"We all need to make decisions for ourselves how to look after our "best" selves if that is indeed in our best interest"
As we all know a lot of the globe is transitioning into “phase 2” of the Covid-19 lock-down and people are wondering how they will best spend that time in the world. For some this will come easy for others this will take some getting used to. This also will largely depend on where you live, so take this advice with a grain of salt.
Here in England the governments stance is to lean on the side of caution, whereas somewhere else will be more or less laxed. Nevertheless It is advantageous that we come up with ideas to help promote a healthy return to normality with things that I myself enjoy to do. They will be divided up into 3 pillars that comprise of the healthy citizen: Mind, Body, Spirit. Under those headings there are 2 examples of things that need “getting doing” to reinforce the pillar. People may disagree with some or all of these but that is fine as this is not intended as an exhaustive air-tight list. We all need to make decisions for ourselves how to look after our “best” selves if that is indeed in our best interest. Remember balance is the key and that is what we should all aim for.
1) Get Learning…
…about subjects you’ve never had time for. E-Books, Online Courses, Podcasts are still running and provide good value for time and money. Some things I have taken an interest in is the life of Alexander the Great and the career of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls via Netflix. Increasing your knowledge base through learning is a way of stretching the mind and becoming a more intellectually nimble person. Once you know about something it can be a topic starter the next time you’re lost for conversation ideas at home. The form factor it comes in is less important than what the quality of the learning is. Books are good if the research is good. Netflix is good if the sources are good.
You get the gist. Learning won’t come to you, you must go to it.
2) Get Busy…
…and do things with focus. “Deep Work – Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World” is a book written by Cal Newport and it details a method of short to long periods of uninterrupted time devoted to the achievement of a set goal. We are bombarded with pings, beeps from our phones all too much that it’s become normal to have eyes everywhere and spin more plates than previous generations. Not all busy work is created equal. I can sympathize as a fellow parent, getting busy is no issue at all but finding devotional time is not easy to come by. Just do your best and slot some time away anyway you can. For a full 10, 20, 30 or 60 mins just do one job or task. You may achieve more this way and should feel more connected to the task at hand. Treat it like a challenge. Sounds obvious and trite but it has a lot of truth to combating a distracted and disjointed reality of this era. I have found time has passed by quicker than what it feels and I end up wanting to do more. This should not be taken to an extreme to where every minute of the day needs to be a race but it’s a useful tool. Get it out to combat the dawdling that is probably at it’s highest for folks while spent at home.
1) Get Fitter…
…By exercising. Now more than ever the internet has floods of good, bad and ugly workouts. The emphasis on keeping moving when the world is not, can’t be stressed enough. I am fortunate to have a large country park nearby the neighborhood to slam the feet on but regular footpath walks or at home workouts are still an option. From here to the street corner, from the street corner to the yellow parked car – It doesn’t matter the distance so long as you lock yourself in to do something every day. Try a backyard sport or throw a ball against a wall. My family and I have rediscovered football (soccer), rounders, curby, piggie-in-the-middle and all other in-between make-em-up games. I have also honed in on cricket bowling and catching which has gifted me the taste of my childhood again. I was taken by surprise by how rusty I am yet how enjoyable it was to go through those muscle sequences. 20 years out of the game and it’s hard to deny the impact that time has had on general flexibility, range of motion and, technique that I once nailed. Maybe it’s time for you to get out the netball again, football, basketball, tennis racket or cricket bat to re-live those days which will keep you healthy bodied and healthy minded.
2) Get Cooking…
…Because we can’t escape the reality that the fridge has never felt closer and the pantry more tantalizing with it’s allure of more-ish snacks. We should not afford the luxury of this to flounder our choices in the diet realm, however. I for one, have been more open to adding leafy greens with almost any dish and been delighted with what it does to easily freshen up the flavour of food. Baking is great fun, the kids especially love it (Just don’t eat too much of it). We made a rainbow unicorn cake for a Facetime Mother’s Day surprise which was enjoyed by all. You can mess cakes up pretty bad and they will still taste great, so there is a low bar for success.
1) Get reading…
…the Bible. Reading the very words of God is transformative to say the least. Don’t be afraid to get ‘religious’ in this sense because unlike other books or novels this contains the very truth of who we are in relation to the ever existing God. Read the word, soak in it’s knowledge and ask questions. It is a dynamic book that does not hide the struggles God’s own people had with following him. Their flaws are plain to see and they had their own reasons to go into “lock-down” under fear of death for their beliefs. Contrary to popular belief it’s touted that you must suspend your disbelief in order to be a believer of God but it couldn’t be more wrong. You must become even more of a thinking, intellectual person the more times you re-read it. There are hundreds of apps and reading plans you can follow to guide you through it or you can listen to the audio version on the bible on platforms such as ‘Audible’ by Amazon.
2) Get Artistic…
…Writing, Drawing, Chalking, Painting, Letter Making, etc.
Few of us can brag about the skill of the pen or the stroke of a brush, and if that is you, you can attest to the power of having this outlet to express yourself. This is a good time to find out what it does for you either way. The feeling of a fresh piece of paper can transcend the page into a metaphor for life. Starting all over again with new colours, inks, words and details that will create something great. At the same time art doesn’t have to feel special or mind altering to make an experience out of it but have fun while your mind explores a new or old skill.
Picasso: “Art brushes away from the soul the dust of every day life.”
One cannot be healthy minded by simply willing it and in this day with a global pandemic, waiting for ‘how things used to be’ is a sure-fire way to backslide on our goal of health. Health comes by conscious and consistent effort with an eye for balance. When we do too much or too little of things we usually notice something is off on life’s scales. Sand must be added or taken away to even things out. Rare is the person who feels they have their plates all on equal kiln and even rarer is the person who wants to be honest with themselves about changing things up. When all things go back to ‘business as usual’ after this temporary weird time passes we will again need to evaluate the scales for new adjustments.
Do the best you can with the time you have today. We can all be a little better than what we are now.