3 things I am really enjoying in lockdown

3 things I am really enjoying in lockdown

Updated: May 4

The joy of being free from the life that we call the "norm" has been learning more balance...

I got a message from a friend asking whether I was tired of the lockdown? I smiled hilariously like only I can do whilst thinking, you soooo do not know me. The question should have been,"...how much longer do you wish to be in lockdown for? Would forever do? "


The lockdown season was the first time in my adult life that I did not have to balance my need for spending time alone against social obligations. The lockdown had cancelled all social and professional obligations for me. Yippee, the constant juggling act was off my list! I could go through the "feeling rainbow" in peace. The "feeling rainbow" is what I call the myriad of emotions that I can go through in one day. I now had time to just feel; without worrying about reality and the usual day to day demands of life. I could also overthink at length. My imagination could run wild and free. It would not be curtailed or controlled because some professional or life critical subject needed a rational and logical mind! I could be creative and abstract once more...



As I write this, I have been indoors for over four weeks now. No part of me feels like it has missed out on anything outside my door! Initially I was concerned about my daily lonely walks but now I am happy to just open my window, look at the sky and walk in front of the window... My friends have been like seriously you haven't stepped out? Whilst I'm wondering seriously about the next thing I can do that does not require my presence outside my house. No need to catch trains, Ubers, buses. No need to have polite conversations. I can choose who I speak to and when I speak to them. I can fill my life spaces with everything that I find meaningful without giving them time blocks. It may sound a little selfish but this is bliss in my books ... I feel that we spend so much of our time during "normal life" conforming, compromising, surrendering, putting up with, giving up, sacrificing, giving to, living for, adjusting, being flexible, responding appropriately, minimising ourselves ... It can get much for an INFJ personality.


As an INFJ, the list of things that are stressors in my life are the things that a high performer in today's hectic world dynamic should be able to do relatively well. These include being comfortable with a lack of alone time, over-stimulation, navigating unfamiliar places, dealing with conflict, multi-tasking, focusing on nitty-gritty details. So, I hope you can now understand why I felt like the sun had returned to my life when lock down was announced. Three whole weeks to be free of stressors! Stressors that have plagued me for what seems like an eternity! I could focus on things that meant something to me. Things that had a purpose. I could spend quality time with my thoughts and my imagination! I could do more things on my own terms. Again, bliss in my book ...


So, I thought it would be interesting to share what I have enjoyed with you. If you have an INFJ in your life , you may get to understand why it seems to be business as usual or there may be more pep in their step during the lockdown whilst you are clamouring to be let out soon...


Being Creative :


As a highly emotional human, I spend most of my time using frameworks to manage my emotions in professional and day to day life settings. It is a focus on balancing rationale/logical thinking with emotions. I can be called academic sometimes because structure helps me navigate the facts detailed thinking world.


Being in lockdown with just my sister who understands my myriads of different emotions and abstract thinking has been blissful. I have been able to feel, breathe deeply and allow the feelings to exist. No management or control to facilitate a life goal or a professional achievement. It has been amazing to sit and feel everything from extreme delight to utter dejection. I have sat with every single emotion with no shame, no blame, no saying "oh my I need to get over this quick because X is needed or Y needs me"...


I have laughed till I could laugh no more , cried till I was empty, commiserated, delighted, screamed, appreciated, enjoyed, loathed ... A whole array of uninhibited emotions and feelings have been felt and expressed. I felt so open, free and unleashed in those moments. I wrote notes about nearly every single thing that I felt and I have used these to start writing this blog. My creative muscle is back but most importantly I feel free, emotionally healthy and greatly inspired.


Being Sane :


As an INFJ, my mind is always on the go. I have been called a busy bee or ant by those close to me. My desire to be productive in life keeps me learning and trying new things. It has me locked in a web of constant activity. Nearly every minute is filled with something. It is hop in the Uber to here, take the train, you have 15 mins for this task, one hour to submit, alarm here, phone call there, progress update, slot in meditation, slot in rest, endless emails and messages - tasks tasks tasks rush rush rush blah blah blah.


I always knew it wasn't the greatest lifestyle. I used to max out at 5-6 hours of sleep a day. The practice of self- care is one that I had to pummel my body to engage with. The focus of my self-care routines became a perfected exercise to keep myself sane rather than routines that I luxuriated in and savoured. It usually felt like I was running at the very brink of empty....


The last four weeks at home have been a blessing. I still have myriad of projects but the lockdown has taken away the external pressures of life. This has released the constant lower level anxiety caused by the demands and constraints from our so-called "normal lives ". I can concentrate, work at my own pace, focus on tasks that I enjoy and deliver my projects to a standard that I am happy with rather than being effective in fast delivery. I do not need to fret about leaving the house. I get my laptop, some tea, some lo-fi music and I can conquer the world from my home. I am working in a sanctuary that I feel free and comfortable in. The ideas flow easily through me.

Once I am done with my myriad of tasks for the day, I have been able to choose what I would love to do to relax and soothe my mind. I have rediscovered my love for colouring books, jigsaw puzzles, playing silly games with my sister, dancing badly to my favourite tunes, trying out different meditation techniques ...


I have also healed my soul through journaling and reflecting on my life so far. I have appreciated both the good and the not so good experiences and outcomes. I have made more peace with life! I will still be prone to wondering if I could have done better but I think going forward, I will surrender more readily to the idea that I always do the best that I can.


The last four weeks have been amazing for my mental, emotional and physical health. I am no longer at the brink of empty. I feel free. I feel sane. I feel fulfilled. I have clarity. I feel happy. I recognise how abundantly blessed I have been...


Being Love :


My mom said this on a family zoom chat, "... if it wasn't for the lockdown - I would never have been able to get all of you on a chat together.” This had me wondering how we had got to this point. I adore my family and the people that I love but I had become increasingly goal and objective driven that I began to spend less and less time with them. I told myself that it was about the quality of time I spent with them rather than the quantity. I usually have a routine for staying in touch. I set specific dates, times and places so that I can be fully present and focused. Despite my good intention, I now realise that I was robbing them and myself of the blessing of our love. During the lockdown, reaching out has been more spontaneous and I have enjoyed every single moment. It is beautiful to see how enriching it can be when we commune together more often. The joy it brings when we are all together (even on zoom chat) is a feeling I could never explain. It is just awesomeness...


Many have lost their loved ones during this trying time. Whilst this has been a time for growth and happiness for some, it has been a harrowing time for others. The greatest reminder for me during this time has been the fact that life and love are gifts. Every person in my life is a gift. Every second that I breathe is a gift. Communing with others and sharing love is a gift. I have always believed this and it has always given my life meaning. The difference is that I now recognise that over time I had lost my balance. Sad to say, but I was not prioritising my physical, emotional and mental health as much as I should have. I had managed to set my life goals and life beliefs clearly in my mind, I had managed to somewhat balance these with what we used to call the "normal world" but all this had been done at the expense of some parts of my well-being.


In whatever part of life or the world we are, women have a tendency to put their primary needs last. We are usually scrambling and sacrificing through life. As we focus outside ourselves, we struggle to hear our own voices and our own spirits. Sometimes we are so numb and disconnected that we cannot even hear our own thoughts let alone make sense of them. We consequently spend parts of our existence feeling exhausted, anxious, misunderstood and pushed to our limits. We simply need to take better care of ourselves. I need to take better care of myself.


I think the next question is whether we can continue to take care of ourselves when the lockdown is over? Can we continue to take the time to commune with our feelings so that we can address what we are feeling? Is there space for us to express ourselves rather than internalising how we feel ? Is there space for our voices to be heard without judgement but kindness, compassion and mercy? Is there space for us to prioritise our own well-being? Is there space for us to continue to prioritise those we love amidst life's challenges? Is there space for us to become more alive, vibrant and radiant every day that we walk through the journey called life?


Only time will tell ...


In Love - Always

xxx



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