Hello Sunshine! It's been more than a hundred days since circuit breaker was implemented here in Singapore and I thought it would be a good idea to list down the things I've learned throughout this whole experience. I don't know about you, but trying times make the best motivators for reflection.
1. Prioritize the essentials
This pandemic really shed light and allowed me to focus on what's important. On the most practical side, it's a slap on the face reminding me how financially unprepared I am for emergencies. I'm not proud of that, because I do try to be as prepared as I could be, investing in the future so I can retire comfortably, but I guess it's not enough still. It's super true that one major hospitalisation can be the defining factor of a person suddenly going into poverty. It's scary!
The overall lack of security and complete uncertainty on all fronts: health, job, and personal relationships makes going through this pandemic situation harder than it should be. I think because everyone is going through the same spiral, there's no solid ground. Everyone's just trying to survive as well, and while I believe you should strive to hold your ground on your own, the lack of safety blanket makes it easier to just sink deep into the spiral instead.
So we try to focus and prioritize the essentials. That means, no unnecessary spending on random items like makeup and toys, minimizing dining out, and obviously no travels. And come to think of it, it's not so bad. I learned to cook a lot of new dishes in quarantine. I also learned to appreciate what I already have, rediscovering my beauty stash for example--which also aligns with my being mindful of wasting products.
2. Discard what's harmful
There's enough toxicity in the world for you to actively keep what hurts you. Be it things, memories, or even people, if they're causing you harm, just pull the band-aid and remove them in your life. Harsh as it may sound, it's the healthy thing to do. It's also not easy, but in the long run, you'd thank yourself for being brave and letting go. Life is too short to think that you deserve to get hurt. Life is too temporary to think that you have to feel pain in order to fully experience your journey.
Sure, pain is inevitable and sometimes, they do swing from places you thought were safe, but just don't be an active source of self-infliction. Guard your heart safely and take care of your worth. Those who truly deserves you won't hurt you so those that do, bid them goodbye. Sure, maybe thank them for the lessons and for teaching you to be strong enough to choose yourself, but leave. Leave the darkness.
3. Uplift people and encourage passion
One good thing that happened during this pandemic is people started circling back to their own passions and putting those beloved hobbies to work. There's a lot of businesses and creative ways to share skills sprouting here and there--and I think that's great. I think that's a healthy way of coping and adapting to our new normal.
If you're one of these people and new businesses, congratulations for making lemonade out of this one helluva lot of lemons. If you haven't found your center yet, don't worry. You'll get there. I myself am not quite sure yet on what I could do to make lemonade, but that doesn't mean I can go out there and order some.
Support your friends. Support small businesses. Support local and community enterprises. This new normal is still vague, and we're all just trying to navigate together, but if we go through this stage supporting each other, there's a higher chance to not just survive the pandemic but to also find ourselves thrive despite the odds.
4. Respect life
Another thing I love about my stay home is my rediscovered love for planting. I've always been taking care of plants, and as much as I can, I try to have a plant-baby every chance I can get so now that I have found myself having more time to care for a plant, I went all out!
I didn't even have to buy new plants. While we did start of with a few kangkong, mint, and basil seeds (by the way my basil seeds never sprouted!), I do have a few plant babies that I just grew from kitchen scraps. It's really exciting to see nature come to life, especially now that there's no actual great outdoors for us to explore. Welcoming nature back to the home is so refreshing.
5. Count your blessings
Last but not the least, be grateful of the little and big things. End each day with gratitude so you can fully recover and wake up to more blessings. Even the most mundane things, if you feel thankful for those, just be. This pandemic definitely made it a bit more complicated to feel #blessed, but still we are, we just have to take a step back from all the fear and worry and zero in on the blessings that continue to come our way.
Stay strong and have faith. Learn the lessons and live fully. This pandemic may have limited our options to a "full life" but that doesn't mean you can't. Be creative in discovering what makes your heart full and don't be shy, fill her up!