Quarantine might allow us to handle this epidemic safely, but it also takes away our ability to engage in a number of activities that typically nourish and allow us to flourish.
Of course, during this worrisome time, you might be tempted to delve into a variety of fairly passive activities to distract yourself, such as watching television shows or movies. Indeed, they have the virtue of helping one pass the time and making you think a little bit about something else. The various content providers were not mistaken: many TV packages offer us access to their channels for free, in a falsely altruistic and resolutely commercial movement…
You shouldn’t deprive yourself of these distractions altogether, of course. A good movie can be fun of course. However, these “distractions” – a name that should put us on the spot – do not feed us psychologically. Like “empty calories”, they are psychologically empty actions.
So, then, what to do? Now, more than ever, it is important to plan out some activities that can allow us to be in harmony with ourselves, in harmony with that which counts for us. Although our actions are limited, it is completely possible to develop actions that move us towards what nurtures us, to translate our values into a multitude of accessible goals.
This is the overall approach:
- Identify activities that make you feel alive, during which you feel a sense of truth, simplicity, and fluidity, during which you say, “this is me”, even if these actions are in some ways difficult, or even painful. It is about knowing more about what really matters to you. It is also about identifying what you are afraid of losing. There are your values.
- Identify that which makes you thrive in these activities. One “trick” is to try to categorize what these actions represent for you by describing them in one word. It could be about exploring, sharing, protecting, creating, freedom, etc.
- Choose simple actions that are unconditionally achievable, with what you have immediately at hand, that are consistent with your values identified in the actions you usually perform.
- Engage in these actions on a regular basis!
It is also important to identify how the actions you are already taking also embody your values. You aren’t just cooking, you are creating; you aren’t simply cleaning the house, you are protecting those you love, etc..
So, don’t waste a single crumb of it. Each day of quarantine is also a day in its own right. Don’t waste an opportunity to embody it the way you want, just because not everything is available as usual.
We may have a bit less available to us, but we still have the essentials: our ability to be in touch with the symbols that nourish us, to live with meaning.
And Netflix, of course… 🙂
Translated by Chelsea Davis-Laurin
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Photo Credit: @INSTAGUILHERME