Welcome little one. Open your eyes! What do you see?
Isn’t it true that due to Covid-19 pandemic we are forced into a life situation where we need to look at the World with a brand new set of eyes? Of course it is true. Some have been brave enough to introspect at various levels and question their sense of Self, who they are at a deeper level, what they are doing with their lives, employment, family, friends, housing, set of cars, set of bills, set of PJs as now that is getting to be the most popular and trendy worn outfit.
“Do we change to stay the same?”
Everyone in the World was waiting to hear the latest news on the vaccine – Everyone? I never thought I would be able to make such a generalization and feel confident it speaks the truth. Yes, undoubtedly this World has changed and we are asked, forced or choose to change along. I wonder…
“do we change to stay the same?”
as journalist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr1 coined the year after the French revolution or do we change to a radical core level in realization of the destructive virus humans have become?
Violence and destitution
Guns are travelling around the world taking lives, causing pain and still guns can be bought at gun shows while handmade bomb tutorials pop online. Refugees are homeless and the homeless become refugees. Waves of people choose to walk the walk of suffering, uprooted, hungry, dirty, sick, lost and confused instead of being trapped in their own home countries that are drowning in blood due to crime, drugs, coups and various levels of corruption.
Our Earth is hurt
Our Earth is hurt, this is a given. Plastic is drowning the oceans. Climate change is screaming at us while glaciers are melting and trees are flowering sooner.The Earth’s average temperature has increased about 2 degrees Fahrenheit during the 20th century2. Who would have thought that flying an airplane is likely the most greenhouse gas emission activity we do? Really, we had to come to this point to put two and two together? Where there is smoke there is a fire; fire causing the deforestation of the World’s most important ecosystem: The Amazon forest, due to the demand for various raw materials to satisfy peoples’ fantasy needs.
Who to blame?
If you ask me I say everything answers to overconsumption. Technology keeps advancing, we are faced with more things to choose from overcomplicating our lives and overstressing our minds and bodies. Medicine is advancing making sure we can live longer anxious-driven overmedicated and sleep deprived lives. Many believe their self-worth is determined by their bank account, number of cars, laptops, attaining a new mobile every half a year and new clothes every couple of weeks. Did you know that in the garment industry, due to Artificial Intelligence, instead of running on four seasons it now runs on fifty-two? Let us consider that the fashion industry is one of the biggest in the world, estimated by the Global Fashion Industry Statistics3 at about 3 trillion dollars as of 2018, representing 2 percent of global GDP.
I am left daydreaming Instagramers and influencers instead of promoting products and holiday destinations, they would be using their mass given power towards selling activism, peace, healthy food, eco-friendly activities, spirituality and life simplicity.
This new generation is learning to communicate and live by being “connected” online and via Selfies. Creating alter Egos in aim to be accepted and less bullied, consequently plummeting their self worth and leading towards an inability to emotionally connect with themselves and others. And so mental health in a global spectrum is deteriorating as we observe an increase in anxiety, depression, work burn outs, panic, eating disorders and the list goes on.
Have you heard of Digital Dementia4?
German neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer in his 2012 book described how overuse of digital technology is resulting in the breakdown of cognitive abilities in a way that is more commonly seen in people who have suffered a head injury or psychiatric illness. More and more young people are showing signs of short-term memory dysfunction as a result from their addiction to technology. This high dependency on technology is actually ruining our brains.
I seriously struggle to find a balance in this high-tech digital world. I am torn. We are torn.
On one hand I want to use social media to portray my work and ideas, yet on the other hand I feel used by social media as I must participate to be included and up-to-date. Otherwise, I am the odd one out, I fall behind on the latest trends and community information, I lose potential clients, I can’t remember everyone’s birthday and God forbids the number of my friends/followers stays the same. Having two young kids aged 2 1/2 and 5 doesn’t help.
As soon as they see a screen a higher power overtakes them. They get hyper, climb on me to see my screen and throw tantrums when the screen is taken from them.
Hide the phone and use it when necessary, in secret, in wc outings, hiding in the closet or under a blanket. Yes, I have a lot of missed calls and delayed email replies. So I feel like a dinosaur when it takes me an hour to post a simple story. So what do I do? I avoid it! I avoid social media as much as I can, mainly because it is new to me and I have not found the right family-work-fun balance. Does this mean I am “less than” and I have a less fulfilled life? No, not according to me.
My advice extends to you:
- Take time daily to reflect and introspect. Do not run on Autopilot.
- Take responsibility for your overconsumption. It is a chain effect. What you do, matters.
- Avoid being sucked in the social media world. Find your balance.
- Set SMART5 goals to challenge your behaviours. Accept Change – want Change – become Change.
- Explore your authentic self.
- Be grateful for your life, day by day, minute by minute.
- Share your gratitude with others to spread positivism.
- Try a herbal remedy before using pharmaceutical meds.
- Focus on self-care. Make a list of your favourite activities and do one per week.
- Talk to people as much as you can (texting does not count).
- Know your anxiety/low mood triggers, i.e. being stuck inside, feeling helpless, bored, grieving for what you have lost due to the pandemic, stressed due to future uncertainty and so on.
- Listen to calm music.
- Have no-screens time. Turn off TV and all screens. Sit in silence. Listen to your own breath.
- Focus on your dietary habits: you are what you eat.
- Drink water slowly throughout the day.
- Make sure you go for walks, do sports, work out, dance, anything that makes your body move.
- Stretch your body, do yoga, meditate, practice breathing exercises.
- Be with your pain in the window of tolerance.
- Direct your inner energy towards mindfully existing and producing the life you want to feel successful.
- Educate yourself on how to raise children with healthy attachment relationships.
- Follow your gut instinct.
- Trust within yourself. Feel safe within yourself. Love yourself as a loving parent would, unconditionally. Pass this on to people around you.
Living with Covid-19 means that we need to wake up and open our eyes to a new way of living, driving away from Autopilot. So to you I say: welcome little one, this is a new beginning.
Before you run you need to first learn how to crawl. And soon after you will be walking again, with your head up high.
Note to Self: start by taking off your PJs!
- “Les Guêpes”. Paris Michel Lévy Frères. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Baptiste_Alphonse_Karr]
- SMART: Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time-based