Keeping myself motivated!

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to look at ourselves, our habits, lifestyles and things that we use to take for granted.

Nepal declared a nationwide lockdown which has been extended further with prior notification. Our Country Director Sarah Blin and the health and safety focal team regularly updated us on the coronavirus status prior to the lockdown for our timely preparedness. Though we all had been bracing for this kind of measure for quite some time now, yet, no amount of information is enough to face a never before experienced lockdown.

Having worked from home in my previous job, this experience is not new to me. As a daily Vipassana meditator/practitioner has also helped me. Being a creature of habit, I stick to my normal routine of getting up early at 0430 and meditating for over an hour. Half an hour of stretches and yoga followed by shower, morning prayers and breakfast. Not having to drive to work has allowed me to do these chores more leisurely now.

I am at my working table after 0900 and eagerly look forward to joining the online Zumba session conducted by my colleague Ruveena Lopchan. It gives a sense of belonging to the Oxfamily - hearing familiar voices and seeing them online. I take a break of an hour and a half to cook lunch around 1200 hours and resume work after that. I regularly get up to fill my cup of green tea, send messages to friends and family, and soak the sun on my balcony and terrace occasionally. We at the ASA/EOL team have kept our normal work schedule. We meet for weekly Monday meetings online and are in touch regularly through mail, skype and phone.

The fact that I work part time allows me to be flexible with my work hours. In the evening I join the group meditation sitting from 1800 to 1900 hours via Zoom. I read before hitting the bed by 2130 to 2200 hours.

Having a routine and sticking to it helps bring a sense of normalcy. I have opted to stay out of social media except for workplace related. This filters too much of information and gives me a choice of what I want to read. I opt for reading messages that are positive and delete those that unsettle me. Doing my daily chores with an attitude of business as usual and maintaining physical distance keeps me grounded. Connecting regularly with my friends and family members and knowing all is well with them makes me happy. Certain things are as they were before, yet, most things are not the same.

Things can never be the same again after this unprecedented episode in our lives. It has made me realize how connected we are. It is my responsibility to take precaution thereby ensuring the well being of others. We cannot afford to be complacent when there are government notices and guidelines in place during times like this.

Am so grateful for the support offered by Oxfam for any stress or anxiety that this situation may have triggered. The initiatives taken by the Staff Association of Oxfam in Nepal (SAON) to conduct online Zumba and meditation classes is so helpful now. It will take a while to get into a routine, but with the extended lockdown, I hope my friends and colleagues will find their pace too and motivate each other to tide over this period. This too shall pass!