By Mercy Hill
Just recently, I planned to make three important trips, one was to attend a Conference at Uyo, another was to attend the Goge Africa training for Young Writers and Entrepreneurs in Lagos, and finally a trip to Abuja for my induction into the Nigeria Institute for Public Relations, slated for March 26, 2020. All these trips had very significant roles to play in my project for this year. But lo and behold, they have been cancelled/ postponed till further notice. You all know why, the Pandemic Corona virus! I know of course, that so many may have missed vital engagements just because of this pandemic Coronavirus.
A very strong part of me is desperate not to miss out on these important events in my life, which I had patiently envisaged for long now, especially my Induction, but it’s not going to be possible as we don’t know what would come next.
Two Sundays ago, what could be termed a national tragedy occurred in Abule-Ado, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos; a gas explosion that took so many lives and properties. As at press time, official sources put the number of the dead at 17; while unofficial ones put it at 25. The explosion which occurred in the morning hours, also destroyed many buildings and vehicles. Most saddening was the scenario at Bethlehem High School in the area in which a Rev Sister who was the principal of the school died while helping to rescue her students after the hall they were using for Mass was affected. A family of four was also said to have perished in the explosion while in their car.
Globally, we are also counting people and watching statistics rising as new numbers are released hourly of those infected by the coronavirus.
Both the rich and poor are affected, it is not just a battle for a section of people but a whole. It is not a time right now to be thinking just how this pandemic is affecting me and my life, it is a time to think bigger than ourselves, about how we fit into society and our role within humanity.
This whole process of ‘postponement and cancelling’ has been agony for me, but as part of a greater whole, I can’t just think of my needs. The pull between head and heart is so difficult. Hopefully we will all be able to weather this time of crisis from a place of integrity and calmness.
Lifestyles have totally changed in the past few days. Most of us are still trying to cope and are probably going to keep changing, from washing of hands, social distancing, avoidance of facial touch to being quarantined! So, here are some tips to keep healthy at this time:
Tips and daily practices:
* Meditate or pray daily to focus your mind and raise your consciousness.
* Work with fears as they arise but don’t let them overwhelm you.
* Try and stay away from victim mentality, which has negative effects on our health, instead, focus on opportunities, not end of the world scenarios: Ask yourself, “How can this situation cause positive changes that we and the world might need anyway?”
* Think how you can be a positive example and support to others, today with access to the internet we have a choice of thousands of inspirational platforms to join. When we feel inspired, we will have a ripple effect on those we are spending time with.
* Think of small acts of kindness you can do for others out there. Be creative!
* Try to sleep at least eight hours every night.
* Get regular exercise, outdoors if possible, but if you are in quarantine the stairs will have to do.
*Eat a balanced and healthy diet, including fruit and vegetables and drink plenty of water.
*Keep remembering to wash hands and follow the guidelines from the health authorities.
*Look for the opportunities of what can be done at home.
* Learn something new, this is motivating. Join platforms that offer free courses. stay motivated!
* Take time in retreat if your commitments allow. I like to think of this as a ‘spiritual quarantine; A time where we can introspect about conscious living, and our actual ‘boundaries’. When we spend time in contemplation and isolation, it can help us to emerge more peaceful and clearer about our purpose not just in our own lives but our roles to humanity and inhabitants of our beautiful planet as well.
* Have deeper, longer conversations with people you love (your gist partners). We are forced to be in our homes, so let’s use the opportunity as a time for rebuilding relationships and not as a confinement. It’s all about our attitude.
Out of struggle and tragedy something new can be born. What will your role in this rebirth be? Let’s look at this coronavirus pandemic as a wake-up call as we unite to better serve each other and our planet.
I once saw a poster on a wall which says, “I never knew how strong I was until being strong was my only option.”
Now is our time to be strong and to actualize that which is hidden within us and bring it to its potential.