Centering Yourself [How to Transition to Le Quarantined Life]
So how are you doing? Like really...how are you? The world is a super crazy place right now with a whole lotta lotta going on. We've got a global pandemic, social distancing, civil and social unrest; just to name a few. And with all this swirling around us, I'm pretty sure whatever your day-to-day life looks like it's very different from last year's version. The new normal, complete with air quotes, has arrived.
In many ways it may feel like life has stopped. We miss our extended families. Sunday brunches with the girls. Great workouts at the gym. Or how about those fantastic salon sessions? (Boy could I use a Helloooooo Gorgeous Session right about now.)
So in the midst of all that we are missing, how do we maintain our joy and inner sense of calm? With the eye of life's storm upon us, how do we center ourselves?
In this blog post I'm going to share some of the tips I've picked up over the years which have served me well in the hopes that they can do the same for you.
At the end of 2019 a dear friend of mine recommended that I start a Gratitude Journal. Not because I was in the middle of any crisis but simply because he had started one, and in his words, "it made me so much more appreciative and better connected with my inner joy."
I thought to myself, I want to connect with my inner joy. And so I got myself a journal and started to write down what I was grateful for every morning. I'd get up a few minutes early to put on a pot of coffee and get to journaling. And you know what? It was hard!
Oh my word, it felt impossible. It was like pulling freaking teeth! I felt silly. I felt like I needed to write something profound every morning. And you what? I am NOT profound. Do you know how disappointing it is to learn that you are not profound? It's profoundly devastating; that's what it is.
Despite my inner sulking sessions, I thought back on my friend's advice and realized that he didn't say I should write a dissertation on the meaning of happiness every morning. He simply stated that he writes a few sentences each morning - three small things. I could do that! So I pressed on.
After a couple of days it did start to get easier. One day I was grateful for a cup of coffee. The next day I might pick something a little more generic like my health (I know tré basic but I told you I was struggling). But as the days passed, I found myself starting to look for things I could write in my journal the next morning.
And that's when I discovered the true beauty of a Gratitude Journal. It's the shift in perspective that this type of journaling provides which is transformative. It's the conscious decision each day to look for and appreciate the little things which you previously would have taken for granted.
We all have dozens if not hundreds of reasons to be grateful everyday; if only we would take some time to reflect on them. So break out your journal with your cup of tea and start writing them down. You'll be grateful that you did.
So social distancing is totally a thing. But outside is not closed. I repeat (cups my hands like a megaphone) outside is not closed!
Prior to 2020 I used to wish I could be a leisure dog mom. You know the type. Get up in the morning to do yoga or pilates followed by cups of coffee while watching the sunrise. The dog moms who take afternoon walks around the neighborhood with their fur kids. But instead, I was dragging myself into the office each day to stare out the window.
Now suddenly this year has taken an unscheduled and abrupt turn. I found myself transitioned to working from home full-time within a matter of days. A transition which I fully appreciated at the time but did not initially fully process.
Sure I was immediately grateful for not having to unnecessarily be exposed to the virus. No more traffic filled commutes to work. My commute was now walking downstairs to my office space. But this transition also meant something else.
I could get up early and walk my neighborhood with the fur kids. I could take online classes. I could watch the sunrise. I could breathe. And while I was social distancing, I remembered that outside was not closed.
Sure if I was going to be around people, I'd grab my mask. But the truth is most of the time I was not. Most of the time it was just me and the dogs walking the block, or playing in the backyard. I did some gardening. I reconnected with the joy of just being outside.
You remember that joy. When you were a child and all you wanted to do was go outside? Mom, can I go outside? I wanna go outside. OMG I'm going outside!! Well guess what, BABE? You can go outside. So grab those leashes and go.
Like most of us, in my past life I had no time. I was literally running from appointment to appointment, meeting to meeting. One of my friends commented on my difficulty in adjusting to Le Quarantined Life by telling me, and I quote, "You know what your problem is? You had your life together just a tad too much."
Now her words were way more polite than they needed to be but she was right. My life was not together. My life was scheduled within an inch of existence. No wonder I was always tired and drained. There was always so much going on, leaving very little time to be inspired and zero time to create.
These days I've had the pleasure to be able to do both. Do you know what happens when you allow yourself to be inspired? You create. And whether you are artistic or not, there is just something cathartic about being able to play with your imagination and make something new.
So take some time to find news ways to explore. You have the time now. Learn a new language or how to play an instrument. Take some online classes. Read. Write. Paint. Crochet. Anything. Just as long as you are feeling inspired and creating.
Also, don't think of this new creative hobby of yours as just a new way to waste time. It's amazing how many times I've been stumped by a real world problem and found that the answer came to me once I put the problem down and picked my hobby up. Oftentimes when I allowed myself to step away from the problem, the answer would just come to me after a few hours or days.
When you are actively using your imagination you use your brain in a different way. And those new patterns of thinking don't exist in silos. They not only help your creative process but they also help you to look at other things from a fresh vintage point.
So those are my tips for centering yourself and successfully transition into Le Quarantined Life.
How do you remain claim and centered? Join the conversation and share your thoughts below.