After 4 months in quarantine, much of the world has started to head back and return slowly with a new way, new restrictions and new regulations. But are you ready to press the reset button? What have been your lessons learned during quarantine? This global pandemic or as I like to call it this “universal pause” has forced us to stay home. It has given us the opportunity to reflect and evaluate what is working, what is not, and what needs improvement in family, work, and play.
These past 16 weeks have had positive and negative moments.
I decided to use this quarantine time as an invitation to refocus and reflect, before hitting the reset button. I focused on a holistic approach and did a personal inventory where I contemplated the status of my body, mind, and spirit. I created a RESET report card for myself and my family to review. This RESET report card has served to hold us accountable in the areas where each of us needs to take action in becoming better.
As a mom of three boys (#momofboys), it was eye-opening to realize the areas in our family that needed improvement. And what an important role school played in these areas in my children’s lives. For instance, as we reviewed what we did to keep the body healthy (exercise, nutrition, hygiene, and hydration) we realized the importance of maintaining an exercise schedule. Keeping a routine to move their bodies was important, especially since sports and summer camps were canceled. Making sure the boys were getting daily exercise was not only beneficial for their physical bodies but mental health.
This Girl Podcast
This RESET reflection exercise was so impactful in our family, that I decided to invite my “quarantine buddy” Gabriela “Gaby” Martinez-Fonts, mindfulness ambassador, on This Girl Podcast to have an intuitive conversation on lessons learned during this global pandemic. On episode 47, together we discussed what realizations and adjustments we both were willing to make before hitting the reset button.
Intentional Reflection Exercises
Both Gaby and I approached this “universal pause” as a time to reflect on what matters most in our lives. With intentionality, we both decided to do reflection exercises with our families in order to come back from this universal shift with more purpose and become better. Putting her mindfulness expertise into practice with her own family, Gaby invited her family to reflect on three main questions (her three 3 children participated – ages 8, 10, and 12):
- What did you like about quarantine?
- What did you not like about quarantine?
- What do you want to keep in our family that we learned during quarantine?
It was no surprise that both of our families shared common lessons learned during quarantine, such as :
Spend more time with the people you love.
Human contact and connection are vital. Although the digital platforms (social media and Zoom) have been able to facilitate virtual connections, nothing can replace the human touch of a hug or kiss or handshake. Both our children and ourselves realized how paramount it is to exchange and interact with human contact. The kids miss playing with their friends and being able to hug their grandparents.
Family first! If the home is in order, everything else falls into place.
Quality family time. The children clearly expressed that after missing their friends, what they liked most from quarantine was not rushing all the time and having movie nights with the family. As parents, this was a realization of the imbalance that exists between work life and family life. This pause has been a gift to be more “present” in their lives and as a family as a whole.
The more you give, the more you receive.
Giving back magnifies. In times of despair and loss, it’s been beautiful to witness humanity stepping up to help others on the frontlines. From bringing meals to healthcare workers to delivering pizzas to those in need, spreading kindness has also been contagious. Showing gratitude for essential workers at the supermarkets and delivering packages has uplifted the heart and spirit. It’s created a heightened awareness that coming together for the common good does make a difference.
Health and love are the main essentials.
Less stuff, more essentials. Spending so much time at home and not going out made us realize we really do not need much. In fact, it also created an awareness of the throwaway society we have become. Quarantine made us think that we need to live simply vs. materialize. More importantly, it made us realize that the most valuable thing we’re all praying for is our health. I reminded my boys of a favorite quote from one of my favorite books, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery,“…it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
To breathe is to live!
To breathe. This pandemic has really highlighted the major significance of breath. In mindfulness, yoga, and meditation practice breathing is proven to reduce stress and anxiety. I have found myself repeatedly telling my mom, my boys, and my best friend to just take 3 deeps breaths in order to feel better. For most of us (pre-pandemic) took breathing for granted. Under quarantine, it has taught us to use breathing as a tool to feel more alive and be more present. Even if it’s to calm all the mixed emotions we are feeling during this uncertain time.
Once we all get clearance that it is safe to get back to the new way, my hope is that we’ll all hit the RESET button, and use our experiences and lessons learned to elevate and evolve towards the betterment of oneself and humanity. This universal shift can lead us to a brighter future if we are willing to do the work to live healthier lives, place our family at the forefront, focus on the essentials, and demonstrate kindness towards others.
Tune in to episode 47 on This Girl Podcast for more fun conversation on lessons learned before hitting the RESET button. You can also follow me on Instagram @pocketfulofdaisy.