Self-care and kindness have become increasingly big topics in recent years. We welcomed the mindfulness movement as it saturated our overworked brains with tools and techniques to help calm our frantic lives. We couldn’t keep up, and we didn’t know how to slow down. But despite the much-needed advice, were we really listening? Something tells me we perhaps weren’t. We were then given no choice, as our once normal lives crashed into a universal road block.
As the pause button is pressed on life, and we are forced into an extraordinarily restrictive routine, it’s impossible not to see this as a sign for desperate change. A change that will ease the pace of our insanely busy lives, reduce stress, allow more time for our families, care for the planet and enable us to think about how our actions affect others. Is it time to create a new normal?
Naturally, carbon emissions have significantly dropped as a result of us staying put. The human race was born to explore, but international travel became too obtainable for our planet to handle. There is a treasure trove of hidden wonders to discover on our own doorstep. As we experience the polar opposite of this freedom we abused, let’s establish a balance and promise never to take advantage again.
Walk or cycle more
Like many, I don’t think I’ve ever walked or cycled so much. Our family outings are the highlight of each day and have demonstrated the importance of outdoor exercise for our physical and mental health. Let’s also rethink our daily commute before mindlessly jumping in the car or on the tube. Can we walk or cycle the short journey instead?
Make meals go further
Making do with what’s in the cupboard was normal practise for our ancestors. The real life episodes of Ready Steady Cook have been challenging, sometimes frustrating, but strangely rewarding. Somehow, I’ve pulled together random ingredients and created fairly respectable meals. Eating mindfully, and wasting less, has got to be a good thing.
Shop mindfully and support the high street
Materialism seems pretty irrelevant when life concerns take hold. The health of our loved ones, the security of our job and where the next food supply is coming from consume our thoughts. As a nation we love to shop, but do we need quite so many soft items in our wardrobe?
Our high streets were already under threat, but seeing pictures of ghost towns across the country are a stark reminder of how life could be without them. Online shopping is a great saviour through this crisis, particularly for the vulnerable, but it previously fed our obsession for mindless hoarding. Let’s reset our thinking, as there is a place for both. We will cherish the high street, support our local retailers and appreciate the joy a weekend shopping trip can bring. You’ll always remember the floaty summer dress your friends encouraged you to buy, and wear it with a smile.
Pick up the phone
Finally, we’ve been using our phones to actually phone people. Missing the human contact, it’s been great to just sit down and chat. We should never be too busy to pick up the phone again.
Appreciate human interaction
Our thinking has changed on how we look after ourselves, as well as others. When venturing out for food or exercise, it feels strange to keep our distance and literally turn our backs on people. But we are protecting ourselves, and them. These uncertain times have brought unfamiliar behaviour that will make us value human contact so much more when we’re through the other side.
We’re experiencing incredible human kindness as the strong help the vulnerable across the nation. This life-changing situation also demonstrates how we can pull our resources together, with the power of advanced modern technology, and achieve incredible things. Let’s take this with us into the new outside world.
Remember, time is precious
Did you used to long for more time? Well here it is, so use it wisely. What do you miss about your old life, and what do you appreciate now? Rethinking old habits, and making positive changes for the future, will be instrumental in reforming a society that needed to change.