5 Covid Quarantine Lessons

5 Covid Quarantine Lessons

  1. Unitasking. The opposite of multitasking, “unitasking” is doing one thing at a time, fully and completely. The frenetic pace of modern life and the barely-enough-time-to-get-it-all-done urgency with which we move through our days often cause us to forget or lose this vital skill. How many times have you cleaved your awareness: e-mailing while watching TV, chatting on the phone while driving or even reading while in the bath? As the number of tasks that many of us must accomplish in a day has been whittled down by Covid-19 , dedicate yourself to doing just one thing at a time. Single-pointed focus, (ekagrata, in Sanskrit), makes not just asana and meditation more rewarding, but lends meaning to even the most mundane of tasks. Be in the moment. Slow down and keep your attention undiluted to make every encounter sweeter, every experience deeper. When you do what you are able to do, feel what you are able to feel, slow down and enjoy just that one thing.

 

 

  1. Dust bunnies are sneaky. Although most of us clean our homes regularly, these stubborn critters have a way of burrowing and multiplying as only proverbial bunnies do. “Quarancleaning” has us rounding them up and taking spring cleaning to a whole new level. Following the practice of saucha, the cleanliness of body, mind and spirit, one must also get into all the messy corners of one’s inner being. As you clean your physical space, try to scour your thoughts, searching out those dust bunnies of negativity in the corners of consciousness, and try to replace them with gratitude and hope. As you wash your hands, breathe deeply and remember: I am not this fear or this fleeting moment; I am a part of the greater collective, trying to stay clear and connected. Suctioning out the lint trap or pruning dead leaves from houseplants, try to examine old beliefs that don’t serve you any longer. As you round up old or unworn garments for donating, ask yourself how can you can give from the reserves that you have to those who are less fortunate.

 

 

  1. Remember the difference between alone and lonely. During this enforced isolation, being alone is not necessarily a choice. While many are sequestered with a partner, child or pet, others are flying completely and utterly solo, weathering swells of anxiety and disbelief in silence, with no one to grease the hands of time or share a meal or Netflix. It’s important to remember friends who have dropped off your radar, divorced parents whose children are at their “other” home, and those who are separated from family. Reach out to those who are not as fortunate with their support networks, who need to hear your voice and sense your presence but may be afraid to ask. Self-isolation when you need a break from the world is nourishing; self-isolation when you have few tethers to the world is another. Reach out any way you can. And if you are one of those who is truly alone, don’t be afraid to ask for support; we all need it.

 

 

  1. Beginner’s mind. Learning to quell your jaded perspective and cultivate a beginner’s mind can make this Groundhog Day existence special and valuable. On the mat, the beginner’s mind keeps you anchored to the moment, grateful for body’s breath-by-breath sensations, and pursuing awareness rather than blindly following habit or ego-driven expectations. Off the mat, this lesson reveals that a little freshness of perspective can beat back the curse of monotony. As you rotate through these revolving door days, try to forget about the last time you changed the sheets and make your bed with care and delight in the rest and sweet dreams it promises. Each time you wash your hands, think of a different person you love and want to keep safe and do it for them. As you prepare a meal, Zoom a meeting, fit a puzzle piece into the big picture, try to do it as if it’s the first time and face the unique moment with a child’s wonder: “Oh my…!”

 

 

  1. Feel it all. It is phenomenal how people from behind their respective closed doors are reaching out to others to generate joy and connection. They choose to practice contentment (santosha), drawing it out from inside themselves and amplifying it by sharing jokes, memes and virtual cocktail toasts. It is equally important, however, to chew on the less than savoury emotions that can arise in isolation. A “Good Vibes Only” approach may sweep doubt, fear and grief under the rug in the moment, but it also allows these feelings to lodge in our bodies and psyches only to resurface, more powerfully, later on. Worse still, if you turn away from the vulnerability that allows you to feel despair or heart break, you also sever yourself from ecstasy and love. There is no such thing as selective numbing. If tears, anger or confusion wash over you, sit in their cleansing tide. Take the time to reflect, without the scrutiny of onlookers, and give yourself permission to feel it all: these glorious, painful, thrilling gifts of embodied living, and on the other side of this, you will be better for it.

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