Last week’s post was written from a state of panic. My sister who lives in France had taken the time over the previous weekend to try and get me to prepare for the inevitable lockdown, as they were already one week in. I had simply reverted to full-on anxiety about all the things I could not control. I was going into a momentous week, finally starting building my house in the country and on Monday evening they announced the Lockdown.
We are now on Day 4 of Lockdown in South Africa, and I find the lessons coming fast. I think the most profound is that I should stop worrying about what I cannot control. Sure, when we emerge on the other side of this tsunami called Coronavirus, things are going to be different in this world. But they are going to be different for everyone who survives, and I find it easier to handle, knowing that I am not going into this alone.
Based on this insight, I have settled into a routine of looking after the things that I can control, and I find those are all to do with the present moment. I have not as yet needed to go out to replenish stocks, so I have not needed to expose myself to possible infection. I think about what I am going to eat, I make sure I get some exercise and I have pushed myself back into a Pilates routine for my back which is suffering from all the sitting! I play with my dogs daily and I try to walk some laps around my tiny garden, but I am not sure how long those will last as I discovered today that 14 laps left me bored, with less than 1,000 steps and my heart rate barely changed! I am also sleeping better now that I am not trying to resist the flow.
What has come to mind is an exercise I do in my coaching which stresses the need for balance between Certainty and Variety. Certainty refers to the structures and routines in our lives that bring stability and predictability. On the other hand, Variety is about new experiences, meeting new people, challenges and excitement. We need to balance the two because too much routine brings with it boredom and too much variety can bring about overwhelm. Balance is the important word. I have found I need to put effort into creating a routine for myself, it is not happening naturally. This morning I started well and have thus had a more creative and meaningful day, whereas yesterday I seemed to drift from one thing to another. There is so much on the internet that I am not struggling with variety, though I must admit initially I felt overwhelmed by the amount of conflicting advice about the virus that came through, and now I have toned down the voracity with which I was opening everything. I have become far more selective.
What are you doing to put structure into your day while you are confined? Are you struggling with variety? I would love to hear how you are faring.