The Art Of Doing Less During This Quarantine

As the world around us seemed to halt amid the COVID-19 pandemic, people appear more busy than ever at home. We are told to find a new hobby, craft something, bake, use celebrity workout videos to get a headstart on a summer body; the list goes on. Society, with the help of media outlets, has constructed a correlation between productivity and constant movement with one's worth, and it is especially visible as we are presented with thousands of ways to distract ourselves from what is going on in the world. Instead of prioritizing mindfulness and calming practices during this crisis, society is emphasizing constant output and activity as if there is not a raging virus around the world that has completely changed our lives, at least temporarily. 

What could possibly happen if we were to sit down with no expectations and be by ourselves for a little? What could happen if we stopped paying attention to any media that is teaching us how to build a DIY cabinet or how to get a six pack in a week and asked ourselves what we really need? When was the last time you asked yourself how you are truly doing? 

Meditation Kristine Mahan / Spoon

So how was your week? If it was anything like mine, it was filled with stress, restlessness, frustration and loneliness, with a few sprinkles of joy, laughter and tears along the way. And we have every right to feel this way! Our lives have shifted immensely, yet we are still expected to perform exceptionally in school. We miss our friends that we never said goodbye to and we haven’t worked from home since high school, yet social media is attempting to portray a happy picture of this time. And it is okay to not be rosy during this time of uncertainty. It is okay not to demonstrate outrageous levels of productivity right now. This is not the time to distract ourselves, rather this is the time to turn inside and truly calm our minds and understand our emotions. 

We no longer have the excuse that we have no time to meditate, and, if anything, it is precisely in these unpredictable times that we can most benefit from a practice that has been clinically proven to reduce stress, control anxiety and enhance self-awareness. The only equipment you need for meditation is yourself and a willingness to be open and truthful. 

There are many different forms of meditation; I recommend downloading the app “Stop, Breathe, and Think” or “Headspace.” These two apps offer guided meditations, which are perfect for beginners to truly understand the purpose and power of meditation. If staying still is not your thing, try walking meditation or yoga meditation, which allow you to move mindfully.  silhouette of woman doing yoga pose Kike Vega

While simply breathing seems like an easy task, meditation is extremely powerful in the way that it does not discriminate in the type and intensity of thoughts that arise. The beautiful aspect of meditation is that it teaches you that when thoughts arise, acknowledge them with no judgement and let them pass, returning back to your breath. Our thoughts are simply just that - thoughts - and nothing more; there is no need to stay fixated on them. 

Learning new hobbies, working out and trying new recipes are amazing ways to combat any boredom during this quarantine season. However, this is a better time than ever to stop constantly doing and try staying still and learning more about yourself through meditation. Its effects are truly powerful, just try yourself and see.