Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The Hidden Perks Of Isolation

April Fool's Day was supposed to be the day Malaysians would emerge from our caves and catch sunlight in our faces once more.

Well, that won't be happening, after all. 

The partial lockdown has been extended for a further 14 days. And at the rate the Covid-19 has spiked up across the world, there's a high chance of a further extension until May...

Still no reason to panic, though. It's not WW3. We have survived worse emergencies. It's not an alien invasion. Our brilliant scientists will find a cure or vaccine in a matter of time.

So while our medical frontliners do all the heavy-lifting at the trenches, all the rest of us have to do is sit at home, and do nothing - how hard is that?

Keep calm and do nothing

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

* * *

Of course, even the laziest among us have difficulties doing nothing for too long. Boredom sets in. Our feet and hands get itchy. We get restless.

So aside from cooking and chores, we need to focus our energies onto something.

But what is that something?

Now's the best time to do what you always wanted to do but keep procrastinating and pretending you don't have time for.

Write poetry.

Paint pictures.

Sing covers.

Whatever floats your boat. Just get your creative juices flowing. No more excuses now. Work has slowed to a trickle, and even the most bureaucratic of bosses has probably run out of ideas to call for team meetings by now...

We all have plenty of free time. And as a wise man once said:

Don't let your dreams, be dreams!


* * *

Now's the perfect time for some self-reflection, too.

We can't really mix and mingle freely. We need to keep our distance. We have more time with our imagination.

Reminisce your fondest memories.

Take stock of your present state of contentment.

Look beyond into the distant future.

In our busy everyday lives, we are often overwhelmed by a never-ending stream of responsibilities - professionally and socially. It's hard to take a pause, stare out the window, and think to ourselves...

Is this the life I have envisaged for myself?

Am I liking the direction that my life is taking?

Is there a fork in the road ahead that requires some hard choices?

In moments of solitude, we are free from external pressure. Of course, that's not to say life-changing decisions should be made arbitrarily without regard to the interests and feelings of other people, especially our family and friends. No man (or woman) is an island.

Still, sometimes, we need to detach from the world outside to get in touch with the world within us.

* * *

Of course, most of us are forced into isolation not by choice.

But perhaps, once this terrible scourge is over, isolation can turn into a habit - and a good habit, it is.

Your heart says hello.

Take a moment - as long as you need - to check out how it's doing.

It's time to get to know yourself better.

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