• Brandminds 2020

Looking at the glass half full – 13 positive aspects of staying home

Working from the bedroom at home. Social life in isolation. Action through… un-action. Just a few paradoxes that we are living these days.

And we are realizing the following:

History repeats in subtle ways.

The war concept is now updated.

People live and processes happen in cycles: Adaptation. Continuity. Evolution. That’s just life itself.

13 positive aspects of our life during coronavirus seen through the lens of an ordinary person

1. A journey through our interiors

The dictionary defines isolation as follows:

1. Total separation of a thing apart from the neighbouring ones.

2 (Specifically) Separate a contagious patient out of the healthy persons to prevent disease transmission. (…..)

5 (Metaphorically) Removal of someone from their peers, from social life. See also: isolated1 (5).

Usually, the isolation is done inside a building, it is about interiors. And here’s how isolation becomes these days forced introspection – we are now travelling through our interiors. This saying is now circulating in social media:

If you cannot go outside, go inside.

As if we suddenly walked into a glass door, we are first bewildered that we didn’t see what was right in front of us, then we take a step back and realize it might not be the right way. For us as individuals or as a collective.

We re-learn Why?, the art of questioning and self-questioning.

Why is this happening? Why now? Why such magnitude?

Who will win out of this situation? How much is induced panic and how much is it true?

How serious is it? How do we protect ourselves, our loved ones and those around us? How…. and the list continues.

It seems it is time to go back to our essence, to reinvent ourselves and the way we live.

Awareness as a cold shower is always good. It makes space for better actions to come.

2. Health first and foremost

Health in the first place. Again. Ranking at #1, the place health should always be at.

Yet, how is it possible that we so often forget about the most important matter?

Human nature is difficult to understand. But fear of suffering and ultimately fear of death can be useful sometimes; they can shake us back into reality.

One cannot breathe deeply and worry at the same time.

Taking a pause from the unnatural rhythm that we experience every day is more than welcome. It seems we have received a second chance, or a third chance or …..and the Universe is generous.

Now that we’ve switched focus on health, let us hope this time we shall be wiser and we shall approach health in a holistic way – find the balance for every one of our bodies – mental, physical, emotional, spiritual. And that we shall take into consideration our wellbeing, as well as the wellbeing of the people around us.

Interestingly enough, before the virus, we would think more about the past or the future, but now the situation forces us to consciously live in the present.

We are becoming the creators of a new reality, where our soul reigns and where we respect and love ourselves.

3. Our happiness inventory

I believe this is the perfect moment to think about what really makes us happy.

Who are the people and what are the things we cannot live without? What things can we be without?

We shall find out once again that less is more. Now we can rearrange the list – people, things, goals, actions.

Let us make the decision to meet people that we resonate with and who can be “teachers” for us. Let us look for the company of positive people and circumstances that make us feel good and fulfilled.

They say you cannot be happier until you are happy with what you have. This is about gratitude.

Gratitude makes us appreciate the simple, beautiful and amazing things about and around us: that we are alive and healthy, that we can see, feel, think, run, kiss, hug, love. That we have a roof over our head, knowledge, family and friends. That we have dreams we can turn into reality.

Feeling grateful always provides us with better energy vibration and with peace of mind.

4. A balance-sheet moment

Why not? As people do during winter, let us sit by an imaginary fireplace and wonder:

Where am I? Where do I want to be? How long is the road?

I know spring has just begun, but let’s “spring” our conclusions of the first three months of the year.

Every now and then, I do some soul-searching to see if I am true to myself, if my thoughts, words and deeds are aligned with each other. I search to see if I lost my way. Although I am not always kind to my soul and the remains of the perfectionist I once was will be criticizing my conclusions, it is a necessary process to bring myself back on track.

What questions do I ask myself exactly?

Here they are:

Do I love and do I always know how to love?

Do I live out my passions?

Do I share my gifts?

Oh, it is so good to know your gifts! Mine are mainly related to beauty and harmony, design, photography and handmade. I am a good listener and some people say I am sort of a healer.

Do I live in a meaningful way?

What is my legacy?

I believe everyone should find answers to these questions.

Let us write down the answers and make sure we read them again at least a few times over the coming months. I did just that at the beginning of the year and now I have revised it.

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5. WFH – an acronym in fashion these days

We experience working from home now more than ever and technology helps us connect with the team in various ways.

Since I started working from home, I got back the hours spent on going to work. As a matter of fact, I am saving two hours every day, ten hours every workweek. That is more than one working day!

Well, that’s a lot of time! Hours that I can use for myself, maybe to be together with my loved ones or to learn something new.

Also – no more crowds and no more walking through polluted air anymore.

If I am to count other pros and benefits of working from home, here they are:

  • I listen to soft jazz during work,
  • I drink tea more often and I remember to drink water,
  • I don’t spend money on expensive lunches in the restaurants near the office,
  • Because there are fewer interruptions and disruptions, I can better concentrate on my work, especially when it comes to creative work.

There are some disadvantages of working from home: I miss the team, human connection and real-time, fast reactions.

Long story short, the work is done and there is a little bit more time gained for myself.

6. New ways of socializing

We are experiencing new ways of being and living. We are changing habits and going out of our comfort zone a lot, with our partner, our family and friends.

Now we have the opportunity to reconnect with family and friends like we always wanted to or how it was normal, but we couldn’t because of the crazy rhythm we were caught in.

If until now we missed having a warm conversation or discussion to fix a particular situation, now it’s the time to do it.

Although everybody works from home during the day, we are together, in the same house or in the same circumstances. Therefore let us enjoy and cherish this newfound togetherness.

A few days ago we celebrated a friend’s birthday through the Zoom app. As much as I am against applications that alienate people, it seemed that finally it… “didn’t hurt”. We even clinked our glasses while wishing him Happy Birthday. Maybe next time we’ll “eat the cake” and “host a party”. Away from each other, yet close.

7. Readlaxing & co.

Staying home by ourselves might be a blessing or it might easily mean feeling scared and anxious.

I personally think we never have enough time for ourselves and this is a good opportunity to make the best of it.

I must say I never get bored being by myself. Here is my set of relaxing activities:

  • reading – I enjoy reading and I have definitely been reading more lately; I also prefer physical books;
  • listening to my favourite music;
  • watching films (not series) can also be nice from time to time: a comedy film could change our mood, others could enrich us in some other way;
  • meditating – a good balance between work and relaxation keeps us sane.

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8. To dance or to exercise?

Better both. As I’m not allowed to go to my dancing classes anymore, I am practising at home. All I had to do was to change the place of the mirror and everything was fine. That was easy!

Since I’m not much of a gym lover (I prefer alert walking in nature or climbing the mountains to going to the gym), I had to take into consideration exercising or stretching in the house. Also, I used bamboo sticks to activate the lymphatic system.

9. Sun-kissed and gorgeous magnolias

It’s so nice to say hi to the sun after work. And to the splendid magnolias near my house. Until now, when I would come home from work, the sun would have already gone to his home in the sky.

Fresh air … is great. For a great nature lover such myself, stealing short moments of being outdoors plus the flowers in the pots should be enough for now. I have just heard someone say

Tomorrow I’ll visit the botanical garden from my balcony.

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10. Becoming Chef of the Castle

My home is my castle. And the kitchen castle has come alive.

They say the food that we cook ourselves is healthier because it’s prepared with care and love and it encapsulates our energy. Not to mention we control what ingredients go in the food therefore we can eliminate any surprises like hidden additives or added sugar.

I started cooking more often and I took up baking home bread again. To be honest, the initiative began with a dessert, but then it was quickly followed by more cooking. Making desserts has a special meaning for me – if I’ve come to this point, it means I finally have time for myself.

Preparing a meal and the ceremony of arranging the table for the family or even just for me is always a pleasant experience. Having lunch or dinner together is an occasion to celebrate life.

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11. Practising humour

Humour helps us to overcome the situation more easily. Dark humour is accepted – life is made of grey shades.

People are so creative in making fun of difficulties that I laughed in the past two weeks more than I laughed in the past two months.

12. Procrastinating… procrastinated. Or a temporary good-bye to it.

Since we’re staying home and going out only for the bare necessities, we can make up for some postponed stuff – be it personal or professional development, a personal project or just simple, yet useful administrative stuff.

Online is and will be the king. I feel that with so many classes available online I am learning more than before these days. And there will be many more because the digital learning trend is becoming more powerful.

New knowledge brings expertise and confidence. A personal project – fulfilment; a tidy house means a tidy and peaceful mind. Because micro is always reflected in the macro.

13. Finances and safety

Save money and money will save you at a certain moment.

Having savings for unpredictable situations gives us a feeling of safety and continuity.

If saving money was not a priority before and we used to think the quickest way to double our money was to fold it and put it back in the pocket, these days the importance of long term financial decisions is more obvious than ever.

And another positive aspect of this period of time is that we are reducing waste and relearning to manage all kinds of resources – financial, time, food, sleep, love, health.

These are the current advantages I identified.

What other positive aspects can you find?

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