The idea of having fun and being at peace while social distancing and relaxing at home might seem impossible for you.
While this is understandable given the way we’ve structured society, it’s also completely manageable. Social distancing is not as hard as it’s been made out to be.
If you want to be happy and prosper while dealing with the reality of social distancing, this little guide will help. Be advised, there will be no sugarcoating or fluffy feel-good words of encouragement here.
Read on only if you are prepared to laugh at the idea of social distancing and live your best life regardless of whether you’re quarantined or not.
Starting With a Healthy Mindset
Difficult times breed character. Everything comes down to mindset and in times of adversity, you should automatically adopt the mindset that you’re going to come out of your situation better and stronger than when you entered.
Otherwise what are you exactly doing with your life?
Situations like the current outbreak force us to ask deeper questions about who we are as people. Are we weaklings or are we built tough? What if we were dealing with an actual serious issue that warranted our bravery and strength?
Because let’s get one thing out of the way: the quarantine is not some arduous hardship that warrants mental anguish.
You’re not locked in a prison cell facing solitary confinement for years at a time. You’re not stuck in a wartime trench waiting out a military bombardment. You’re not performing delicate scientific research on an ice-floe in Antarctica while braving subzero temperatures.
You’re sitting at home with a litany of modern amenities, warm and cozy and likely with more food, water, and luxuries than you know what to do with, while sharing memes about the “crisis” on social media.
I hate to say it but sometimes we all need a kick in the ass. A wake-up call that gives us a proper perspective on things.
At the end of the day, that’s what it comes down to. Perspective.
The quality of your life has always and will always be determined by your mindset. Not arbitrary and extraneous physical circumstances.
You may think a million dollars or a “fresh start” would suddenly make you happy and fulfilled, but you’re not only dead wrong, you’re deluding yourself and making it harder to actually face your problems and live a happier life.
So the question is, if the current quarantine is making you depressed, lonely, or anxious, what are you going to do about it?
Do you believe you have the power to overcome these circumstances? And by circumstances, I don’t mean the quarantine itself. That’s an extraneous physical circumstance that is out of our control. Nothing you say, do, worry about, or think will make the quarantine go away.
The only answer then is to rise above it.
Stop Identifying With Perceived and Imagined Problems
The quarantine is not a problem.
It’s just not.
You absolutely have to cultivate a stronger mind if you really think being lampooned in the comfort of your own home is a “problem.”
Your first task is to detach yourself from the part of your mind that always wants there to be “issues.”
This is the ego.
The ego, if allowed to fester, becomes an “issue machine,” in that it will spin problems out of thin air to continuously validate its own identity.
As long as you are stuck in a constant fight or flight mode because of your ego, you’ll be too mentally and emotionally bamboozled to perform true self-work.
The problem is you.
This might not be what you want to hear, but if you actually want to be happy and content, it’s essential that you understand this. On a deep level, not just on a surface level.
The root of all your mental malaise is you. No one, and no thing, can “make” you feel something against your will, first and foremost.
You are the gatekeeper of your own mind and emotions. If you don’t know how to gate-keep your own mind, of course you will be unhappy.
Where do you think bad thoughts and emotions come from anyway? Santa Claus? Big Brother?
They come from you. You’re the only who creates them and ultimately you are the only one who has the power to negate them.
Again, I understand if this information isn’t exactly what you want to hear. It may even come off as harsh.
It’s supposed to be.
Psychobabble coddling will not make you a happy and fulfilled person. I could easily sit here and say “binge these feel-good movies on Netflix and Skype with your friends for 3 hours a day, don’t let social distancing keep you from your loved ones!!!”
But here’s the thing. Your loved ones want you to be happy and content. They don’t want to hear you whine and complain about your endless list of fake miseries.
Shocker, I know.
This is actually extremely toxic behavior, also known as psychic lechery. It occurs any time you attempt to extract energy and attention out of other people using pity, emotional extortion, and fear.
In other words, you need to take a look in the mirror and stop blaming everything else for the mood you’re in and the thoughts you think.
You are the only source of your own negative thinking and emotions. Forget quarantine for a second, and really begin to focus on Self.
Were you using parties, outings, the gym, and other social places as distractions, coping mechanisms, and escapes?
There’s a high likelihood that if you’re not comfortable alone and in isolation, you weren’t really comfortable doing anything outside, either. You were using them to cope.
The reality is, you’re unhappy and anxious because you are identifying with these traits. You have invited these feelings and states into your life, and you will use any excuse to bring them out.
Social distancing is just the excuse many people needed to play the pity card and talk about their depression, anxiety, and other hangups.
Healthy people don’t suddenly become depressed because of social isolation.
Just as unhealthy people will be unhappy and miserable even with millions in the bank and a penthouse suite.
The key to finding your happiness is in the realization that happiness is your responsibility and yours alone.
Once your realize you have the power to control your emotions, the onus is on you to correct them. This can be both empowering and frightening at the same time.
Embrace the fact that you are in control and use the following meditation practice as a guide for honing that control.
Meditation to Practice While Social Distancing
If you find yourself anxious or down because of social distancing, what you need is a better perspective and a stronger mind. This meditation will help regulate your attachments and thoughts to aid you in feeling at peace with your Self.
- Find someplace where you won’t be disturbed.
- It’s important that you leave your phone in another room and disconnect from any activity going on around you. If your family can’t give you 20 minutes of uninterrupted peace, you have bigger problems than quarantining.
- Make sure that you are comfortable and that can you can sit up straight, shoulders back.
- Breathe slowly and evenly through your nose for a couple minutes, making sure to fill your diaphragm completely with each breath.
- Your job is to allow your attachments regarding social distancing to arise in your mind. You may feel incomplete without social contact, or “bored,” or hemmed-in. Whatever the case may be, allow those thoughts and feelings to arise and don’t push them away.
- With every breath, see pure white light entering your body and filling you with completeness. At the same time, say aloud “this is a lie, I am whole.”
- It doesn’t matter what negative thought or attachment pops into your head. Allow it to sit for a moment, breathe in the energy, and declare, “this is a lie, I am whole.”
- As you negate these negative thoughts, begin to look inside your Self. This is where you will find contentment. You don’t need anything on the outside. Look inward.
- Allow yourself to smile. It doesn’t matter if you don’t yet feel happy. After you negate your attachments for around 5 – 10 minutes, force yourself to smile and declare in your mind, “I am completely whole, I need nothing.”
- Feel the energy that you are absorbing fill you, especially your center. Visualize the trappings of your mind melt away.
- It is around this point where fear may appear. Return to negating your attachments, whatever they are. If you think you need something on the outside or if social distancing is “difficult,” ask your mind why it is difficult. If an answer appears, negate it and declare aloud “Wrong, I am whole.”
Practice this meditation often. It will strengthen your mental integrity, re-frame your mindset, and increase your vital energy, leaving you feeling whole and less attached to certain outside influences and happenstance.
Remember, you are in control of what you feel. Random circumstances should not be exerting control over you.
It may be somewhat cliche to say, but you should use this time for introspection and Self Work. Yes, you may have issues that need addressing due to sick friends and family, or being out of work, but physical happenstance shouldn’t have the power to steal your mood or imprison your mind.
Contentment and inner peace can be cultivated in even the most adverse circumstances.
Stop making excuses and evolve.