11 Options for Socially Distanced or Quarantined because of Covid-19

Let us take care of our physical and mental wellbeing when subjected to unplanned down time....

With the spread of pandemic Covid-19 (Corona) virus has called for unprecedented lock down from social distancing to being quarantined depending on the location, where we live or what we have been exposed too. The social gatherings, going out, going to games, restaurants, travel, vacationing, movies, and gym etc. have become out of reach. Even visiting a place of worship for soul upliftment is not an option open or available. In short the reality is that there is not much than we can do. If we try to fill our time emails, social media, movies on DVD player it gets boring, old and unstimulating with its sameness. Instead of time flying, now the situation is clock is hardly moving at all. The days have stretched out long.

This has resulted in situation; we had not anticipated or prepared for. All of sudden we are at a loss as to what to with all the time at our disposal. The days can be filled with physical and mental inertia making us forget which day of the week it is. The ways thinks are evolving we are not sure how this feeling helplessness is going to last and what to do with a feeling of being adrift on a life boat in the midst of an ocean. So, how keep ourselves physically and mentally engaged when atrophy abounds? So, if one is thinking how to keep engaged, here are few suggestions/options to incorporate:

1. If doing daily Paath (reading of scriptures) is not in our daily routine, then this unprecedented event has presented us with opportunity to make the change. It will be calming our mind and our frayed nerves will be soothed.

2. If doing the daily Paath is already part of our routine, then trying to understand the Paaths can be added to our routine. There are many resources as books, commentaries and translations are available which can be used as study guides. The Paaths like Japji Sahib and Sukhmani Sahib make good first choices.

3. Well if there is still time available, looking to be filled. Then reading the books that have graced the bookshelf for long time, but have not been read makes a logical next step. The book reading is mind engaging, stimulating, enriching and can be entertaining as well.

4. Well if we have never had opportunity to read some uplifting quality literature by Bhai Vir Singh as Guru Nanak Chamatkar , Kalgidhar Chamatkar, Asht Gur Chamatkar then the social isolation situation has provided us this unique opportunity. If these books are not available at home, no problem as PDF version of the books can be obtained from online. Don’t know Gurmukhi still no problem, as English translations of these classics are available. After all, Bhai Vir Singh is known as the sixth river of Punjab for a reason. This is the time be acquainted with him.

5. Now, when going to gym is not an option let it not deprive us of physical activity and let it cause atrophy. We can still go out on walks or for running to keep us physically active. We can take walks multiple times in a day. In addition yoga or other exercises at home are additional open options.

6. When going to movie theater for an evening out is not an option, the alternate can be tried. Have friends come over for dinner and movie night at home.

7. When someone is under the cloud because of Corona Virus help and support the person, while taking precautions to prevent self from getting it. After all one can only help other when one himself/herself is healthy. Compare this to helping someone with oxygen mask in a flight emergency. This is possible after you have taken of self.

8. Meditate – Our Guru Sahib had made a must for all Sikhs to do it. But if it has not been implemented and is practiced, now the time is permits to explore it.

9. Frustrated and disappointed at the canceled flights and vacation plans. Make use of this forced situation by taking short driving vacations. These vacations could be short one day outing to multiple days outing. There are many unexplored, drivable locations out there to lift our spirits. The combined multiple short vacations may offer more than the aborted planned vacation.

10. Then of course if you would like to use this opportunity, you can start “Khula PAath” of Sri Guru Granth Sahib at home. What if you don’t have Guru Granth Sahib at home? Soft copy can be downloaded from Gurbani web sites and one can start reading at one’s own pace.

11. Finally, pray to Almighty for strength and support so that everybody can successfully weather this unexpected disruption. Masaru Emoto of Japan claims that human speech or thoughts have dramatic effects on water. ... Emoto claims that positive words and emotions, classical music and positive prayer directed at the water produce beautiful crystals, while negative words and emotions and crude music, such as heavy metal, produce ugly crystals. If this is the impact on water then imagine how it can touch and impact human souls. A Sikh’s prayer is “Sarbat Da Bhalla” meaning welfare of all.

Let us take care of our physical and mental wellbeing when subjected to unplanned down time. Let us not allow it to have a profound effect on our moods, add anxiety, extreme frustration, or depression etc.

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