Yesterday’s Level Four announcement brought tears of relief in my household. With dramatic infographics and images of crowded hospitals, the international media has shown how bad things could have become. Instead, at last, we are taking a fierce stand, doing more than frequent hand washing and anxious hand wringing. With steady hands at the helm, there’s no need to rush the lifeboats - or the supermarkets.
Staying at home over the coming weeks is not a holiday. Many of us will be working. Many juggling kids. A fair number will be staving off the effects of the virus. It will create a new normal, and none of us will emerge unchanged. When life and business as usual resumes, it will be different because we will be.
Today the prospect of lockdown might feel uncertain and restrictive, but it’s also full of opportunity. While the government has set the boundaries, what you do within them is up to you. Misery and happiness take the same amount of energy.
So, if you are up for it, I have three challenges for you.
Grow, rather than stagnate. Sure, you could couchsurf and netflix binge, but what if you choose to learn something new. There are loads of how-to videos on YouTube. Plenty of free courses online. E-books on Amazon. Go exploring, get curious.
Be careful of just feeding your inspiration monkey. Pinterest and Instagram can be fascinating time-wasters that have you living vicariously through other people’s amazing creations. It’s easy to end up doing nothing because you feel your creation will never be as good. Comparison is a dead-end street.
Inspiration is not the same as action, so create before you consume. Now is the time for you to experiment with making something from scratch. Whether it’s a meal, or a project, go make your own. Play! Make a mess! Give yourself permission to have a go.
And finally, connect instead of isolate. Staying home doesn’t have to mean no contact. Have coffee with friends via skype. Join zoom workshops. Reach out to colleagues and neighbours who might be alone. Phone or facetime family. Find different ways to build daily connection. Who knows, slowing down might even improve the quality of our relationships.
Level Four could improve our lives far more than we expected.
Kia kaha everyone.