I get it, lockdowns are no fun, however they serve a big purpose. They have personal and unique impact on every individual, household and community ranging from positive to negative impacts. Despite the lockdowns, Geoff (my husband) and I want to encourage you to find quality lifestyle even when you have restrictions imposed on you.
This is an intentional conversation we are having so we can make the most of this period, however long it lasts. 30 years from now, when we think back on this time, what will we say to our grandchildren about what it was like living through the lockdowns of COVID-19? What will your memories be of this unique period in history?
To help create great experiences and an ideal lifestyle despite the challenges of these circumstance, we've listed our 5 best tips for quality lifestyle amidst a lockdown.
These tips are for those struggling to connect with loved ones in the middle of the lockdown. It is for grandparents living in different areas to their grandchildren. It is for partners living in the same house but struggling to connect. It is for parents raising kids in the hybrid school learning era. It is for the single person locked down with their flatmates.
We all are facing the lockdown and having a unique experience, yet we all have room to apply principles for living a fulfilling life amidst these lockdowns and restrictions. So let's get to the 5 tips...
TIP 1 - Keep building relationships. Relationship buildings happens in a different format in a lockdown. The diminished social impacts of lockdowns are one of the biggest negative impacts. We can, however, find ways to build relationships without breaking the rules. Think of three people you'd like to build your relationship with and then think about two activities per person that would help build that relationship. You could try a simple phone call (less tiring than a zoom!), writing a letter (go old-school) or even print out a photo of one of your favourite memories with that person and send it to them letting you know you love them and want to make new memories again soon! The first tip is to focus on people even though we have limited interactions presently. We all need relationships and we thrive as individuals when we are in a community. So don't shut people out during this time!
TIP 2 - Take time to grieve what you've lost. The number of events and plans that have been cancelled is long, not just in this latest lockdown, but from the earlier lockdowns too. It is ok to dwell on what you've lost. Reflect on what you had planned that didn't happen. Think about why you were looking forward to each event and then acknowledge that the plans were cancelled and that moment didn't occur. Feel it. Frustration. Disappointment. Sadness. Admit what you are experiencing. There's nothing wrong with these emotions. It is ok to cry. It is ok to get angry. It is ok. Don't be afraid of a moment of sadness or anger. A moment of anger or sadness doesn't mean you'll become an angry or sad person. You might feel sad for a moment and you'll move past that feeling slowly as you keep your mind focussed on what is important to you, your why, not just just what plans you had cancelled. So grieve well, and then go back to your why.
TIP 3 - Get a clear why in your life. Now, having expressed your emotions to what you've lost or had cancelled in TIP 2. Go back to your why. Why were you looking forward to the event or trip that was cancelled? fWhat is the reason or the attraction in that event? The purpose of this is to understand what drives you. Do you know what excites you? What gives you a sense of purpose? I wonder, when do you feel most alive? I recommend writing it down in a journal or your to-do app/notes app. Get really clear on your why. Why are you alive?
Think about everything in nature. Everything has a purpose, or actually, multiple purposes. For example, a gum tree gives shade to animals, offers food for koalas, produces their flowers in season and seeds for recreating itself. Plus trees create oxygen for humans everyday by transforming carbon dioxide through a chemical process in oxygen - they are truly magnificent! Trees have multiple purposes and they are magnificent. The same is true of you too! You are magnificent. You have multiple purposes. Do you know your why? List out your life purposes and let that guide your daily decision making and plan of activities now and into the future.
TIP 4 - Focus on others. The big temptation at the moment is to only think about your own needs in this era of lockdowns, panic buying and even in knowing your life purposes. A key part of having quality lifestyle is knowing that your purposes are best expressed in community. So while you have a reprieve from daily face to face relationships. You certainly can find ways to add value to other people's lives. Set yourself a daily challenge to do three things for other people. Find ways that your purpose and these challenging times can align in ways that you can positively impact other people.
For me, this is a moment to use my passion for hospitality to make meals for other people doing it tough with a cold or for people feeling lonely. A lovely home-cooked meal or freshly baked sourdough dropped off to show compassion is what I can do to help people. What can you do on a daily or weekly basis to live beyond your own limitations? These ideas don't need to take all day, but just having a moment every day to live for others will help you have your most fulfilling life. If you think I'm crazy with this idea, try it out and find out for yourself how good it feels to focus on others!
TIP 5 - Discover the gift in every day. Sure, we've listed what has been cancelled and felt the sadness or frustration of having plans change. It can be confronting to realise that we are not in control of much at all in life. Therefore, my final tip is to focus on what you can control. What is the good you can focus on in your circumstances? What is in your power to do today that is life-giving for you as you focus on others? Is it the chance to practice your hobby or learn a new skill? Is it time to try a new meal - check out my winter heart-warming meal suggestions here. Is now a gift of quality time with your children or flatmates? Is it time to learn that new skill like sewing, photography, speaking Spanish? Is it time to build your side hustle, or put in some overtime on your current job so you excel and get a promotion? What is the gift in front of you right now that you candiscover?
Remember, you might miss the gift in this lockdown if you keep looking back at what's cancelled. Let's be present and focus on eachday and discover the opportunity in front us. You have lots of gifts to discover in this season. May this be a season you look back on in the years to come and remember the quality lifestyle you discovered despite the restrictions.