Taking a Step Back: Using Social Distancing as a Chance to Gain Perspective
The world has been transformed over the last few months due to COVID-19. Most of the global population has been forced to stay inside their homes, only being able to step out for essentials. Social distancing has given us time to gain perspective about the way we lead our lives, and as we wait for a return to normalcy, it’s easy to wonder whether “normalcy” is actually normal. It is time to make the most of this step we have been forced to take and reconsider the pace and ways of our lives.
Mindfulness in Practice
Our regular lives move at a quick pace, and we often forget to pause. During this time, take a step back and think about your choices. Mindfulness is all about living in the moment and being aware of your thoughts and actions.
As you socially distance yourself while staying home, use your time to start living more mindfully. First, reflect on the lifestyle you’ve chosen. Ask yourself whether the lifestyle that you had before the quarantine was truly contributing to your own happiness. Figure out what truly matters to you, and what has genuinely changed your life for the better. Try to complete every chore, errand, and activity with complete focus. Be aware of yourself, your actions, the people around you, and what difference they make to you.
Constantly practicing mindfulness is more difficult than it sounds, and it requires some serious mental conditioning. Activities like meditation, journaling, and mindful eating can help jump start your journey towards intentional living.
According to the World Bank, the waste generated per person per day across the globe “averages 0.74 kilograms (1.6 lbs) but ranges widely, from 0.11 to 4.54 kilograms (0.24 to 10 lbs).” Additionally, even though high-income countries only account for 16% of the global population, they “generate about 34% or 683 million tonnes (753 million US tons) of the world’s waste.”
Essentially, this means that we are creating more garbage than we can handle. Waste management facilities are not even close to tackling this situation, and so the need of the hour is to reduce our waste. If we want our resources to survive the next few decades, we have to adopt more sustainable lifestyles. This global crisis has taught us the value of essentials and preserving what we have.
You can take a step towards sustainable living by implementing measures to reduce your own waste. This is something you can do from the comfort of your own home — a perfect activity during this period of social distancing.
There’s no better time than now to take up cooking at home and to get used to a life without takeaways. Home cooking can significantly decrease your carbon footprint and also ensure you have delicious, nutritious food on your plate every day. If you don’t know where to start, look to social media. Many chefs are doing simple tutorials on Instagram for recipes that can be made with easily available ingredients. Some chefs and cooking blogs also have useful tips on using leftover food.
When it comes to the actual food waste, consider these unconventional ways of recycling kitchen waste. Food waste is usually nutrient-rich, so it can be used in a lot of ways. You can use eggshells as seed starters and banana peels as natural fertilizer for your garden. Coffee grounds can be used to deter pests or even upcycled into face and body scrubs. Take this time to implement processes that reduce your waste and promote sustainable living, even after this period of isolation ends.
New is Always Welcome
This is probably something you’ve heard a lot over the last few days but we cannot overstate its importance: use this time to take up a new hobby. Most of us have left our hobbies behind in exchange for fast-paced lives and our jobs. If you had a hobby that you were once passionate about, use this period to bring it back! If you don’t have one, this is a great time to find one.
Some options include learning a new language, playing a musical instrument, knitting, and painting.
You could also use this time to finally finish projects that have taken a backseat. Perhaps you’d like to improve your home to make it more eco-friendly or start a kitchen garden to grow your own herbs. Think about your personal goals, and work towards implementing them to live more intentionally. Returning to forgotten interests and passions will give you perspective on what matters most and what you really want to spend your life doing.
In Conclusion: Revamp to a New You
Living with a purpose means making conscious choices every day. Intentional living spans across your mind, body, and lifestyle. Taking care of yourself also means taking care of your fitness, skin, and mental health. It may seem like a handful at first, but we promise it’s worth going that extra mile.
Choose things that make a difference and remember to let go of what no longer serves you. Step back and ponder if what you have is actually what you want. Live in each moment and live fully while being open to new habits and lifestyles. COVID-19 has taught us that life is fragile, so make the most use of this observation, and when this all ends, remember to only go back to the parts of your life which truly bring you happiness.