• Ann Shorthouse

In isolation but still as busy as ever? STOP!

This blog has been in the planning long before we all went into total lockdown. That is due to a combination of a family member reporting what it was like to be under strict curfew as well as me being excited about the prospect of HAVING TIME. I started collecting oodles of links to websites and organisations offering fun and interesting stuff which usually costs lots for free... But, do you know what, reality soon kicked in for me: The first few days were filled with uncertainty and getting my head round the new normal, a task which I'm not sure it has completed yet; the next few days were filled with pressure I put myself under to click and make the most of all those links.

We are all far too used to being busy to deal with suddenly not actually being that busy (let's be honest with ourselves) that the tendency is there to fill that void with activities. So, a few weeks after starting this blog, I feel very passionate about not sharing all those carefully collected links but rather encouraging you to think about, what HAVING TIME means to you as in, what have you always wanted time to do...?

  • House improvements: repaint and de-clutter (google Marie Kondo - she’s the queen of decluttering and has helpful tips)

  • Virtual get together with friends (the Houseparty app is fun games app, zoom best quality platform if more than 4 people)

  • Daily exercise (Downdog Yoga and HIIT are my favourites and are currently free)

  • Cook nutritious and delicious meals (you’ve got the time, maybe dust off the pasta maker?)

  • Get plenty of fresh air (open windows, garden games, walks)

  • Learn a new skill (language or craft)

  • Create new daily habits (meditation, exercise, mindful moments)

  • Culture: museum tours or National Theatre livestream

I spoke to a dear friend earlier who is one of the 'busiest' person/massage therapist I know, as in she packs in more clients a day than anyone else I know, except she can't now, of course. It's safe to say, she loves what she does and is addicted to busy-ness. I was pretty excited to have been able to get her on the phone, for a change! So it didn't surprise me when she said she was super busy working through her home jobs list and was hoovering whilst on the phone to me. Why not use this opportunity, an opportunity we will never be given again, to STOP, SLOW DOWN, TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF always having to be doing something or, in this case, two things at once?

Both our planet and its inhabitants are being given the chance to STOP, slow down and breathe. Let's take it with gratitude! It's time to allow yourself to hit the pause button.

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