We can safely assume that none of us thinking about the start of 2020 would ever imagine that by March there would be a global pandemic affecting millions of people.

Like most people I was as shocked as anything, what started on a small scale escalated greatly.

With cities and countries going into lock-down much like my own, it started a turning point in us all. This for me was self-reflection. In my job I am always on the go, I rarely take days off because I like to keep myself busy, so with the country coming to a standstill and being laid off work unpaid until further notice, it hit me particularly hard.

I went from working crazy hours and days to absolutely nothing, nothing on my to do list, but self isolate. The thought of this was scary for me. Having suffered with my mental health for quite sometime, the thought of being alone and having to spend time with my own brain was daunting to say the least.

The first few days of self isolation I felt lost, I didn’t know what to do with myself, worried for my future, if I would have to leave the country to go back to my homeland, what about rent, what about my bills. But I had to quiet all these negative thoughts that were swirling in my brain. I sat one night on my balcony looking out at the stars and thought to myself “what really matters to you in this moment” I pondered this for quite some time and I came to the conclusion.. “the only thing that matters in this moment, is my health and my my mind”.

With this realization, I made a conscious effort to plan the days ahead, to fill them with things that would help me during this period of isolation. Things that would not only keep my mind happy and healthy but, push for some small change in my life, even if that was just to slow down, and take time for myself.

I sarted waking up at around 6AM every morning, I wouldn’t directly go to my phone I would go outside, I would listen to the birds, I would feel the breeze, and I would set an intention for the day ahead. I would make time to nourish myself, read books that I had but hadn’t made time for, for years a kindle full of books unread due to “not having the time” but I did have the time, I’ve always had the time, it wasn’t until this period of self isolation that I realised just how much time we all actually have in our lives to make changes. I started journaling again, I started to learn a language which I have wanted to do for a long time (all beit it’s more difficult than I anticipated) I started meditating again, I got back into my fitness regime that I had for long forgotten about. With a little apparatus I had collected on my balcony I started to push myself to focus on a goal.

Most people in this period of isolation have their own ways of dealing with their situations, some will take the route that I have taken, which for me was vital for my mental health, some will have other ways to help themselves. But we all have it in us to take this time that we now to really reset ourselves, our minds, our intentions. To look at days to come with a new set of eyes, eyes of opportunity, goals and of creating a more rounded and fulfilling life for ourselves, relying on ourselves to push us to get us to those goals, ad not being scared to ask for help along the way.

Soon this too shall pass, doors will reopen, countries will reopen, and hopefully it will bring a new era of kindness we can spread to all