Never has there been a time where we have had more unsolicited idle time as in this past year since Covid has taken over our lives. We find ourselves staying home more and discovering different ways to spend our leisure hours. Yes, there is an increased frustration centered around the uncertainty but there have been benefits, too.
Not only do I find myself surfing the endless streaming options but have watched so many more programs that I have never allowed myself to experience before. It has been a wonderful expansion of exposure and learning. Yes, it is frustrating that each new streaming service comes with a monthly fee but when I think about it sometimes the cost is worth the expanded options that are available. And, research has shown me that there are shortcuts to navigate the maze of opportunities. You just have to determine the interests that are most important to you.
“Zooming” with loved ones has become part of the calendar, connecting more often than ever before, enhancing relationships. It’s not just a quick “how are you” with one foot in and one foot out, but a little more in depth connection and genuine interest. For me, it seems as if my 5 brothers and sisters all really look forward to catching up with each other, where before months would go by without touching base. Our focus seems to have heightened and our connection deepened, which I dearly appreciate.
The one thing I really value is the increase in my reading that has developed. I am delving into more books and opening up to different genres. Whether it addresses my frivolous side, historical, informational, documentary or delving into my spirituality…….. or even the endless mysteries that are available, I am excited to explore a little more. I approach this as adding to my profile, feeling an additional growth into myself, “upping my portfolio”, so to speak. I am excited about any pocket of time where I can curl up and loose myself into the dialogue of a different world.
I am always amazing and “in awe” of the creative side of others as their talents are brought forward. I know of so many that have soared during this time as they stretch themselves through their crafts and exploration of new ideas and designs. This truly goes without saying that this is an investment, so to speak, into oneself as new accomplishments evolve.
What a great opportunity to dive into a “side-stepped” fitness routine, even if it is just beginning with a few stretches per day. There is a wealth of simple exercise ideas and programs online or streaming. The benefits outweighs the efforts without a doubt and the sense of well being it creates goes without saying. Why not start right now?
Reflection is something we never seem to make a part of our day as we are constantly moving forward toward the next task that is demanded of ourselves. Setting aside a few minutes daily to simply stop to concentrate on our thought process, center ourselves, take a few deep breaths or just to be “grateful” is critical to our mental health. It is amazing how a “quiet” few minutes can make a difference. This can be in the form of a cup of tea; a soak in the tub; a walk in the fresh air or just sitting on the deck taking in the sounds of nature. Getting in touch with ourselves without distraction can bring back balance and purpose. I find that if I designate a specific time of day it works better for me to follow through and be committed.
When I picture a fire burning in the hearth or soothing music playing in the background a sense of calming comes over me as I am able to concentrate on whatever fills the few precious moments that presents itself. It is a time for growth and in depth development. I want to be the best version of myself and create a stable presence for myself. When life continually presents a crazy picture of busyness and achievement there is not enough time to address the issues that are most critical to our lives during “normal” times. We have been given a “time out” to step back, breathe and address what is most important in our lives to discover who we are and what we are about. We must use this time wisely and not waste this “bubble in time”, decide for ourselves how we want to spend it and get reacquainted with ourselves! So much is at our fingertips for the taking……we just need to learn how to navigate and take advantage.
What is your “gift” or uniqueness? To say, “I don’t have one!”, means you simply have not participated in self discovery. What are you good at? What gives you a sense of accomplishment? What are you gravitated toward? We all have something that rises to the top when answering these questions. It doesn’t have to win competitive awards and could be a simple as organization, cooking, listening or social skills…….just what feeds you. This could be a great time to identify and focus…..and “up our game” as we make a difference and contribute to our troubled yet still amazing environment.
Reach out; explore and expand new or forgotten horizons! Pick up that phone and call those you care about…….Read that book you long ago put on the shelf……Finish that quilt you started ……..Dust off that yoga mat or simply ride your bike around the block……Make that recipe you have wanted to try……Maybe just clean out that closet or garage that has been waiting for over a year! Sometimes it could even mean just giving yourself permission to take a much needed day “off” to simply “be”! You will look back at it as a stepping stone to your potential and may even find yourself smiling more and with an added spring in your step. Open that window into yourself……a “gift” of time is truly an incredible opportunity! …..and you might even see the birth of a “New Normal” going forward!