Today is Quarantine Day 60 in Ghana, West Africa.
60 days of doing chores, exercising and developing habits.
60 days of chatting with friends and family, binge watching series on Netflix and scrolling down on social media feeds.
60 days of contemplation and self-reflection.
60 days of no work.
60 days of no salary.
Life has not been easy. You cannot really do much. There are a lot of constraints and worries.
Well, instead being miserable, why not change perspective and try get something good out of the situation, right? So, here’s the list of things I realized while staying in my room for 60 days:
1. Be present. You’ll never know if you’ll see tomorrow.
Quiet morbid, but true. Unfortunately, this is our reality now. We’ll never know how much time we have left in this world.
So what do we need to do? Be present!
If you are talking to someone, make sure you give them your full attention. If you’re eating, chew and savor every bite. If you need to do something, do it now. Stop procrastinating.
Leave the past behind. You cannot do anything about it. Stop worrying about the future. You’ll never know what’s going to happen next. Be in the moment, because now might be your last.
2. Be grateful. Someone out there will trade anything to have what you have.
Not everybody can afford to stay at home during this period. Some still have to work, else they will starve. Some received money and assistance from the government, other didn’t. Some still have sources of income, others don’t. Some are complaining about their life’s situation, others have lost their lives.
Instead of dwelling on what you don’t or can’t have, focus on what you have. Acknowledge that you’re still blessed and you’ll begin to see changes in your life.
3. Side hustles are essential.
I am a hotelier. Our resort announced temporary closure for 60 days due to pandemic. During the closure, we are not given salaries. Still, I have liabilities to pay. My obligations are still on going. If our resort remains closed until the end of the year, nga-nga!
No one can afford to have only one source of income. Everyone should always have a back up plan.
What else can we do? Well, my friend, if there’s a will, there’s a way. Abundance is everywhere. You just have to open your eyes on opportunities.
4. Be educated WITH manners.
I honestly thought that being educated is enough to be a sensible person. I was wrong. Sometimes, it’s the opposite.
We tend to get cocky when we know that we have an advantage from other people. We tend to pass comments that maybe harmless to us, but in reality, insensitive.
I’ve learned that the with great power comes with great responsibility. If you are more blessed that, you have to be more understanding, humble and sensitive of the needs and feelings of others. Keep in mind that it is just a matter of chance that you are in your current position. You’ve got nothing to boast.
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5. Watch your mental health. It is a thing.
In developing countries, I’ve noticed that we do not really take our mental health seriously. We have this connotation that taking care of mental health is for crazy people. Who wants to be called crazy?
Well, we’re more prone to depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses now. We are more prone to breakdown and become actually crazy. Studies shows that there’s an increase on mental health cases during this pandemic. It is not shocking given that living is way difficult now. A lot of businesses closed down, a lot of people lost their jobs and a lot had to drastically change their way of living due to pandemic.
It is not shameful to admit that you have a problem and you need help. Speak to a confidant or seek professional assistance, meditate for 10 minutes, try to make yourself happy. Take care of your brain.
6. We only need essentials.
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, there are five basic human needs: Physiological needs, Safety needs, Social needs, Esteem needs and Self actualization.
The bottom level if the tier is the Physiological needs which includes essentials for human survival like food, water, shelter, clothing, sleep, sex.
Next is safety needs.We need to satisfy our need for security and safety.
The third level is Social needs. We are social butterflies. We need love, affection and belonging.
Next level is Esteem needs. These are needs concerning esteem for oneself and the desire for respect from others.
The highest level in Maslow’s hierarchy is self-actualisation which refers to self-fulfilment; to become the most that one can be.
One must satisfy each level to a reasonable degree to live a satisfying and meaningful life.
Now, looking at our current status, do you really need to prioritize whitening products over food? Is it essential to go out even if you’re not sure of your safety?
But then again…
7. Everyone is just trying to cope with the situation. Stop judging.
We very quick to judge people who are not like us. We call people irresponsible when their way of coping from this situation is not the same as ours.
Some people, when they are going through a difficult situation, seek comfort from friends and families. Others distract themselves by being busy and productive. Some finds peace in isolation. Others need to explore, party or go out to entertain themselves.
Different personalities, different ways of dealing with issues. But this is not an excuse to put yourself, your loved ones and your community in a compromising situation. It is never ok to be selfish.
8. If you do not have anything good to say, shut your mouth.
If you’re just going to bash, scam, take advantage and make fun of people, better be quiet. The world doesn’t need your negative vibe.
Whether you like it or not, we are all in this together. Achieving self satisfaction at the expense of someone’s peace is not cool.
Pouring out your dissatisfactions and complaints without any recommendations for improvement is unnecessary. Think twice before you open your mouth (or type).
9. People do things they believe are right. Be open-minded and try to know where they are coming from.
“This bag is so expensive and buying it now is not proactical. But I need this because I’m really sad. Having this bag will make me happy.”
“I feel like my partner is not into me anymore, and I’m miserable. But I’m staying in this relationship because my feeling is not enough for me to leave. I’ll give it more time.”
“Let me do this, even though it doesn’t seem right, but I’m positive it is for the best.”
I don’t supposed that people will still do something they genuinely think is wrong. That is why we make justifications on the poor decisions and wrong things we do.
Instead of immediately judging, listen first and try to understand where they are coming from? Then you decide whether they make sense or not. Express your thoughts with the aims to discuss not argue. No one wants to be with someone who assumes they know how to live someone else’s life.
10. We need God.
Admit it. We need God. He’s the only one who can save us.
We humans can’t predict when this pandemic is going to end. But if you have faith in God, you’ll find comfort in the unknown.
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