Camilla Sacre-Dallerup explains how to feel less isolated during this weird lockdown period.
It’s really easy, when we are now at home on lockdown, to focus on the connections and things we don’t have, like other people’s company or as much money, perhaps. It’s therefore vital, more than ever, for us to stay present in the moment, because a lot of the stress and fear that we’re experiencing has a lot to do with us worrying about what might happen in a week or a month’s time. Isn’t it ironic then that 85 per cent of the things we worry about don’t actually happen? When you consider this fact, it’s important that we really stay present to get us through. So, how can we do this?
Practise gratitude and positivity
You can ramp these up in seconds by simply asking yourself ‘What do I have right here, right now in this moment?’ It could be a roof over your head, food in the fridge or a mobile phone, tablet or computer to keep up to date, perhaps? We might not be able to go out for dinner with friends or give our loved ones a hug but online we are more connected than ever. Staying in touch with communities, whatever your interest or location, is easily possible with a quick click or a mere swipe. Try seeking out communities that align with your interests, be it a knitting club, a fitness group or a meditation class, for example. People are welcoming others into their communities across the globe as well as closer to home, and Unplug Meditation, where I run my classes, is a great example of that. It’s a wonderful community and we have made all the meditation classes available via the Zoom app, so wherever you are in the world, you can join us and don’t have to feel on your own at all.
When we shift our focus from what we’re lacking to a place of curiosity, we can start asking questions like ‘What can I seek out here?’ and ‘Who can I connect to?’. Now could be the time to reconnect with those friends and family members you may have not caught up with for a while and sometimes, when we feel isolated ourselves, actually being there for somebody else can make us feel better too. We can feel purpose in that moment that we are supporting someone and that in turn can help us feel connected and aligned.
Start a conversation
There’s never been a moment like now where there is a willingness to share free content and start new communities, and you can do this so easily with platforms such as Facebook groups. If you’re feeling disconnected, why not start your own? Chances are there’ll be others feeling just like you, so why not be that first person to say ‘Hey, wanna be a part of my Facebook group and have a chat?’ and get the ball rolling! It could be twice a week at a certain time with a cup of tea – just know that you’re not alone! This extra time on our hands is also perfect for upgrading our digital skills. You could become a master of using platforms like Zoom, Skype and Facetime, plus you can get involved in multiple conversations via Facebook Live, so do a little research, follow people and brands that interest you and get talking.
Smile or say hi
When you do go for that one walk, run or cycle a day, try and acknowledge any people you see with a nod or a smile. Trust me, that small gesture – that connection – will make you feel instantly better and it will make them feel better too. I passed a lady on my street the other day, who I have passed a million times before, and though I’ve always acknowledged her she’s never really done it back. This time when I saw her she said ‘Morning!’ and that felt really nice. A simple ‘hello’ can remind us that we are all in this together.
Rethink your response
We might not be able to change things that happen but we can alter how we respond. For example, you might be thinking ‘Why is this happening to me?’ but if you switch it to ‘Why is this happening for me?’, instantly, the way you respond will change. Now you can begin to consider how to answer this new question and how you can turn the situation into something that is more beneficial to you and those around you.
Turn a new page
Hands up if you’ve suddenly remembered that pile of books you’ve been meaning to start (or finish) but haven’t quite got round to it? Getting stuck into a good read – and I mean really engaging your mind without other distractions – can also feel like a connection. You’re connecting to the characters and the things you’re learning about, and you’re also connecting to yourself. That’s your most powerful connection of all!
Camilla Sacre-Dallerup is the best-selling international author of It’s Not You, It’s Me (£9.99, Watkins Publishing, amazon.co.uk). For more information about Camilla, visit www.zenme.tv