No internet, no phone connection, no electricity and in a complete lockdown with a 6 year old. This is how we survive the lockdown (and digital detox).
We’re living in the middle of nature in this beautiful green valley close to the small Portuguese city of Aljezur. Since two weeks we went into a very strict lockdown with the schools closed as well.
On top of this we ran out of internet data (only to be upgraded in 14 days) and we don’t have any telephone connection in the valley. That means we’re totally shut off. Talking about survival during a lockdown. Well this is it.
Last year I decided to go on a transformation quest. Three days and three nights without food, phone, internet or distraction whatsoever, alone in nature. Sleeping in a hammock outside, staying for 72 hours in a circle of a few square meters. It changed my life forever and strengthened my connection with myself and nature.
At that time I consciously chose for this transformation ritual, nature retreat and digital detox and I was well prepared physically, emotionally and mentally. This time I wasn’t. It just hit me.
I know this whole ‘back to nature thing’ is what I wanted. And I indeed love living in this green paradise. But the extra digital detox makes it quite challenging. So I’d like to share some insights with you from our lockdown up till now. Maybe it can help you during your own lockdown time.
Hereby 5 things we’ve learned, that might also help you during lockdown:
- Get your anger out!
The first few days we whined, got angry, cursed and tried to connect our phones a trillion times in a trillion different spots, we ran up the mountain to catch a flare of 4G for 3 seconds and we ran down again. Cursing. Oh, did I mention we also did Dry January? F…#$%
But seriously, getting your anger, negative feelings and all that shit out is a good thing. Don’t hold it inside your body, because you feel you can’t complain, because other people have an even worse time than you do.
Let it all out, complain, scream, cry. Just make sure it doesn’t last longer than a few minutes at a time. Did you know that one single emotion actually only lasts for 90 seconds?
After that you start to ask and tell yourself things, which makes it worse and last longer. The best thing you can do is feel the emotion and than let it go. Emotions are just emotions. And we are so much more than our emotions!
- Accept you’re screwed
At the moment we accepted our situation, we got more innovative and creative, which resulted in new solutions and inspiration. Accepting the current situation you’re in, doesn’t mean you don’t want to change it or agree with it.
It means for now you accept all the feelings and thoughts that come with it and accept the situation as it is right now. “This is what it is, right here, right now, in the present moment.”
This is not an easy task. If you manage it, though, it will create peace and space in your mind. Resisting what you don’t want, costs a lot of energy. Energy you can better use to create what you do want in life.
- Don’t act normal
This is not the time to act normal. This is not the time to become a perfectionist. This is a time to be tender and mild to yourself and others. Combining work, household and home schooling isn’t normal, so you don’t have to act normal either.
Feel good about what you have accomplished on a day instead of focussing on what you haven’t. Just be kind and easy: let the kids watch a movie when you’re working, eat pizza two days in a row and skip that meeting.
For instance don’t try to work 8 hours a day, it’s much more efficient to work 4-6 hours super productive with a few breaks than a lousy 8-10. And see what else you can do differently in a far from normal period.
- Leave your home
Spending time outside is always a good idea. What I mean with spending time outside is not only playing football with your oldest, lugging through the snow with a sled or doing a phone call while walking in your backyard.
I mean consciously spending time in nature. Like forest bathing, meditating or skinny dipping. Or you might as well go on a transformation quest for 72 hours in wild nature without any food.
By doing so you will truly experience the healing power of nature, that will boost your immune system and makes you feel so much better.
- Break with your own strict rules
Last year everyone’s world and way of living changed completely. The first thing we do when things change, is try to hold on to the past and do anything possible to go back to how it was before. Without us having to change the rules we know so well.
That means we try to do everything how we used to do it, but then with a screen between us. We keep on following the rules we’ve always followed. But they’re not suited for this new situation anymore. And chances are they don’t create a better world or a happier heart.
So which rules do you follow?
“I have to work 8 hours every day”
“I have to do this job, otherwise I don’t have an income”
“I have to attend every meeting”
“I have to proof myself”
“I have to take care of my family”
“I have to succeed”
“I have to make sure my kid doesn’t miss out on school”
“I have to make my kid/husband/parents happy”
This challenging time – in which the game has completely changed – asks for a set of new rules.