As we slide into week two of isolation and / or social distancing it is beginning to feel like a new kind of normal and I am sure that I am not the only one who has slipped into a new routine that is making my ‘normal’ day to day life seem quite long ago in some respects.
It dawned on me the other day as I got into my car and drove across Haywards Heath, something on many days of the week I find myself doing several times. This once familiar act, felt very strange and unfamiliar!
It will be interesting to observe how the mindset and attitudes shift after weeks and potentially months of our current situation.
This week in terms of work and day to day life, I have settled into a routine of morning and evening classes, some admin, a little Mandarin teaching, Mandarin studying, lots of training, and a renewed interest in cooking (more time on my hands!).
My number one tip for staying focussed in our present situation is to find and stick to a routine. Without a 9-5 type job, and having gone from over 30 hours teaching per week to less than 10, I could really have drifted but I know that would not be good mindset for me.
Everyday I know what I have to do, I have lists, and I do my best to work through them and stick to a daily routine. Without the discipline, it is easy to get lost.
If I am not listening to an audiobook or podcast, I am listening to music. I have always listened to music from morning until night for as long as I can remember…driving more than a handful of people half crazy in the process!
I know which genres I listen to is very much dictated by my mood. That’s not to say happy mood = happy music (I never listen to “happy” music, it makes me angry!) but without digressing, I have noticed this week that I have very much been going back to music I listened to in the 90’s – something I haven’t done for a long, long time. I think it has seen me enter quite a reflective phase… I know much of the 90’s for me was not without its stress and challenges but for the most part it was a very care free time of adventure and excitement.
So it got me thinking, and reflecting, that maybe in the seriousness of the current situation that it’s okay to look back and with an occasional tinge of nostalgia cast a wry smile back through the years and reflect a little light back upon us.
All of this will end before long and we might wake up and leave our isolation to a world reeling from the realisation that we as a society in many ways are incredibly fragile.
Nature has given us a warning shot and if we do not heed the lessons, both personally and collectively, I shudder to think what might happen the next time nature delivers us a blow.
Without wanting to sound all doom and gloom about things, we can only do the best that we possibly can do as individuals, and trust the knock on effect will cascade out into wider society.
What we do and how we handle ourselves now can be seen as a preparation for our new normality after our current situation ends.
Personally I want to come out of isolation physically fitter, stronger, more flexible, more practiced in my chosen arts. I want to have learnt and used my time wisely.
I hope and I am sure that that my White Crane community will bounce back stronger and be more connected, with a sense of having come through this together.
From a business and personal perspective I want to emerge with fresh ideas, vigour, and inspiration.
With this in mind, my current mode is one of preparation. I find it keeps me from feeling bogged down by the weight of negative news around me.
It lifts me when I might otherwise feel down or a little bit lost….it gives structure, purpose, and routine to my days, and it fuels my inspiration to come back better than ever.
So those are just a few of my thoughts and feelings over the last few days… you may have had similar, or completely different! Quite a few people have got in touch after reading my blog posts recently, which I really appreciate – so thank you!
I hope wherever you are that you are staying healthy in body and positive in mindset.
Keep writing, Mark! It helps us all try and find our way in these strange times.