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Tuesday, 16 November 2021 11:08

3 Lockdown habits that I want to continue

 

2021.60.walking

I think it is fair to say that during periods of lockdown of varying lengths most of us developed quite a few new habits – aside from wearing masks, using hand sanitizer and practicing social distancing. Some of these habits have likely been good and healthy, and others are probably things that we may need to work hard to break.

For me, emerging from lockdown has been a paradox as there are both gifts and challenges. I’m grateful to be able to go to Mass and visit friends, exercise without a mask and travel further than 5km. But I am also aware that interacting with lots of people seems tiring, perhaps because I have not had the opportunity for this for a long time.

I remember being at this point at the end of last year, confident that I would never again endure a long lockdown – how wrong I was. But this time, it seems more certain that lockdowns are done, so I am pondering my experience and asking God what he would invite me to take forth into the future.

Being Creative

I’ve spoken to many people and seen countless posts on social media of people growing in creativity both in new and fresh ways and through favourite and familiar past-times. It seemed like whether lockdown brought more space or not, people were taking the time to be creative through music, baking, art and craft or home decorating to name a few. For me, this looked like making copious amounts of cards, experimenting with art in prayer and enjoying cooking dessert for Saturday nights. An American artist and teacher, Julia Cameron, is often quoted as saying, Creativity is God’s gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God. So far from lockdown ending new and reawakened creative pursuits, set aside time each week for this to flourish on your life.

Exercise

I have always struggled to make exercise part of my daily reality. In the long 2020 Melbourne lockdown though, I began walking every day, and I even began to love it. It wasn’t long though before the busyness of life took over and my newfound exercise habit disintegrated. In the 2021 lockdown, I decided to start again, and perhaps even more strangely so, I began running. People who know me would probably have a smile as they read this because running is something I have never expressed interest in or desire for. But one day as I began my walk, I felt the gentle prompting of the Holy Spirit, ‘start running’. So now I am in the midst of doing Couch to 5km, and I am loving getting out there and am experiencing exercise bringing me alive, probably in a way I never have before. My time out running or walking has become poignant opportunities for connecting with God, so my challenge as life returns to a busier pace is to prioritise exercise each and every day.

Connecting with others

We all know that lockdowns made connecting with others difficult. One of my lockdown goals was to connect with someone each day – through a message, a phone call, a card in the mail, or in the rare times when it was possible, a walk outside (within my 5km zone with a mask on). This meant that I connected with people who I had often not seen for a long time, covid aside. It helped me to recall and remember with gratitude all the people that God has placed in my path throughout my life, whether that be recent or from many years ago. I think an invitation could be to continue this kind of connection – reaching out in gratitude, encouragement and love to those God places on my heart, whether they are someone I can now see face-to-face or not.

So as life returns to ‘normal’, I invite you to ponder which of your lockdown habits God is inviting you to continue.

Mel Edwards