Last week Swati wrote about how the mind has become fragile in the 21st century.…
You must be wondering that the kind of damage the enforced lockdown during the quarantine phase caused, how could anyone have benefited.
I don’t disagree with that. On the contrary, I urged people much like ourselves to stop complaining about it. That’s because there were a number of people all around the world suffering either from the disease or a loss of a job. We were in most cases sitting at home in our comfort with work from home jobs and just complained about not being able to get out.
This quarantine phase definitely has an ugly side, however, it did also come with a lot of positive things too.
What I mean by that is, during the stricter lockdown phase, the planet showed signs of healing. This couldn’t have been possible with out halting all human activities. Even in worse polluted cities, the levels of deadly particles were reduced in huge volumes.
Although, we knew that this was going to be temporary. As soon the human activity resumed after the relaxation of quarantine phase by phase, we see the same level of pollution rising again.
Well, that’s a much broader subject. I wanted to look at how it should have helped us from a personal development point of view.
How We Should Have Made The Best Of Quarantine Phase?
Some of the obvious realizations were that we can do without a lot of unnecessary things. For example, eating out and drinking in fancy restaurants, partying every weekend, and shopping things that we didn’t need.
While these activities were completely restricted that left us with enough available time at hand. Not commuting to work for instance saves me nearly 2 hours every day.
The amount of time spent on just getting ready for work and the same goes for socializing. These things were necessary in our former lifestyle but then we are not living in the same world anymore. It didn’t take much to strip us from all of these aspects.
Let’s take a closer look at what we should have done to have benefited from the quarantine phase.
1. Supporting Family
A typical family usually depends on the lead woman of the house to take care of all the chores. I am sure staying at home made us realize the effort that goes into maintaining a house. You would agree that women tend to have a job that may not reward, doesn’t come with weekly offs or other perks.
It’s important to lend a helping hand whenever possible to balance the responsibilities. Believe me, this would just keep the family closer. Sharing the workload and supporting each other in the family will help you build a stronger bond. In addition, it will ease a lot of the burden off the shoulders of that one person that’s bearing it all the time.
We are often willing to go out of our way to help someone in need, which is a good thing. In times like these, showing compassion towards every other human is the least that we can do. On the contrary, we may not pay attention to a family member that is equally suffering.
They may not proactively reach out because of embarrassment and that may stop them from seeking help. While we are trying to help an unknown person, someone in our own family might be suffering as much.
2. The Value of Domestic help and Cheap Labor.
A majority of working-class families in metro cities depend on house help for cleaning and cooking. When the lockdown happened, they were restricted from going to houses in order to maintain social distancing and avoiding contact.
We struggled so much to keep our houses in shape and form, manage the work schedule and the cooking. While we were struggling to maintain our houses, they were struggling to keep food on the table. I know that a lot of people didn’t pay them during that period of absence and that made things worse.
We are talking about changing the world and making it a better place, however, we couldn’t take the responsibility of one single person to ensure that they aren’t suffering. We all know of the mass migration of the people that lost their jobs due to shut down of various such operations.
This quarantine phase should have made us realize the real value of these gems that live with a low standard of life but ensure that we live a better one. There’s no point posting images on social media about their suffering when we fail to act upon when life gave us the opportunity.
People that build our homes, make things for us rarely have a home to live in or the liberty to enjoy the stuff that they make. That’s the reason why labor is so cheap here. Next time we argue with a person or bargain a better price, think about what they have got to lose in that process.
3. Feed A Stray Animal
Things seemed to have come back to normal, whatever the new normal is. During the initial phase of quarantine, there weren’t many people that were out on the streets. Just like the way so many people were suffering so were the stray animals.
Of course, they don’t necessarily depend on the high nutritional food but whatever scraps they could find. That was difficult for them to find when there were fewer people littering outside. This was the downside of a good thing that happened.
Some people despite the lockdowns made their way to feed stray dogs and other animals. I also understand that not a lot of us will have the budget to feed the fleet of animals. Let’s just imagine that each one of us takes the responsibility of one animal or that lonely dog that sits outside our house, it would have made a huge difference.
We live in a country that Gods have either been depicted in the form of animals or they have been accompanied by them. That’s a clear sign that the highest of divinity is seen in animals. All of us deep inside our hearts want to please the Divine, so why not do it through these beautiful creatures so they don’t suffer while we are complaining about being locked inside the house.
4. New Skills
We have always wanted to learn and develop new skills to switch our jobs or pursue our passion. However, we have always lacked the time to do it. With lockdowns in place and the amount of time saved on a daily basis, we could have easily taken up additional classes and courses to either learn a new skill or develop on the ones you already have.
Online learning has been picking up pace in the last few years with avenues such as Udemy, Byju’s, and Skillshare. They offer basic to difficult courses that are usually easy to learn and find yourself in a direction that can help you find online help more easily.
A lot of local institutes that provide handheld training also switched to remote classes. If you focus on learning and developing yourself, not just from a career point of view but keeping personal development in mind then the possibilities are endless.
5. Healthy Living
One thing I am sure that has kept a lot of us safe is a stronger immune system and overall health. Others maintained strict changes to ensure that they don’t come in contact in order to keep themselves safe. Staying in a quarantine phase is not a long term process, definitely not a sustainable one.
However, the virus is probably here to stay for a longer period of time. Having said that working on improving our health and wellness should be the top priority. Of course, consuming a few drinks or food items and assuming that we are protected from the virus is not the way to go. Building a stronger immune system and health takes a long time.
Taking measures to improve our lifestyle by incorporating healthier choices as opposed to our previous habits is the key. Not just the physical aspect of wellness, taking care of emotional wellness is equally important. These are testing times and we are exposed to threats such as depression, anxiety, and other such imbalances.
6. Support Small Business
I know that it’s tempting to sit at the comfort of our homes and order things online. Note that small businesses have been the backbone of every country. With more people following the trend of ordering things online, small business have been affected tremendously.
Of course, not everything is available in a store next door and you will have to reach out to other sources in some cases. However, one can easily buy most of the basic necessities from the stores closer to our homes.
These small businesses and retail vendors don’t have millions of dollars of funding and investment that they can sit back and take this phase easily. In fact, they struggle to meet their daily expenses.
It probably sounds counter intuitive to government rules on staying indoors and ordering online seems like the safer option. We can always maintain the safety standards and still shop from locals to ensure that their livelihoods are not drastically affected.
When we were in the initial quarantine phase, I spent a substantial amount of time watching every TV series to movies there were on online streaming platforms. At the time, it seemed like a perfect idea to spend time while I stayed at home.
When the realization struck me with the thought that this phase was not going away any time soon, I realized that this is not the best way to go about it. You would agree with me that no amount of movies could have kept us going for this long.
By all means, entertainment is required to unwind and release the stress. Being more judicious about how we use the internet and how we utilize time is equally important.
It was time to develop new hobbies or start with the forgotten ones. We all have that unfinished book or the guitar collecting dust and that bike used to dry clothes.
Hobbies are not only activities to pass time, they help us in many ways. When you take hobbies seriously, it builds confidence that will help you achieve greater success at many other things as well.
Some of the hobbies can transform into a skill and some can really lift your mood and instantly make you feel better during bad days. One activity can have multiple effects. The idea is to improve physical, mental and creative aspects of our lives by using the time more efficiently.
The harsh reality of life is that the world doesn’t change, there will always be misery and suffering, there will always be hate and destruction. However, we have the complete control to change the world within us. That’s the superpower that we all have and it’s liberating when you realize that.
I hope you all liked what you read, in case you did let me know (even if you didn’t).
Stay Safe, Stay healthy & Stay Curious…