The saying goes, our best days are not behind us, rather ahead of us. However, when you live in times as chaotic as the present day, it’s hard not to reminisce about the past while feeling anxious about what the future holds.
The COVID-19 pandemic has literally ravaged through the globe and India saw her fair share of destruction earlier this year. Extreme tragedy, with lives lost and loved ones mourning; families lost their elders and the young lost their parents. One can argue about the preparedness of the health infrastructure in dealing with the crisis, but ultimately, we must recognise that what’s transpiring around us, the existence of the virus, it’s debilitating impact on human life, are all actions beyond our control. What we can control is how we live our lives in this time, how we conduct ourselves and our physical and mental state.
This is important because, no matter what, you can’t run away from what is happening. Instead you must face the enormity of today and understand the restrain in which you will have to live your life for the time being.
Despite the new boundaries that we are all drawing for ourselves, there is a way to maximise who you are and your ability that makes you unique.
In order to do that successfully, there are a few things that you must focus on.
1. Lean on history
Humankind has gone through adversities of many colours. Natural calamities like famines, droughts and floods, health crisis like the Spanish flu pandemic or outbreaks of plague or even man made crisis like the world wars have all transpired in just the previous 20th Century. The further back you go in history the more such revelations of crisis can be found.
The lesson to be learnt is really that humans are adaptable and we evolve, we have been for centuries.
No one situation is permanent, things change. It is what we learn in the interim that is important. If you dig deeper, you will realise that World War II shaped the outcome of industry, geo politics, the baby boomer decades in America and even our own independence. While we are going through the situation, it seems unbearable.
What is needed from us is an ability to look beyond and at the same time an ability to be prepared in the present time.
In the current pandemic, don’t get impatient and start to become undisciplined. Make sure you follow the required health protocols and stay calm, till the proverbial storm blows over.
2. Take the time to sort through the clutter
If ever you are feeling overwhelmed with work pressure or pressure from your family at home, try to clean up the mess. Mess, doesn’t refer to all the pressure rather it refers to the literal mess. From time to time our cupboards, drawers and kitchen cabinets do get messy.
Just spending the day to physically clear small spaces can be cathartic when dealing with larger problems.
In the same vain, if the current pandemic and its restrictions are causing stress in your life, then begin by sorting out those aspects which need your attention. For example, you may have the time now to put all those important financial documents in place. Clean up your investment portfolio or put one in place, write out your will or make a schedule to pay off your hefty loans. While in ordinary times we get busy with the daily ups and downs of our professional and personal lives, often financial stability and planning gets left out.
During the pandemic, while external events are subdued, the time can be utilised suitably to put our financial lives in order.
That’s just one clutter you may want to tidy up, there could be others. In doing so, you will set your mind at ease and ultimately our minds interpret the clean up as an achievement. At the same time, we are also going back to focusing on one task at a time, rather than panicking about many tasks happening around us.
3. Reaffirm your talents
Reaffirmation helps in being confident about who you are and what you are capable of. As we get to adulthood, a lot of our passions can fall by the way side as responsibilities of earning and supporting a family take centre stage. However, it is our hobbies and talents which we cherished in childhood, that also define who we are. Taking some time to focus on these hobbies and talents and help in reviving our identity. The side of you and you may have forgotten, it may just be the side you cherish too.
Allowing yourself to stray into a space that exists only for one reason, to bring you satisfaction and joy, will help you refresh for other aspects that you must spend time on.
Take time out on a regular basis to do things that bring you joy. Refresh and reaffirm your identity.
Don’t let the reality of this pandemic become an obsession that changes who you are. Instead, take the time to look inwards, create the space that you need to feel strong, do the things that bring you joy and then look forward to the future. The present is hard, but life must be lived forwards, set up your path for the future with full confidence that you will walk tall along it some day soon.