What the world needs now is solidarity. With solidarity we can defeat the virus and build a better world. —Antonio Guterres
A few days ago, I ventured out of my city apartment to walk along the river. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon. Children were dancing in front of their parents; an older gentleman was watching the water run and; a couple was eating the picnic they had prepared. Some individuals were simply reading, other relaxing or sleeping, and some brave souls were playing music along the path.
I feel compelled to say that all individuals were respecting social distancing regulations. Nevertheless, this was a scene portraying connection in a way that has not been seen in months.
I was filled with gratitude.
Our communities have started shifting towards our post quarantine world. The scene I previously depicted is a perfect example of this. This process has only just begun and has the potential to last quite some time. Still, we are moving towards being able to again engage with others in more “traditional” ways.
Of course, throughout this process, it is essential that everyone follows the recommendations and guidelines of experts and government agencies. It will be important that each and every one of us continues to monitor the situation as restrictions begin to be lifted.
What will be most interesting about this re-engagement period is our ability to maintain some of the valuable practices we have turned towards in our attempt to engage with the world during these difficult months. Here are some of the many ways we have engaged with ourselves, our loved ones and our communities that will be valuable beyond this quarantine.
Maintaining Your Engagement with Yourself
You are the most important person that needs your care.
Investing in Self-Care Practises: Over the last few months, many of us have had the time to take care of ourselves. We have been given this time. Maybe it was a few more hours before and after work which had previously been allocated to commuting to and from work. Maybe it was weekends at home because stores had otherwise shut down. Continuing to optimize your time for self-care will be essential in the upcoming weeks and months to ensure that your mental health is nurtured.
Put Yourself First: When the world is on lock down, it was easier for most of us to say no. To say no to engagements that did not motivate us, people that drained our energy and things that added no value to our lives. Saying no is definitely not easy. Nevertheless, learning from the practise of saying no, as practised during the quarantine, will serve us greatly as we continue to reengage in person with the world.
Disengage with the World: Out of desire and necessity, we have powered down our channels to the outside world. We have had to learn how to disengage with the world physically, and often technologically. This has allowed for the opportunity to reengage with ourselves, or at least to start to learn how to do so. We must consider how we can continue to learn moving forward.
Continuing to Engage With Your Loved Ones
Schedule Digital Chats: Many have shared that their connection with those they love has increased in the past months. Everyone is so eager to reach out, connect and reassure. This has meant many more online and phone chats for all. For your loved ones who live near you, this may have meant a few compromises. But for those who live further away, there is a possibility that they have seen more of you lately. Considering how to maintain these connections post quarantine will be important.
Show Up in Small and Meaningful Ways: A common practice that has been shaped over the past few months is that of going out of one’s way to show up for others, especially those we love. These opportunities are both grand and small. Think, it can be as small as sending a handwritten note or checking in with those we love.
Understanding Possible New Engagement Opportunities Within Your Community
The news has been reporting celebratory drives, donations to hospitals and front-line workers, and support of local businesses in need. This is a short, and very limited, list depicting the ways in which we have conneacted as a community.
The bottom line is, our world is showing up in many incredible ways. This is a practice that must continue as we begin to reengage in person with the world.
Quarantine has not been easy. The upcoming reengagement period will not be either.
Be kind. Be understanding. Be patient.