The Simple Life

The World is winding down, and unless we are front-line workers, most of us are living much simpler lives and are hibernating away for our health and well-being. How are you embracing your new humbler way of life away from the old fast-paced hectic one? Parkinson’s has taught me that decelerating works wonders for my health, and this pandemic is showing me that it may actually save my life. So, are you finding this time to be limiting or in fact liberating?

I am using this time to take stock, whilst not for a second forgetting the pain that others are going through, the financial worries that many people have, and indeed how much our key -workers are doing for us. Most of us have been forced to shed many of the accoutrements of our old lifestyles; and this breathing space away from the daily grind of spinning too many plates, may help us to reflect on what really matters, and also what doesn’t. Some of us may be wondering how we will ever go back to our old lives of rushing through the day flitting from task and trying to do more than is ever possible. Can you keep up that unsustainable pace for another 10/20 years? Do you even want to?

Parkinson’s gave me a permission slip to slow down, and it is my mission to help others to do the same. I do a lot of reading on neurological health, and neuroscientists show that our brains are not wired to handle so many activities simultaneously, it leads to burnout or worse; it’s a high price to pay! What do you want out of this second go at life? I urge you to use this time to reflect on what can be tweaked or even removed from your schedule, find balance, do some soul searching and get your mojo back. Pick happy over busy every time…

You may be starting to find joy in the simple things such as your home; you might never again get to spend this amount of time in it. My house is my place of sanctuary and safety, but I am fully aware that not everyone has that same refuge, and so for that reason, I am extremely appreciative and content with the home that I have.

We have all had to start shopping more consciously as food supply is limited and deliveries are not always accessible, and so many of us are living more within our means and have broken the cycle of endless shopping and consuming without thinking. There is also a greater appreciation of food and those who supply it, both of which we can tend to take for granted. Shopping sprees are on hold and so we may have found clothes that we haven’t seen in years, I know that I have underestimated how many clothes that I actually have and only wear half of what I own. I will most definitely be reflecting on what I spend my money on in the future.

Perhaps your attitude to your job will change? You may feel the desire to review how much time that you spend working. You might feel the need to reflect on how much your job encroaches on your personal time or how well you parent because of it. Is it impacting your health and stress levels? We all need to work to pay the bills, but we also need to be fulfilled and enjoy what we do. Now is the time to set clear boundaries between our work and home lives; saying ‘No’ in work does not mean that you are lazy, but it does mean that you are putting your well-being and your loved-ones first.

So, does your future life look the same as the old one?  Will you still race through life frazzled? I hope that we can all use this as a time for evolution and growth. Life throws us many curveballs, but I have learned to always count my blessings and appreciate all that I have. If you entered ‘lockdown’ stressed and overwhelmed, I sincerely hope that you leave it with a renewed zest for life. Not everyone will get that chance… 

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