Routes to Relax whilst being housebound during the current world pandemic
So a deadly virus has surprised us all and spread across the world at an astonishing speed. Many of us worry about jobs and money, restrictions on socialising and the great outdoors has been fenced in. Yet we must all count ourselves lucky to be healthy and alive. Look for the good in everything and do not take for granted: a day, an hour or single minute under curfew.
Below, I describe the efforts I am making to make the most of my time under curfew; and weather the storm outside:
So there has been a shortage of food because of panic buying and hoarding. Yet why see this as a negative and worry? Relax and take the Breton philosophy of planning a dish after you have gone shopping and not trying to cook with ingredients that are out of stock in the shop?
Draw inspiration from old cookery books and programmes on YouTube, build a dish around a key ingredient, be brave and experiment! Remember though; in these dark days try and help your immune system all you can. Cut out alcohol because that poor old liver is a major part of your immune system. Try to include minerals and vitamins that support a healthy immune system; such as Vitamin C in Kale and Sauerkraut. Also make sure you are taking enough Zinc. Which is not too difficult; when it is found in these tasty foods: red meat, shellfish, eggs, legumes and milk, yummy!
I managed to finally cook a jar of chickpeas by including them in a tasty dish of tomato and tuna. I discovered that I can include the amazing superfood Kale in my diet; by simply adding it to scrambled eggs.
Exercise is a home run with Calisthenics
So you cannot ride across the wide open prairies, the park is closed and you now have a reason to not go to the gym. Yet do not worry; for you can become an Adonis even whilst staying at home! There is a form of exercise called Calisthenics; which involves the use of your own body weight to exercise your muscles. Read up, research and try exercises that suit you.
If you are lucky to have a garden then walk the perimeter as many times as you like; take in every detail and listen to birdsong, or pretend you are walking across a foreign land. If you have stairs, then climb them for fun! The Empire State building has 1,860 steps or the Eiffel Tower has 674 steps; imagine you are there, climbing into the air!
Plato contemplated, thought and taught in the open air; in an olive grove. You too, can use all this time; to voyage through the annals of learning. To think and contemplate the meaning of everything. Dust of those old history books from grandpa, start at the beginning and follow trails of knowledge on Wikipedia. Read ancient Greek poetry like Homers Iliad. Read Dante’s Divine Comedy and descend through your own inferno, find purgatory and then paradise in the comfort of your sofa. Research your family tree, local history, or world history. Learn a new language or just a whole new way of thinking. Learn the six ‘Laws of Attraction‘, the teachings of Buddha and Stoicism and realise your possibilities are endless!
Take a trip down memory lane
No more road trips for now; yet open the door to your mind and take a journey back down memory lane. If you are living with a lover or just your mother; take turns in regaling memories until you are both raconteurs of remarkable repute! If you live alone then not to worry; pretend you are holding a conversation with someone you hold dear to your heart. Start from your earliest memories as a child and recall the long ago acts of every passing year. If you remember someone, you have not spoken to for a while; why not find them on Facebook, and write them a line? Get out all the old family photo albums and study each photo; study faces and body language, the mood of the moment captured in time.
Plan your next voyage whilst you wait out the storm
The viral storm is raging outside; so batten down the hatches! The anchor is holding, you have good shelter and it is a safe depth to leeward. In the warmth of your cabin; unravel your charts and use a bottle of rum as the paperweight.
Research and plan that holiday you always talked about. Plan how to get to your Great aunt in Australia without using a plane! Choose an itinerary for a grand tour of Europe like an 18th Century aristocrat. Discover the quickest way to visit every country in the world. Dream and pretend you are on a first class flight to some hot tropical island, book a room on a luxury yacht and hire a castle but do not enter your card details. Type in: ‘Los Roques’ and workout how to get there. Or just plan a nice walk in the countryside for a hot summers day. When the curfew is lifted and it is safe to venture out again; get out and ‘voyage voyage’!
Le Danse Macabre!
Death is an inevitable part of life; don’t be afraid of it, don’t ignore it, accept certain inalienable truths and then let me know how! If you have not written a will; then just jot down a few notes on a bog roll if you can find some. More importantly, write a letter to your nearest and dearest with some kind wise words and thoughts for when you are long gone. Do not be morbid and sad about it. Enjoy life and the party whilst the band plays; yet the clock on the wall is ticking and the bell tolls for us all.
At the same time; spend a while remembering those who have gone on before us. You will end up with tears in your eyes yet smiling and laughing too! In Spain and throughout Latin America; they hold a party once a year to remember their ancestors. They dress in colourful clothes and go to the graves of their relatives; remembering and celebrating past life.
After all your hard work, research, chores and philosophising over life’s rich tapestry; it is time to play! This is so much easier with children; yet if none are available for at least nine months; then bring out that hidden Freudian child from within:
The stairs do not just go upstairs; they are also the summit of Mount Fuji! The cold carpet or tiles around your bed is shark infested water! The sofa is not for sitting on; it is a fairy-tale castle! The bush at the bottom of the garden; is your new home whilst trekking through the Siberian wilderness! Dress up and pretend to be someone else, put on a play with just one actor, sing in the shower and fart in the bath! It is your simple house; yet open your mind to a whole universe!
Keep calm and carry on
Therefore, you are alive and well; in your homely cell. Enjoy and appreciate every second. Fear doesn’t need windows or doors because it comes from within.
Keep calm and carry on.
So did I need to mention the obvious ideas; like: painting the spare room again?
Well have you ever tried painting ceilings…
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