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The Hidden Benefits of Social Distancing

I know there is a lot of tragedy, loss, and anxiety to go around these days with the full impact of COVID 19 being felt across the globe and impacting the lives of every human on the planet. Even if you find yourself among the fortunate who have successfully sidestepped the virus for now, your life has undoubtedly shifted in major ways from when we first started the year 2020.

I've been blessed to be one of the lucky that have been able to relish in the solitude that comes with self-quarantine. As one who proudly identifies as an introvert I am blessed with an affinity for solitude which makes the recent imposition of self-isolation a needed relief at times. After years of wanting, but not taking a much needed sabbatical from a long and demanding career, this strange and tragic virus unexpectedly gifted me with a much needed change from the fast paced commuter lifestyle that was becoming more of a grind as each day sped by. The ability to work at home in a much more open and private environment has allowed me to create the setting that best suits my needs. No loud voices or conference calls that cause me to put my headphones on to get some peace and quiet which ironically i can't get because I need to damp down the outer noise with more soothing white noise so I can think.

While I know others may have a very different experience, I do feel the opportunity to isolate has many hidden benefits once we allow ourselves the freedom to detach from the ongoing 24/7 news and the constant need to get ahead that so frequently consumes our daily life. Having the extra time to contemplate and enjoy the simpler moments of cooking, taking a walk outside, and spending time with others through meaningful conversation is much more satisfying and calming than the rushed determination to get things done of pre-COVID 19 times. With the absence of external distractions there is much more time to truly focus on what matters.

It's probably weird to say but as we step gradually out of the SIP restrictions, I'm already feeling a sense of loss of the deeper quiet that emerged from the first few weeks of self-quarantine. Out of this experience while we may not all be on the same page on the timing of re-entry, we can hopefully find there were some inner benefits to it as well as knowing that we helped save lives and helping ease the strain on our healthcare system. Perhaps we will emerge with a greater self-awareness of what truly matters in life as a by-product of that gigantic pause, and carry that with us to help us navigate our lives when inevitably the full force of the world comes crashing back into our reality.

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