Life has suddenly changed since I’ve started my A to Z of emotions blog, we’re in the midst of a pandemic, and more than ever we need inspiration to find new ways of living and working and carry on as normal as we can. So how can we find inspiration and use it at tough times like these?
The way I’ve been finding my inspiration in the past week is to go back to basics. Firstly, I’m practising mindfulness every day – spring is here, there are new colours everywhere – blossom, plants coming back to life after being asleep for the winter. Even all the cars parked where I live that are not normally there altogether are different colours and sizes. Neighbours are mowing their lawns, so I’ve been throwing open all the windows and letting in the smell of freshly mown grass. I find this inspiring, even though we’re all in lock down, nature and spring are still carrying on their normal cycle and I think I’m appreciating this more than I’ve ever done before.
I’ve also found inspiration in all sorts of ways that I’ve never valued properly before. Certainly, in the past I’ve been inspired by people, especially those who have shown resilience in the face of adversity. Now, I’m find inspiration with those people who have been in my life for some time and perhaps I’ve unintentionally taken for granted before. Actually being properly present and paying attention to family and friends during skype and facetime calls has made me realise that a lot of us don’t really listen to each other properly, and our new way of communicating means that we have to. Being more present gives me energy and inspiration anyway so I’m using this during the lock down period and will carry this forward once life gets back to normal.
So what do you do when you can’t find inspiration or yearn for it? Well, at the moment, we may have limited choices, but we still have choices. So we need to get creative, and I’ve been doing this over the past week or so. I’ve found inspiration by going through old magazines, cutting out the articles that I like and sticking them in a notebook. That way, when I feel the need to, I can go to that notebook, pick an article, read it and feel inspired. Another way to inspire yourself and others is to do a random act of kindness. At the moment, this is something which we’re more likely to do on a virtual basis, but can be something like sending somebody a photo of a memory you shared together, an e-card or just a simple text with a ‘virtual hug’. With random acts of kindness, you don’t expect anything back from people, it’s just being kind and it inspires kindness in others which hopefully they will pay forward.
Something that’s going round on social media at the moment is putting ideas into a jar during this lockdown period and once the pandemic is over and we all get back to normality, the jar gets opened, an idea is picked and actioned. This to me is inspiring and I have done something similar for some time with a ‘bucket list’ book. It contains things I want to do ranging from small silly ones like ‘drink a pint of guinness’ (I’m really not sure why, but I’ve never done it and it’s something I’d like to try!) to big ones like ‘drive Route 66’. During lockdown, it’s hard not to crave things like certain foods, going out for drinks or a meal, seeing family and friends. How about thinking about all these scenarios, even putting the details of where you’d like to go out, what you’d like to eat, write these down and put them in a jar. You can really get creative with this one – dream big, you never know!
Music is emotive and can help with finding inspiration, so put on your favourite music and go with the flow. The reason why I say your favourite music, is that you’re more likely to feel happy listening to it, it will evoke emotion and memories and therefore thoughts flow more easily. Make a list of your thoughts and feelings whilst listening and see what happens, you may come up with inspiration to undertake something new and exciting which you can do after the lockdown period. You may make yourself a promise and adopt a new good habit, or let go of something that you feel has been holding you back. Be really present when you’re doing this and let inspiration into your life.
Next month – J is for jealousy. Have you experienced jealousy in a way which has affected your life? Does your own jealousy hold you back or is someone else’s jealousy having a bad effect on you? My blog will explore these issues and dig into how we can try to express ourselves differently and more productively.