What if you are actually enjoying self-isolation?
Updated: May 21, 2020
It has taken a couple of weeks for people to start to admit it. Confessing that they might actually be enjoying self-isolation. Talking to a friend recently on our now weekly zoom call, she summed it up well. "It falls somewhere between being on holiday when the aim is to slowdown and relax because you know you'll regret it if you don't, and starting a new job when everything is new and the aim is to learn as much as you can in the first few months so you better squeeze it in while you can!."
The reality is, the whole world has been put into a state of fight or flight. Front line workers are being asked to step up like never before to fight a virus that puts their own life at risk. Everyone else has been instructed to stay at home wherever we can. Never before have we been instructed to stay home, and by doing just that we are doing something good - protecting our health service and preventing the spread of a virus.
Over the last decade our personal lives have increasingly become a film reel of curated images and updates on social media, and our work identities, frequently formed to meet the expectations of a prescribed corporate persona, have become detached from who we are. Hardly surprising that we might sometimes find ourselves asking "which is the real me?". The bigger the disparities, the more exhausting it can be.
What we are now experiencing is a blending of those identities. Our work colleagues now zoom into our homes, were the parent, partner, pet-owner you resides, and you likewise meet them back in their other roles. And guess what - it's ok. Social media has been replaced with social realism - gratitude, messages of bad days, hard days, messages of hope. No one is doing anything glittery or exciting, and guess what - it's ok. We have been given permission to put life first and make the rest work around it, safe in the knowledge that if we can't help in the front line, this is actually the best thing we can do.
So if you are enjoying the slowing down, the self-isolation. If you are appreciating being at home and not needing to be anywhere or be 'seen' to be anywhere. If you are enjoying having the luxury of not doing very much, over the expectation of busyness. If you are heartened to get an insight into the person behind the personas of your work colleagues and leaders. If you are reflecting, questioning the balance you had before all of this began, envisaging how you might retain some of this when this is all over. If you are giving yourself permission to slowdown. If you are feeling grateful that you are safe and healthy. It is ok.
Sometimes we need to slow down to catch-up with ourselves, our real selves.
Sometimes we need to experience loss to find what we really value.