The earth is still.
The hustle and the bustle that most people have been trapped in has been reduced to a memory. We are forced to put our lives on a halt in order to preserve it from an invisible enemy. It is an abrupt change that no one had planned or wanted, but this big detour in life has opened up many opportunities in life to be gentle, kind, and appreciative of things we have ignored.
One of the things that I have relearned to appreciate is the quiet mornings before I log in on the internet for work. I have been working at home for years now so this set up during the quarantine is no different. Before the quarantine started, the world outside my window has been hectic with people rushing to work or school, and vehicles passing by with their motors going. Now, it is a different setting with barely any people or vehicles on the road.
One morning, as I joined the family dog in our daily dose of sunlight, I decided to whip out the camera and take pictures of what morning feels like at home during the quarantine.
I’m thankful that nature is within the premises of our house and I get to breathe fresh air. Breathing properly allows you to “reduce mental tension, focus your mind, and increase body’s energy levels by properly oxygenating the blood.” It also “calms and strengthens the mind, and creates a feeling of inner peace and self-control.”
In that 15-30 minutes of quiet time before clocking in, I don’t think of work. I just sit there in the sunlight and live in the present. Enjoy what is happening in the immediate surroundings, listen to the morning sounds, and just… be. It’s a moment of reflection where life goes on, we have the capability to see the opportunities, and adjust accordingly.
Quiet time is the perfect time to reflect and discover what’s important. It’s not about the deadlines or what needs to be done by the end of the day, but what matters in life and to you. It could be family, service to others, a passion project, or even self-discovery.
It could be a time to weed out things you don’t need to stress about and not be a part of even if it seems like everyone is talking about it. I chose to do social distancing, not the physical kind, but social media distancing. The internet is such a free space to voice out your thoughts and opinions and I find social media to be very noisy. So during this quarantine period, I decided to filter out my tweets to only important news and avoid opinionated tweets. It was my reflective moment while watching a colony of ants invading a guyabano fruit that I have been waiting to ripen and eat. Was it annoying that I wouldn’t be able to eat it? Yes. Can I do something about it? Probably. Am I willing to make an effort to protect the next fruit from ants? Not at the moment. Then should I stay annoyed and stressed about it? No. Same goes with the issues concerning the quarantine. I focus how I could channel my frustrations into action and help ease the situation. Donate if you can. Support with whatever skills you have. Turn the negative feeling and situation into a positive action. Sure, you can be frustrated and angry, but you don’t have to remain angry forever.
Being in quarantine doesn’t mean that we have to stop everything. Just like the fruit-bearing trees and plants that grow in seasons, we too can grow and bloom when the right time comes. There will also be times when we need to rest, take a break, and let others bloom.
There’s no specific method on how you should spend your quiet time. For some, their quiet time is exercise. For some, it’s sleep. For some, it’s meditating. Any method works, as long as you give your brain and soul a rest from the chaotic world that we live in, quarantine or no quarantine. Take it from our dog, whose favorite past time is napping and not stressing over anything.
I just finished watching the documentary on Fred Rogers, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” and there was a portion where they discussed how Mr. Rogers valued quietness and stillness. And at the end of the documentary, the people he had worked with were asked to be silent for one minute and remember those who had made an important impact in their lives. It was a moment of stillness, a moment of quietness, and a moment of reflection. Smiles began to form, eyes started to well up, and all you could see are happy and grateful faces. It was like a turning point in their lives that they relearned to appreciate, to be thankful, and to remember the goodness in the world.
Quiet time can be a minute just like in the documentary. It can be fifteen minutes, like mine. It’s up to you how much time you need to unplug and reset.
I hope that during this quarantine, you would also find the time to be still. Take time to heal mentally, spiritually, and physically so you will emerge alert, creative, and focused to face on everyday challenges.
[Source: 7 Reasons Why You Need Quiet Time]