We find ourselves in an extraordinary time; a time of change, a time of upheaval and a time of being in the unknown. In fact, it’s such an extraordinary time that a fashion faux pas such as myself is writing to you the fashionable, the stylish and the ultra-cool. Isn’t that something?
Don’t worry though; I’ll stick to what I know.
And what I know is that we all find ourselves in similar circumstances; at home, in a lockdown and suddenly faced with a lot of uncertainty. Some people have lost jobs, some have lost income and others are struggling with the basic needs like food. We are all faced with fighting a virus that is unseen; that until now has been unheard of and currently has no cure.
What I also know is that we are all in this TOGETHER.
I’m also currently at home writing from the dining room table. Luckily for you, I have showered and washed my hair today. Other days it’s working in sweat pants and slippers, taking business calls while lying on the sofa and doing relay runs to the kitchen to make food and eat.
The other rather unusual phenomenon is that we are now spending 24 hours of the day, every single day with our families or ourselves. In these circumstances, 24 hours can. be. a. very. long. time.
As I write, a family member who will remain unknown for their own protection is busy watching the most ridiculous dating show on TV. All I can hear in the background is a long stream of bleep bleep bleep. Now I don’t know about you but I am often actively seeking places to hide. And I really don’t want to be found.
Now, I also have no idea if I’ll have a job next month. There is stress about bills and anxiety over the future. This is a situation that we have NO control over. We cannot decide when schools will open, when businesses will operate normally and when we will be able to move around freely. We have to wait, watch and hear from other sources.
If we cannot control this passage of time in our lives, what do we do?
How do we survive? What will happen to us, our kids and our families? How do we save our businesses? How do we manage our debt?
The only answer I can offer is that we control the one thing we can, and that is ourselves. And I’m not just talking about listening to the President and adhering to lockdown procedure, social distancing and hand washing. I’m talking about controlling our minds, our bodies and our overall health. We can decide on the thoughts we think, how we behave and what we eat.
Now when I told one of my sisters that I still maintain a morning and evening routine, even during lockdown, she was absolutely horrified, maybe even disgusted. She couldn’t even fathom such a thing. “Wake up without an alarm,” she said, “take it easy and go slow. Just do whatever you feel like doing as and when that time comes”.
There is no right and wrong answer here. I have ditched the alarm by the way, but the routine, that stays. It’s my way of staying in control of me and what I mean by that is that I can achieve all my daily goals by keeping a routine. Everyone is different and you may be able to accomplish the most without one and that’s ok. It’s best to do what works for you.
One of the ways to shift the axis of where we are to where we want to go in this uncertain time is to start with our thoughts. Whether we realise it or not, there is always some form of running commentary going through our heads. Most of the time we don’t even catch ourselves doing it and we don’t realise that it is negative. I’ve caught myself in a blockbuster movie of doom and destruction and I’ve had to consciously take control of the director’s chair and turn it in to a light-hearted rom com.
It would also be very easy right now to spiral in to a hopeless state of mind but who or what would that serve? Try and catch yourself with those thoughts and intentionally convert it in to a positive. Think of it as positive currency, one that will multiply and expand and grow into unexpected abundance. Don’t believe me? Try it and I almost guarantee that out of what seems like nowhere, an opportunity will arise or a relationship will improve.
Positive thinking fuels creativity. And creativity fuels movement. Movement fuels momentum. And momentum fuels a mountain of change.
Change is what is going to get us all in to this next phase of our lives with a sense of assurance; assurance of the self, regardless of any external circumstances. If we hold tight to what we can control, namely ourselves, we will be able to navigate these uncharted waters with a boat that is steady, one that is ready to steer the course with a compass that is of our own making and our own vision.
I wish you and your families well during this time and may we all stay safe and hopeful for what is to come.
Lisa Marie Lawler is a writer, health and wellness advocate, content creator and traveller.