5 tools to cope with isolation
5 tools to cope with isolation: like squirrels preparing acorns for the wintertime, we too have to prepare for a difficult period. We hear many people on TV, a whirlwind of different proposals and comments. This creates a state of further discomfort. So in the storm I prefer to prepare myself. I try to create a beautiful lair, sheltered from draughts and inner frost.
First of all, we don’t have to experience this period as one of complete distancing, a rough and painful detachment. We can experience the next physical distancing as a social rapprochement, creating new bonds and new types of confrontation. I would like to share some ideas that could facilitate survival in the coming months.
The rituality of the everyday
Creating small daily rituals helps a lot. 1,500 years ago Saint Benedict of Norcia with his rule of the Ora et Labora (https://ora-et-labora.net/Benedetto_da_Norcia.html ) structured the day with a precise schedule, and a division of time between work, prayer and rest. The monastic rule has stood since then. A simple and agile application in our daily life: it gives deep relaxation and peace. You can adapt it as you wish.
The first step is to create a timetable and try to respect it in the best possible way. Second, establish small daily rituals, as fixed points in the day: for those who pray it can be the lighting of a candle (remembering to extinguish it!) and the reading of the Gospel of the day, or the repetition of a phrase that inspires you. You can create an important moment, like an aperitif at home: a good glass of wine (or juice) with a taste of good cheese and breadsticks, with some good music. Give space to fantasy!
Never before has it been so important to eat consciously. As obvious as it might sound, food helps our immune system. So let’s eat lots of vegetables, fruit, proteins. Above all, let’s try to prepare food with our own hands: reducing preservatives and eating simple, unrefined food makes us live better. The quality of the “raw material,” however, is essential: the oil must be good oil, the tomatoes must be sweet and firm, the oregano must be fragrant and homemade bread will make everything delicious.
Let’s try to order online from the websites of small local producers: the vegetables at home from the nearby farmer, the pistachios from Bronte, the chocolate from Modica, the cold cuts from Norcia, the pecorino cheese from Sardinia. You’ll celebrate when the package arrives, and it will help the local producers!
Maintaining relationships is vital in the upcoming long winter. Personally, I don’t like Zoom calls with large groups, where you don’t understand anything. I prefer video calls with two or three people at most, maintainig attention and listening. The rule I have given myself is: very few relationships, but all true. Surrounding yourself, even virtually, with real and sincere people helps.
I will talk about this at length in the next few weeks – I am preparing a three-week journey of awareness to live in a state of gratitude, which will come out on November 1st! Stay tuned at https://liabeltrami.it/
In the winter lair, alongside acorns, a notebook should not be missing. Writing down thoughts, ideas for the future, keeps us lucid. There are those who have a daily journal, a notebook for important phrases, on for future projects… In any case, writing with your pen, by hand in short, keeps us connected with our deepest ropes.
Whatever way you want to go, let’s get ready. Let’s not allow the weight of the present overwhelm us until we cannot breathe any longer. Fewer news, fewer experts, and lots of acorns for a warm winter in our lair.