Great things that’ve come from spending time in isolation

I love the experience of sitting in complete silence, having a conversation with my mind. Thinking through my thoughts and emotions and understanding why I have them.

That’s why a crisis like the Covid-19 pandemic, with all the anxiety it brings, can also be a time to spend quality time with ourselves.

Here’s what being in isolation has done for me:

Relearning things I forgot

What makes this the coolest thing ever is that I journal my thoughts, ideas and emotions. And have done so for the last eight years. In times of isolation, I went back to writing everyday. I also reread and sorted accordingly all my notes — it’s been an amazing trip down memory lane.

Visiting childhood memories and anylising them

Meditation and physical exercise, which involves playing football regularly, allows me to rewire my mind. Reading and writing plays a big role here. I get to break free and achieve stillness and total presence a few times a day through a combination of these habits.

I’ve learnt a great deal about my parents through allocating time to think about the past. Connect the dots retrospectively. And even in his absence, Dad still has a way of providing insight from all that he shared with me while he was around and the way he lived.

Inspired to offer more to my relationships

As a result, I’ve learnt a lot about myself too.

I made new habits and hobbies

The first one I worked on was my connection to my niece. I spent a lot of time with her when she was a kid, fetching her from daycare, taking random walks to the park and then it all stopped. So, I remembered those days and decided to contribute more into our uncle-niece friendship.

It’s been amazing. We read together often, I keep her in check with her school work. This allows me to reminisce on how Mom did the same thing for me when I was in primary school. She sharpened me up.

I threw myself back into being a footballer. I sketch. I cook. I now enjoy making meals and learning about food through interesting blogs and Instagram profiles. I’m dabbling in French. Gotta go swimming and get good at that. I know it’ll be amazing for my fitness. Dance is calling me; how about ballet? I’ll see. Painting (art pieces), I’m easing myself in slowly. And I need to learn to play the piano right after the Covid-19 lockdown. I want to play music to accompany my poetry recitals and kickstart a spoken word series called #SpokenbyThembaJay.

I’ve long figured that being new at something, about to take in new information and skills, carries an amazing feeling. It never gets old.

So, isolate yourself from time to time. It’ll do you a world of good.