ILLUMINATION
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ILLUMINATION

How Solitude Shaped Me in the Lockdown

“How do you enjoy eating out alone,” they ask.

Man sitting alone by the window
Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash

Notice the dark theme of the picture above? I tried to find a picture with the keyword ‘Alone’ for this article and took a good 10 minutes. Funnily enough, I observed how most of the pictures under this keyword were under the ‘Black’ tone.

I was trying to find a picture where the man’s smiling in solitude. But most associated with a dark theme, some even depressing. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Over the days of the pandemic, I realized much more about myself. I think I’m at my best now than ever!

If I could put things that I’ve learned about myself — how I have changed in 3 ways, it’d be on the grounds of mental stability, routine, and dependency.

Instinct tells me these are just some changes I’ve discovered so far.

Mental Stability

Let me put this on top of the list as I think this is something that goes out to all of us who’ve had days where we couldn’t wait for it to end.

I remember days when I used to wake up at 4 AM sweating and in panic at times. Days where everything I did felt melancholic. I remember when the most popular girl (I used to like) pulled my cheeks, I was on cloud nine fleetingly only to feel jittery the very night.

But I never paid attention to it. I never thought I could — I thought it was merely a part of emotions all of us have. It didn’t occur that I could actually work on it.

While the initial days of isolation weren’t particularly pleasant, they changed over time. The ample stretch of time and space gave me a chance to reflect on myself. On the things I did.

Pulling out the plug on Social Media

Another thing I did without giving much thought back then was uninstalling Instagram. I remained in contact with two or three friends of mine, but that was it.

Most of my mornings and evenings comprised of walking and cycling around the town and the nights writing on my blog. It was probably some of the best days I’ve had.

Little did I perceive the pull from social media would make me immune to anything and everything that happened in the tiny digital world later on.

Building a Routine

Believe me, I wasn’t aiming on having a ‘healthy lifestyle’ or ‘develop myself’ in any way. The sole reason I built a routine was the horizonless time I witnessed before me.

When I wrote an article or a story, I could write it for a day or a fortnight — it didn’t matter. But I’ve always had the productivity scale on my mind where I tend to naturally feel restless if I did nothing at all.

That’s when I set up deadlines for my own posts. Upon completing each of them, I’d treat myself with a sweet or dinner from Zomato (something like Uber Eats if you’re unaware).

It didn’t stop at writing posts.

Down the lane, I made a cycling distance I had to cover every day, time to play badminton, I even set a time slot to visit a relative’s house. I remember telling them I’d to go somewhere to get out of there.

Making a Daily Schedule

When you make deadlines and work on things that you love, you’ll see when you do your best. Everybody has their own time their comfortable with.

I write best between 8 AM and1 PM. So I stuck to it. That puts one item on my timetable. Similarly, I put a time slot for each activity I did.

Some might seem funny to you, but here are my scheduled activities for today — jogging for 8 minutes in the morning, cleaning up my room, and watching Awkward Puppets on YouTube.

A Minimalistic picture with Red brick wall, bicycle, and a door
Photo by Brennan Ehrhardt on Unsplash

Turning Independent

No, not financial independence. Still pursuing my bachelor’s and working my way on a tiny blog, I have a long-ass way to go. We’re talking about intellectual and emotional independence.

The mental stability and routine building helped for the most part of it. But it helped on numerous tiny things; Even today, I stick to my routine no matter what.

Out of practice, whether my roommate wakes up early or not, I’ll be out stretching and jogging in the morning. I’ve learned the art of saying no when I have a bunch of things on my to-do list.

Lastly, I’ve realized is that whatever you come across, there’s always something to grasp from it.

I’ve realized I enjoy eating out by myself.

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