Before the Covid-19 outbreak, every aspect about my life appeared to be on track. I had just completed all of my certifications to be a professional dog trainer and groomer, and was scheduled to open up a Doggy Daycare Center alongside my business partner in May of 2020. I have always been a go-getter, and was so excited about starting this new chapter of my life as a young business owner, not to mention, eager to begin recouping the investment costs that went into making it all possible.
Suddenly, we are in a nationwide lock down. I have never been one to sit idle, and had no clue what I was going to do with all this new free time. A week in, I was wallowing in uncertainty and losing sleep as a result. How will I make rent? Will the business ever open? How will I stay busy? What will I wear today? Does it even matter? After several sleepless nights and wasted days worrying, it dawned on me that my situation could be a lot worse. I was healthy, and so were my loved ones. I realized I was losing myself in unfounded projections, rather than living day to day as I had done before.
One thing that helped me in my struggle of trying to occupy time was creating a routine or a list of tasks that I would accomplish every day. Some of them would include, making my bed, taking a shower, putting on a new outfit, and going for a walk with the dogs. All these things helped me to maintain a sense of routine that allowed the day to go by quicker while still accomplishing tasks. I became grateful for the little luxuries that I had so often taken for granted.
It was the pandemic that truly taught me the importance of being present. I stopped trying to predict the future, and began living in the moment, not thinking about tomorrow. My quarantine days significantly improved once I made peace with the fact that the future was out of my control. It took work, but what helped me the most was practicing self-awareness. By actively trying to be more self-aware, I have become better at detecting my wandering thoughts and reeling myself back into the moment. This practice not only improved my overall mood during the pandemic, but it kept me sane. As life slowly returns to its normal, I will continue to strive to be present and self aware.
Today, I am grateful to occupy my time with activities and causes that are close to my heart. I get to spend more time with my furry friends and work with an initiative, State of Gratitude, that is close to my heart.