Although life is filled with many unknowns, we have created a culture of planning in a way that controls the way we live. Well, now COVID-19 is challenging us in ways that were previously unthinkable. Firstly, we are unable to plan much, secondly, we have to deal with life in a new way and lastly, life now requires that we adjust and adapt from a newly renovated place.
How does one suddenly acquire emotional intelligence skills to deal with chaos or learn to remain unswerving in this semi-void? We have gone so far away from the intrinsic way of living that life is demanding we reconsider our personal existence as well as the world at large.
Here are 10 simple ways of re-examining, re-evaluating and redefining one’s life that will be helpful in the unknown of time, space and the future:
- Avoid reading, watching and listening to the news and updates on COVID-19. This includes WhatsApp groups that keep posting opinion pieces/clips that are mostly partial information. The only person you have a limited amount of control over is yourself. Therefore, filling your mind with information that you have no control over is going to create unnecessary anxiety/stress.
- Accept the situation for what it is and create a new routine. It is very easy to get distracted to avoid facing reality. The reality is we are in partial lockdown and overnight curfew indefinitely.
- It is essential to create new habits that replace old unhealthy habits. This cannot happen unless you start to look at yourself honestly. Humans have become a consumer-driven species. What's the point of acquiring at this time? Let's start with creating a new budget which involves shopping for essentials only. Cut out the excessive flesh-eating habits, accessories, clothes, etc. these are all luxuries at this time and where are you going with all that stuff anyway? This would be the time to actually de-clutter all that stuff in your cupboards that you don’t use and give it to those who can use it. Healthy eating is a must as otherwise, you will be a barrel by the time this is done!
- Exercise – yoga, stretch, walk or jog daily. For at least 30-60 minutes.
- Cut out the alcohol or reduce to once or twice a week at a maximum of two drinks. This is something us Kenyans are constantly distracted with. Being home 24/7 can mislead you to believing that you are stressed and you can start drinking earlier, consume more and you think it will help you deal with the situation. This is not true or realistic. Constantly drinking is a bad habit and a distraction. It will, ultimately cause some serious miscommunication and quarrels in the home. Now’s the time to change this. If you don’t buy alcohol you won't need to drink like crazy and if you drink like crazy, you will be an alcoholic at the end of this.
- Consider how to build a healthier relationship with your family members. Communication has broken down in many homes for a long time and violence is increasing due to past build-up. Now is your chance to become a real father, mother, spouse, son, daughter or whatever roles you identify with. Bond with those who really matter in your life- and this excludes extra-marital partners- Kenyans, after all, are well known for chips funga or mpanga wa kando.
- It is important not to play therapist unless you are trained as one. This can be exhausting and cause undue clashes and disagreements. There are enough therapists offering online sessions and maybe now is the time to consider therapy more than ever and clean up your inner closet. All the accumulated baggage of the past is showing up in people’s homes like ghosts from the past…there is no better time than now to exorcise those gremlins.
- Learn a new skill. Like cooking, gardening, taking a communication or any other skill-based online course.
- Learn to meditate and go within. Everything outside is in flux, however on the inside, you can learn to ‘ease’ through a non-sectarian mediation practice. https://ke.tm.org/how-to-meditate
- Wake up. COVID-19 has come to teach us a big lesson as the human race. Whether it's been manufactured by 1 country or whether this is a war between 2 superpowers or whether God has created it – this is a WAKE-UP CALL for every one of us. We are only passing through this beautiful Earth as transient human beings and we behave like we own this planet. It’s the planet that owns us and we need to start looking at life in a more conscious, conscientious and respectful way as the creations we each are!
For more information on Tazim's work, visit her profile here