Lockdown to 'Love-down': Learning to love yourself again during COVID-19
In the Spring of 2019, I remember preparing to orally defend my dissertation. I was nervous, exhausted, and motivated at the same time. I kept reminding myself how I was the expert in the room and that no one else knew about this subject matter like I did because I was the one who spent the last six years of my life doing this research. I never knew that exactly one year later I would be feeling the same way - nervous, exhausted and yet motivated, but this time for a different reason - COVID-19. The streets are empty, weekend trips to the mall have come to a halt, and homeschooling my children while teaching others virtually is now the “new black.”
What is interesting about this entire situation though is that I am excited about the end result. Coming out of a pandemic, the likes of which have never been experienced even by the oldest person in this country, will allow a mindset of gratefulness to sweep across this world. Bearing all of this in mind, I accepted this 'LOCKDOWN' as a 'LOVEDOWN' - where I took the time to appreciate my love for others and expound on the love for myself.
- I want my feet to go to great places. One day, I stared at my shoes and wondered how many conference tables I wanted them to be under as I sat in a room as part of a think tank that made decisions and modified policies for communities across the world. I couldn’t go into the room with my feet looking like this, of course – not even in high heels. I started from the bottom by caring for my feet and wanting them to look like the kind of feet that deserve to be walking the floors with people that are leading this world to greater things.
- I want my hands to write powerful words (and BIG CHECKS!). My hands are the first thing I need when I am putting my ideas down into words. I want my hands to produce drafts with great ideas that could possibly save lives and be prepared to write and receive big checks. Taking the time to do something as small as caring for my hands as much as I have to keep them washed now makes me feel good. This reminds me that I want my hands to look like the amount of money I want to earn and in turn, give others.
- I want my mind to be as clear as the waters in Bora Bora. The island of Bora Bora in French Polynesia is known for its turquoise water so clear that you can practically see the ocean’s floor. To have a mind that is just as clear, take advantage of not allowing negative things to enter your ears, mind or your heart. These are parts of your body that must be protected at all times. Those who may advise you to quit your research projects or school right now because of what the country is going through are not the kind of people you need in your circle. Being surrounded by positive people is better for your peace of mind, even if this means you have a smaller circle of friends .
- I want my living space to represent my lifestyle. Living in clutter can be reflective of where your mind is. Having a clutter-free workspace and clutter-free home is not something that can be done overnight if everything is in corners and piles. What is possible, though, is beginning with cleaning a small space and slowly working your way around your entire living space. Remember, you will be in rooms with prominent leaders, so your home has to always represent what it should look like when they want to surprisingly show up to get your ideas or want you to manage a major project.
- I want to dress where I want to be, not where I am. When eyes see me, I want them to know I am one of the most important people in the room. I matter. This does not mean you need to wear expensive clothes, but take care to be well groomed and presentable even when you are working from home.
- Hello, me - is that you? Refining my purpose and stepping into my calling as a researcher is my highest priority. Investors protect their investments. When stocks look like they may fall, the investor will move or sell them to avoid losing their investment. You need to move or end what is not beneficial for you to continue to grow in your field and as a person.
No one would have thought even a few months ago that we would be in a state of great uncertainty such as this where we are isolated in our homes, schools, offices, businesses, and borders are closed indefinitely, loved ones pass away from a somewhat incurable virus, and a tremendous shift taking place in the field of research where labs are closed and libraries are no longer as accessible. There is no greater time but now to prepare yourself for what is to come once all of this is said and done. Begin loving yourself again, appreciating where you are, and rolling out the red carpet for what is about to come.
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