Georgia’s Stay home advice: Create your own silver lining
Each week we will be bringing you the voice of one of the young people we are working with at the Jack Petchey Foundation to share their thoughts, ideas and tips about how to make the most of social distancing and staying home. This week’s is from Georgia, a a member of our Achiever’s Network.
FIND YOUR SILVER LINING
I am Georgia Hunt and I am a member of the current Achievers Network at the Jack Petchey Foundation. I am writing this to address these strange times, and hopefully help any readers to overcome problems and boredom.
I think we can all agree that these times are hard for all of us. No matter what our personal lives our, we are all finding staying at home difficult to some extent. For years, struggle has always divided groups in the world: from countries, religions, beliefs, cultures, sexualities, genders, ages, races. So much has split us up as humans, and so many boxes of groups have undergone hard times. Now is the time where we are all the same- and in a weird sort of way I find that quite comforting. It reminds me that we are all the same, no matter how different we may think we are. We are all human. So many people across the globe will be battling with problems during this time: businesses, losing loved ones, our mental health from staying indoors, family problems, or just straight up boredom.
This is the time where all factors of our life, no matter how different- from education to hobbies- have been stripped away. And while there are major problems in the world, instead of waiting for that silver lining that we always hear people talking about, let’s actually craft one.
Using this time to re-evaluate, upgrade, change. As though the world has been paused so we can all double-check our lives, and work on ourselves. Of course we all know that it’s easier said than done.
One of the hardest things for people right now is having endless time to tune into thoughts that would otherwise never bubble above the surface during day to day life. I am someone who has always struggled with ruminating thoughts, so spending most of my time in my room is a big no go. But I’m learning to listen to what my body needs instead of running and avoiding it. Although finding motivation has been hard, I have tried to use this time to re-programme my mind- since it loves to feed on negative thoughts. And while it has been hard and more than once I have slipped back into my old habits, I have adapted and carved fresh pathways of living.
I begin with jotting down a list for each day of things I have to accomplish in order for me to not feel guilty about detox time in the evenings. As soon as my mindset shifts back into self-bullying, I remind myself not to resist it but not to listen to it. By listening to what my mind needs, I have learnt that “challenging” negative thoughts isn’t about fighting them; because that fuels them and more often than not, they will end up on top. But neither accepting them, because that way you have given up. The more I fight it, the more it will fight back. The real skill is to not be afraid of it, nor love it. Like a wave. It builds up, carrying more and more pressure with it, but when it folds over, it simmers down into a calm, still sea again. The more I suppress that wave, the more water builds up in it, and it will burst out like a tsunami. Yet the more I accept it, I might as well bury my head beneath it. It’s finding that open, neutral balance of allowing it to pass.
This is one of the valuable lessons I have learnt from teaching myself the art of meditation. It’s a new tool I have discovered that equips me with the ability to shift my perspective on my own being and thus, to understand myself better than I ever did. It’s experimenting with those precious gifts that enables us to discover what works for us. What better time to start digging than now? Yes, it will be tiring searching for a passion that feeds you emotionally but once you do, it’s something you can carry with you to everyday life once these times are over.
Starting small and not putting pressure on yourself is one of the best things you can do, as well as being patient. For example, if you are forcing yourself to write poetry because it’s what you feel you “should” be doing, don’t do that. Listen to your heart. And if you’d rather be laughing with your siblings to a comedy then do that instead. There are no rules for what makes you feel good.
Spending time with those you love is also a beautiful thing to do right now. Because our world is so busy and buzzing with routines and deadlines that we forget about what really matters the most. Being at home, as well as the problems it brings, has also reminded me of what I should be grateful for: my family, the blue sky, the clouds, birds singing, green grass.
The simple pleasures hold the most value. “People say it feels dead. It also feels more alive. Like leaning in to hear the Earth’s heartbeat.” -Matt Haig
Stay positive. Stay safe.