we have a quick shower, we gulp down breakfast and zoom to work or school and all our other appointments and duties.
Except that right now, there is no school hour, no train to catch before peak time. Maybe it is time to take a step back, in time for going back to our usual routine. Why? Because living at 300 mph all the time is not living, loving what you do and being passionate is, but living without catching your breath because “stuff needs to be done” is not.
I am not saying throw everything away and spend your time in confinement binging on series all night and vegging on your couch all day. Some structure is essential, constraint isn’t. Keeping a night/day rhythm because our body is meant to sleep at night yes. Waking up with an alarm clock at 6am because that is what you usually do when there is no specific reason to do so and you are not a morning person, no!
Use this time to find your own rhythms, to find what works for you. Start with sleeping enough, recuperate, nap if need be.
Decide to do things differently, like a game, take your time, and leave space between activities. Time to rest, reflect, even get bored. If you start one activity after the other, stop, breathe and then decide if this is right for you… or not.
Be more present to what you are doing, whether cooking, working or even cleaning. Do not think about what you have to do next. Listen to how you are, chose, do not be afraid to connect inside. Listen in and reconnect with who you really are and what you really want in life.
If you are used to zooming through life, apply a reverse 80/20 law. We usually say that you need plan only 80% of your time to leave space for the unexpected (what do you mean you usually plan 120%?). Here, plan… 20% of your time! Nothing more. One or two things during the day. And go with the flow for the rest of the day.
And see what works for you in all this. Maybe you are going to realise that taking time for breakfast helps you feel great all day or that leaving the to-do-list in the drawer while focusing only on one goal for the day alleviates pressure.
Whatever your experience, do not forget it when you go back to your activities and see what you can keep or change that is really your thing.
If you need help to go from overwhelm to inner peace step by step, I have prepared for you a programme where you can find inspiration, advice and practical exercises to gain more serenity day after day, in a simple and manageable manner. An online space to recharge, refocus and find inner calm even when daily life is overwhelmed and complicated. I have called it the Inner Sanctuary.