Finding the Gem in the Chaos

In last week’s article I discussed how our lives have dramatically changed in recent weeks and I provided some insights on what you could do to cope in this time of crisis. This week I want to take a deeper look at how our lives have changed. The fact is that we have all been forced to slow down. Let me repeat that because it is vitally important. We have all been forced to SLOW DOWN

Why am I emphasizing this point? This is because, before the Coronavirus Pandemic, most people’s lives were a frantic frenzy of rushing from one thing to the next. Think of your daily routine. You get up, get your kids ready for and off to school if you have them, commute to work through rush hour traffic, rush from one task to the next or putting out fires and dealing with the demands of your boss and your co-workers, commute back home through more rush our traffic, with a list of errands which include taking your children to their activities, doing the groceries and car maintenance, to name a few, getting home and getting dinner ready, finding time to exercise, paying the bills, checking email and social media, taking care of home maintenance and so on and so forth. Do you get the picture?

You see, we have been living in an increasingly complex world where we rush from one task to the next with barely enough time to ponder what we are doing, why we are doing it and what this life is all about. Naturally, our wellbeing, which includes not only our physical health but our mental and emotional health, takes a back seat and suffers at the expense of everything which and everyone who demands our attention. This results in stress and anxiety, which can lead to depression as well as all the physical health problems which result.

If there is one good thing that has come out of the current pandemic, it is that are being forced to stay at home to curb the spread of the Coronavirus, which has forced us to slow down, something that we should have been doing on a regular basis. Slowing down allows us to contemplate and put our lives into perspective. What have we been focusing on? Where are we lacking? What areas of our lives need more attention? How can we improve the quality of our lives and the quality of our personal relationships?

It is as though the universe is sending us a message which we have been ignoring for a long time because our lives have become so complex and so busy. Although it all seems so troubling and scary it could not have come at a better time because most of us have been on a trajectory towards overwhelm and burnout.

In reality, the gem in this chaos, that we are are now facing, is that we have been forced to slow down with more time on our hands than we have ever had. I encourage all of you to use this time to reevaluate your lives and see where your lives have been out of balance. Perhaps you need to spend more time in intimate conversation with your partner and your children. Maybe you need to focus on your health by starting an exercise or movement practice. Perhaps you are holding onto limiting beliefs or suppressing painful emotions that you need to address. Maybe you need to start meditating or engaging in other stillness practices.

This is the beauty of slowing down because it gives you time to contemplate aspects of your life which may be out of balance. So I encourage everyone to use some of the time, that you now have, to deeply reflect on your life and what areas you may have neglected, which you should be focusing on. Do this by journaling on a regular basis on whatever comes up for you and see where it leads you.

Being forced to slow down should not be seen as a curse but as a gift to help give you more insight into what areas of your life need more attention to help bring you into more balance, joy, love and serenity.

Nauman Naeem MD


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