I walked for two hours daily. It was a time for thinking. Reflecting on life, mine, and of those around me. Walking gave me a chance to observe people around me too. Families, students, seniors were all trapped in that scenario and how they were reacting.
Blogging was a sanity saver. I would read blogs, reply to comments and write my posts for at least a few hours every day. It was a way to connect with friends all over the world. We all were going through similar situations and were supportive of each other.
Since eating out was out of bounds, cooking at home was the other option. I’m not very fond of cooking but baking was always my favorite. Made bread, cakes, banana bread, and cookies too.
Long phone calls to family and friends;
For six months I was stuck in Seattle. I would spend a lot of time on calls to my kids and friends in Pakistan. There’s a 12 hours time difference between the two cities, Seattle and Lahore in summers, so the calls were either made very early in the morning or late at night.
I listened to music while blogging, walking or preparing meals. Music is such a mood elevator that it made all activities, fun. I had a playlist for all my moods. Hip-hop for walking, soothing music for blogging and spiritual music for contemplation.
These are the ways I used to uplift my mood during the lockdown.
5 ThingsTuesday: Feelings / Emotions you felt most often during the Pandemic
As Tanya said in her post, covid-19 is a long way from being over. What emotions I have felt most during these 18-19 months are;
The first emotionI experienced during the lockdown was uncertainty. Everything in the future looked uncertain as I realized the extent of this pandemic. Never before had I experienced this situation before. Travel plans, planned outings even grocery shopping had to be put on hold.
Frustrating is the second most common emotion that I have experienced during the last year and a half. Frustration at people who refuse to accept the reality of pandemic, who don’t get vaccinated, and all those who don’t wear masks. These people are putting others at risk along with themselves and their families.
Time in lockdown allowed me to get to know myself better. The most importantthing that I realized is that we don’t need all the stuff we think we do. We can do with a lot less and it has I think made me a better person.
Gratitude is an emotion that I feel daily. We, the family are all vaccinated against covid and as yet safe from it. With so much illness, death, and misery that we saw during these past months, the value of counting our blessings daily and giving thanks for them has become very important.
Value of family and friends;
During Covid, we stayed isolated and didn’t meet our friends or the extended family at all. This has taught me to value my family and friends a lot. We indeed realize the importance of something when it’s taken from us. During the past 18 months or so I’ve really come to appreciate friends and family.
5 Things Tuesday — 5 Life lessons you have learned during the lockdown.
Something totally unexpected happened at the end of February 2020. A global pandemic was declared by the WHO and most places went into unprecedented lockdowns.
The pandemic still is here. Maybe for another year or two, who can say for sure.
I have learned a few things since February’20
After the toilet paper shortage, OTC painkillers were scarce too. People bought all the hand sanitizer from stores and even on Amazon, one couldn’t find any. The most important lesson I learned was to share. Get only what you need and leave the rest for others.
• Be kind;
Pandemic is tough on everyone. Be kind when you see people struggling with their lives. Be more understanding and forgiving. When everyone is suffering, a little kindness goes a long way.
• Learn to entertain yourself;
When one is in a lockdown, there aren’t many people you can visit, movies you can watch in theater, or go shopping to the mall. I have found the ability to entertain myself was a lifesaver. Reading, blogging, making lego creations and going for long walks were the ways I kept myself busy.
• Be organized and disciplined;
I learned that following a routine and sticking to it was the best way to have a stress free day. When I woke up every morning, I knew what was my schedule for the day and I always had something planned that would make me wake up with hope everyday.
• Look after your health and appearance;
It was the perfect time to get back to healthy eating and to try to shed the extra weight. Walking daily, eating according to my plan helped me lose 10 pounds. I also got some kits and products online for self grooming and it was another way to spend my time productively and pleasantly.
These are some of the very important lessons I learned during the pandemic lockdown.
In her post Tanya has listed her favorite feelings. And of course they are the best, hope, happiness, excitement, anticipation, and contentment! My list would be somewhat identical to a degree.
Feeling of peace; Of all the good feelings, I love to feel at peace with myself and the world around me. This is the feeling I get when my inner self is at peace with my outer world.
Feeling ahead of my daily chores; When I am ahead of my daily targets, I feel so good. My walking done, Blog posts written, and my chores done, that’s when I totally relax. Now I can use my time for reading, coloring and other activities.
Feeling excited; Anticipating something when some new venture is on the horizon, like traveling abroad or going on vacation to a different city makes me feel all excited. As the day the feeling of anticipation is sometimes better than the actual event.
Feeling sated; Having a good night’s sleep, or after a good satisfying meal is the way I feel sated. It is a wonderful feeling that leaves me at peace with myself and my world.
Feeling joyful and happy; This is last in the list but not the last in priority. All the previous feelings listed Brian me to this feeling. Joy and happiness fills me when I am at peace, relaxed and sated.
Longer days give me more time to do what I need/ want to do during daytime. The sun sets later and rises earlier. I specially enjoy early morning time.
I like this drink so much. A wonderful, refreshing combination of coconut and pineapple. It’s my favorite cold drink.
There was a time that I wasn’t keen on eating mangoes. Perhaps I found them too sweet. But in last couple of years, my love of mangoes has made a comeback. In Pakistan we have a huge variety of mangoes. And the all are amazing.
Summer break from school means that we can plan a trip someplace. Usually it’s up north to the cooler areas of the country. This year we went for a couple of days to a hill resort, Nathiagali. It’s a lovely, lush green place. Lots of little monkeys are also roaming around there.
Cool summery clothes
Our summer is very hot. So we have cool lawn clothes to wear. These are made of lightweight cotton fabric which are usually available in very lively colors.
These are my 5 favorites for summer. What are yours?
We have been talking about food related topics here on 5things. This week I wanted to break the mould. Oh dear ! That’s another food related metaphor. I am afraid I can’t help myself. I simply love writing about food.
This week’s topic is Icebreakers or Conversation starters. Which are your favourites?
In a big get together;
How do you know the host/hostess?
In a wedding reception;
The hosts are not here as yet! Even they are late!
Today Tanya asks us to list 5 Things that mean Spring to us;
Putting away blankets, quilts, and winter clothes
I look forward to doing this all throughout short winters. I don’t like heavy blankets and quilts and love the time when I put them away! In summer a light bedspread is enough when the air conditioning is running.
Lightning up of days;
It gets light sooner and gets darker later in the day. I especially enjoy the early morning quiet time when going outside doesn’tmean wearing more layers. Usually, it’s very pleasant and a light breeze is blowing.
Green leaves and colorful flowers everywhere;
The best part ofspring is the rebirth of plant life. I get such joy from watching the tender green leaves and branches sprouting from the bare trees. The gardens all around us are full of lovely displays of flowers. There is in fact a competition among the residents to see who’s lawn is more beautiful. There is some sort of award too.
Strawberries, melons, and guavas in fruit market;
As I am a foodie, it should be no surprise that I await the spring for the delicious fruits it brings. Unlike America, we don’t have all fruits, all years around except apples and bananas. So strawberries come at the end of winter and last a couple of months. Melons also start to arrive in spring/ early summer as do the guavas. I love to make a salad of my favorite fruits.
Nothing like the spring showers to lift the spirits. The sound and smell of rain are most welcome to me. It also holds back the sizzling summers for a little while.