I cannot believe that it has been exactly two months since we started the lockdown. It was actually my birthday and it was probably the first challenge.
I admit, I cried alot that day, it was a weird overwhelming feeling like a bird who was suddenly captured but with those tears came the first reminder that no, we cannot control everything.
“Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.”
I paused, absorbed my feelings from sadness and frustration and asked myself: at this moment what is the one thing that I can change? And there came the second lesson: Controlling my reaction.
“How you react emotionally is a choice in any situation.”
It is not easy, it is not a straight line of emotions, it is a curve and I am accepting it without lingering.
How did I cope with it? I am lucky to be following inspiration accounts like Maya Taher, Maysa (icanbymaysa) and Dalia Halabi who taught me how to respond and evolve. The lesson is
“The power to change is in my hands.”
- First thing is to acknowledge your feelings and write them down
- Rate them on a scale from 1 to 10
- For each of them write a short term plan on how you can you feel better
- Set a schedule for your action
- Journal daily on your progress
Not only that, there are many tools that each three are sharing on their platforms and that are of a great help.
I used to find comfort in scheduling, having a clear plan of the day make me feel secure. Since we started the lockdown, I promised myself to take advantage of these days while being mindful. I tried to find a balance between rest and learning and daily chores. The lesson is
“Focus on being productive instead of busy.”
I listened to my body and my feelings. Mind you I am all alone, my mom was not able to come back from USA, and therefore I missed the chance of being in Bekaa in our lovely home for spring with her. But instead of sitting down and dwelling on what could have been, I decided to make the best out of it in my apartment.
Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power.
So how did I spend my days?
Before Ramadan, my day would start with a workout, shower and getting dressed; trust me now one loved being in their pjs more than I did, but the power of getting dressed even to go no where is magical. I was taking few online courses in subjects that I love, learning a new language and in between came the meals.
When you create a distraction you won’t be eating out of boredom and you will avoid those extra pounds. I took the time to create content for my platforms, having fun and engaging with people.
Communication is the key with loved ones but without making it overwhelming, so no I was not face-timing everyday. I was going on a responsible walk around the hood, and end the day with series.
A typical productive day, during Ramadan, has less activities, and more focus on the spiritual side as I am very grateful to be spending a quiet Ramadan for once therefor I am giving this a priority. I venture into the kitchen every now and then recreating a certain routine that I enjoyed before with Mama.
Bottom line, the lesson is
”Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience”.
– Jon Kabat-Zinn
Some of my kitchen ventures
When they started to ease the lockdown, I was furious, how on earth did they think that it is time to do so while many flights were scheduled to get the Lebanese back from abroad?
Eventually I was right, the raise in number of cases was threatening us with the second wave. Ofcourse when you make people think that things are getting better, they loosen up and they will act as if things are back to normal. What I was seeing on social media was unbelievable, people out and about as if there is nothing, hanging out in groups without consideration. Starting today a shy lockdown is back to be implemented for 4 days which is still not effective in case they are looking to control the situation.
In the midst of the roller coaster of feelings which I am trying to cope with, I am shredded between the gratefulness to be safe and still have a job and income, and the great fear of never being able to come back to “normal” with the economical situation in Lebanon being a greater threat than the virus itself.
Many are fearing not being able to hug, shake hands, gather or be out again. But many have also lost their jobs or risk too not to mention the salary reductions. It is too much to handle but if you let go of yourself, no one will pick you. The best thing you can do is:
“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” – Mother Teresa
When will this be over, we never know, no one does, and better not to have any expectations for the coming days, stay grounded and listen to yourself, the greatest lesson is:
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”