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Maximizing the downtime

Gardening may be the simplest way to connect with Mother Earth and Father Sun.

Yes, we are on a Community Quarantine. We have an indefinite break from work (and from school for our children) due to the COVID-19 outbreak sans the privilege to travel and socialize. It is said that staying at home, as a move to adhere with social distancing, is one of the most proactive responses to COVID-19.

This story appeared on Page 10 of the March 17, 2020 issue of Mindanao Times. Click on the photo to download a copy.

It dawned on me that having this lull alerts my inner spirit to keep from being idle. Well, the first two days may be fine but something productive must be made out of this lull in the movement of our lives. I have chatted with some parents who are worried that their children will have nothing to do but watch videos and TV all the time. So here are some tips to maximize this down time and appreciate the gift that it brings.

1.) Go gardening – our connection to the Earth and the sun is widely known as immune system booster. Das Goetheanum, a publication on Anthroposophic health care in Germany has identified this connection crucial to our health and even recovery. If you don’t have a small plot, urban container gardening will surely do. You and your child will benefit from this.

If you have the time to garden, then you sure can afford a few minutes for reading.

2.) Create a healthy rhythm – What will you do when you wake up? When do you eat? When will the children be allowed to play? When is time for chores? When is time for quiet? When is time for sleep?

It’s time to dare to work and brave the mess in the kitchen! (Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash)

3.) Cook (or Bake) – Cooking and baking are always pleasant chores. You can show your love when you cook your food and your loved ones show theirs when they taste your cooking. Don’t worry if you don’t think you’re a great cook, the children will love that you’re trying something new.

Handwork sure does look too difficult to do, but just a little patience and YouTube (for you, not for your child below 16) will get you a long way!

4.) Read that book you’ve been putting off since forever – “IF you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need,” said the adept Cicero. So, feel free to sit down and set aside your phone and get carried away to worlds beyond worlds with a book in your hand.

5.) Longer meditation and prayer time. If before, five minutes for a pause feels too much to lose, this down time has afforded us longer times for pauses and meditations. So, yes, pause some more. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Here’s a sample of rhythm that you can implement at home. Of course, you can revise the whole of it. The will of an adult will play the key role for the rhythm to succeed.

6.) Handwork – There are countless of easy projects you can do at home. You can knit, cross stitch, crochet, draw, paint, anything that tickles your soul.

7.) Declutter – The Spring Equinox on March 20 -21 is known in different traditions as the Universal New Year. Before the 21st, Shintoist and Buddhist declutter their spaces to facilitate the entry of fresh, new, and promising energy. With our lull time, it would be great to do this.

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