One day at a time: similarities between travelling and the current lockdown situation
The seventh week of working from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic has ended. We’re still in lockdown. The world has been turned upside down. Daily life has lost its effortlessness. I know there are people struggling right now. Understandable, as we’re in this situation for who knows how long. The lack of perspective is driving people nuts.
I get it. Something simple as going to the grocery store or going for a walk has become quite stressful for me. While most people will do their best to keep a distance of one and a half meters, there are still plenty of people that don’t pay attention. I’m constantly looking over my shoulder to see if someone isn’t breathing down my neck, as it were. I’m not worried so much about getting sick myself. I just don’t want to pass it on to someone else and cause hurt that way. Also, I stay home so people in essential professions can keep working. As everyone should. It’s as simple as that.
My life has been impacted too. I have ups and downs and cabin fever, just like everyone else. My weekend in London at the beginning of April was cancelled, as is the Fjällräven Classic Sweden that I was going to participate in this August. I was supposed to go to a concert in April which had to be rescheduled (yet I highly doubt it will happen then). I was also hoping to go to New Zealand early 2021, but I have no idea if that’s going to happen at all. I’m not counting on it, though. I haven’t seen my co-workers face-to-face in almost two months. Videoconferencing drains my energy so fast. I haven’t been able to go to the gym for months either. I’ve been slacking in my healthy eating and am sure I’ve gained weight.
But I’m fine right now.
And I’ve realised that this is why…
I’m an abstract thinker, I have an associative, conceptual mind. I love making plans, strategising, thinking about what the future will bring in however many scenarios I can think of. Well basically, I think a lot in general, haha. Because of this, it takes more effort for me to be in the here and now, to basically use my senses instead of my brain. It’s exciting to plan and think, but it can also wear and stress me out, leaving me exhausted and wired.
When I know I’m travelling again, I can basically have a party planning everything. When I hop on that plane, the adventure has truly started. Then once I arrive at my destination all I want is for it to last as long as possible. I want to soak up everything, remember everything, feel everything. Basically, I start using my senses more and my thinky brain less. I slow down, take life day by day. I still plan ahead, but not as much as I generally do. When I travel, I enjoy the moment. I’m in the here and now. I relax. I’m all I’ve got and I realise that I can truly count on myself. Travelling like that brings out my best, most confident and content self.
I’m basically in the same kind of boat now in this lockdown situation. There’s no use worrying over things I can’t control. Scenarios and future are useless concepts right now. I take life one day at a time. I’m in the here and now. I’ve settled into a routine. I have time to pick up hobbies again. Heck, I’ve even read a book again for the first time in who knows how long! I’ve become much more relaxed. I have less outside influence and stimuli. I use my senses more, which is wonderfully calming. I journal to get the thoughts out and to remember this period in my life. I’m thrown back to myself. As I’ve learnt on my travels before: I can rely on myself and be okay.
And that is a darn good feeling to keep me going in these complicated times!
How are you doing?