After a few days of rain, I woke up to a beautiful sky this morning. The birds chirping outside have been my alarm bell for a month and a half now. Some days, they are so loud it is as if they have a large meeting outside my window, leaving me to wonder what the early birds are discussing.
I am, at the moment, in self-quarantine on Phuket Island, Thailand. Yes, this is my home country, but it is not where my family is.
Working from home is nothing new for a digital nomad like me, especially someone who is an introvert. I saw an article about “2020 is the year of the introvert”. So, seemingly, people think it is easy for introverts to stay at home peacefully? This is not so. Sometimes my mind screams out loud at this self-imposed isolation. It is a non-physical reaction to my circumstances.
The Phuket lockdown is different from that in Bangkok (I’m not sure about the rest of the country). We could not leave the sub-district. The good thing, though, is that my location is within walking distance of grocery stores and food vendors. I would run to the beach if this was allowed. It has taken me a while to calm my hyperactive nature that is limited to its movement while trying to stay productive while stuck in a 25 square meter studio apartment.
The first six weeks of the curfew were challenges, and, although some businesses still operated albeit at a reduced capacity, some were totally shut down. I kept on telling myself to have faith, that things would get better.
This period has seen me carefully managing my finances while investing in new knowledge. I plan to kick ass after the pandemic is over.
Although I read about fifty books per year since the last couple of years, this has been a good time to tackle some of those on my 2020 to-read list. Fortunately, Amazon kindle has many special offers. Here are the books I would recommend:
1. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
This is about the life of a 14-year old girl during World War 2. Jewish lives were difficult and yet Anne remained positive. If I had a magic wand, I would wish her still alive. I’d be a big fan of her work.
2. Becoming by Michelle Obama
I am not a US-citizen, but I saw her through the media and thought she has such a personality. It was an interesting and inspiring story of an ordinary woman becoming the first lady.
3. Oneness with all life by Eckhart Tolle
I received this book almost 10 years ago as a birthday and Christmas gift. This book is one of those that change my life. I made a lot of highlights in the book and then gifted it to a very good friend. I believe I have absorbed most of the teaching and she needs it more than me now. I also purchased a hardcopy and gave it as a gift to one of my friend on his birthday.
Now that I have an e-reader, I downloaded and read it one more time.
4. The Marshmallow Test: Why Self-Control is the Engine of Success by Walter Mischel
This book is mind-blowing and filled with enlightening facts that help awaken my spiritual thought process. I can understand why it won the Books for a Better Life Award. I got this book for free (actually borrowed) from the ‘no one cares book pile’ in the lobby area of my apartment building. This book is loaded with psychology information that you can apply to your daily life. You may also learn why you have become the person you are, while parents may find it useful in dealing with their children.
As always, through my life journey, I learn, I digest, and I put my thoughts into words. I do so to share it with others. Here are some tips I want to share with you to keep your mental health in a balanced state and lessen the stress and anxiety even after the pandemic.
Daily mood checking
People tend to see me as a calm person. Is this how people see introverts in general? We all have moods, although introverts just tend to be a little quieter. You need self-awareness to modify your mood. We often, as people, get lost in our thoughts and emotions. But once you become self-aware you tend to see the path to truth.
The first thing I do is check my breathing, the feeling in my chest, and the tension within my body. After knowing how I feel, I make a note on my phone about what is happening during my day. If my mood has been imbalanced for several days, it means it is time to tune in.
The new meditation technique
Walking is a good way of burning calories and destressing at the same time. While walking, I usually listen to a podcast or an audiobook. Yesterday, I tried meditation. So, instead of focusing on the audio, I focused on my steps and surroundings. I tried shifting my awareness to what my outside looking in. Can you imagine looking at yourself as you would at another person? I also applied this technique during sitting meditation. I later discovered this technique is Self-Distancing: stepping out of the self which I found in the book “The Marshmallow Test: Why Self-Control is the Engine of Success by Walter Mischel” that I mentioned above.
Let’s be real. Not every day is a great day. Sometimes a situation happens that is out of our control. We can only try to cope and respond as we see best. We forget self-awareness. Women tend to use their emotional intelligence to deal with hormone disruption.
My coping mechanism is to turn off. It is not that I want to run away from the situation and be antisocial. Rather, I pause and make myself aware of the imbalance. I neutralize the thoughts and whatever causes the emotional imbalance. This stops me from running to support seeking support for the non-problem issue which, pretty much, is the cloud of emotions in the head. Everyone needs to deal with their issues. But you can’t expect or count on, someone to save you all the time.
Turn off and evaluate the situation to deal with daily circumstances arising from human nature.
It’s not that I’m so smart, It’s that I stay with problems longer.”Albert Einstein
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Enjoy Living & Be Happy