We’ve ushered in a new decade with fireworks and champagne, followed by the celebration of Lunar New Year and its usual rigmarole. Just when we thought all is well, who knew a nasty virus would be making its way from China to all over the world? It has certainly upended travel plans for many of us. 2020 is already looking rough, but it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom as long as we do our part to manage our health and maintain good personal hygiene.
With the media frenzy surrounding COVID-19, there has been an avalanche of social media updates and news headlines–which makes following and figuring out how to most effectively respond to it–feels increasing like a full-time job too. And I’m so glad that my mother didn’t react to DORSCON Orange (which have caused anxiety among many Singaporeans).
Let’s take a moment to check in with ourselves in this age of information. The jarring headlines are happening in our brains, appearing on our Facebook feeds, it’s way too much to take on and it ultimately affects how we perceive reality.
First World Problem, they say.
French-Cuban American diarist Anais Nin said that: “We don’t see things they are, we see them as we are” because reality is what you make of it after all. However, it’s getting more complicated now when algorithms come into play and you have things like fake/corrupt news that are constantly available to us via different forms of media. It’s easy to focus on the negative which leaves you keyed up. Now is the time, more crucial than ever to cultivate mindfulness in a hyperconnected world.
It’s too easy to lose ourselves in autopilot for much of the day, every day. Living this way we often fail to:
1. Notice the beauty of life
2. Hear what our bodies are telling us
3. Get stuck in dichotomous ways of thinking and living that may be harmful to ourselves or others
Here we discuss four simple life-changing ways to help you live better and know that what you focus on determines your reality.
First things first, manage your time spent on your phone, emails and social media. Consider setting aside some time to be unreachable every day. And to not look at the news sometimes—even if it’s just a two-hour break or a news curfew at night. Whatever works for your schedule. Taking intentional breaks from technology reminds us that life is happening right now. Our world may be changing, but the true nature of life is not. Keep in mind that technology is a tool.
Write a gratitude list. Your day might not have started well, but focus on what you’re thankful for. Look for all the positives, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem at first. Expressing gratitude brings a state of inner peace and grace.
Be in nature. Time spent in nature can work wonders. This advice is not new, but it is particularly relevant right now. Go to a park or plan a weekend island retreat. It’s scientifically proven that spending time in nature will make you feel a lot better.
Don’t forget to breathe. Taking conscious, deep breaths when things aren’t going your way can help. Deep breathing is a simple yet powerful act to help us release tension and reconnect with ourselves.
Remember, there is no light without darkness. Every cloud has a silver lining. The sun is always there.