The Time is Nów!
Come on with the self-realization, we are putting ourselves back in the foreground.
We have become accustomed to endless routines of speed, efficiency, new information and technology. Without noticing it, we have become human beings that always wander from hot to hot and want more and more. The COVID-19 pandemic hit us and gave us a chance to notice it: we have lived too fast. Now that everything is slowing down our self-realization comes first, we become self-aware by looking back and therefore the role of self-care is changing.
︎︎︎XANA FERREIRA CHICANO / CRISIS
GOING TOO FAST
Why did people not get the most out of their self-care before the COVID-19 pandemic? Let’s look back. ’‘Even though people in the West have the best standard of living, people always want more’’, says neuropsychologist Rick Hanson in the documentary ‘Minimalism, a Documentary about the Important Things’. Our society is always triggered to want more by technology and information. There is an illusion of what life is supposed to be like, through social media and advertising. It is an illusion that our life has to be perfect and full of speed. By constantly running from pillar to post, people often forget to think of themselves, self-care is therefore easily moved to the background.
Sam Harris, neuroscientist, agrees with Hanson. For example, people are constantly looking for the dopamine experience they get from a new email or text on their phone. Nokia has done research on this and a person checks their phone on average 150 times a day. Very rarely do we focus on just one thing, we even interrupt or allow ourselves to be interrupted by an abundance of information. ‘’The expectation of novelty has it in it to make us a guinea pig that only presses buttons’’, says Harris. ‘‘When you walk on the street, it looks like you are walking in the matrix. And it’s easy to be thoughtless and read the newspaper to update and consume your social media.’’ Furthermore, writer and consultant Patrick Rhone, tells in his book ‘Enough’ about this society fact. You can essentially do anything you want in this fast-paced world, so you do anything you want. But to do that you have to sacrifice things that are really important, like self-care. If it gets too much, the easiest thing to do is to just turn it off.
‘’When you walk on the street, it looks like you are walking in the matrix.’’
‘’Productivity in the workplace increased, the so-called principle of time costs money arose’’, says writer and physicist Alan Lightman in The Atlantic newspaper. This led to a keen awareness of time and we started to use it more purposefully. As a result, we have created a fast-paced society where not a minute is wasted. We become restless waiting in waiting rooms when it takes too long, we have become impatient and we cannot sit still for a few minutes without thinking about the next thing we are going to do. We have become addicted to endless stimulation by to-do lists, the outside world and new technology. A scientific study by the University of Hertfordshire found that the speed of pedestrians in 34 towns and cities increased by as much as 10% between 1995 and 2005. We have been quietly sucked into a world full of speed and noise, and can hardly remember a time of silence, sitting still and self-reflection.
The fast-paced society that’s always on
LET’S HAVE A BREAK
The role of self-care is now beginning to change more and more. In the podcast ‘The power of slowing down & pausing’, clarity guide and author Liv Hadden tells that we have an unprecedented global slow down through the corona crisis. For the first time in history, the entire world has been forced to stay at home. Everyone is now sitting still and people are not used to it, so they do not know how to deal with this. All the things that were usually not important and didn’t get around, now come to light because everything stands still, just like self-care. ‘‘All that remains now is just being’’, says Hadden. Our mindset and self-care is changing through this crisis. People have never had the time to think about themselves and be aware of themselves through the busy society. We try to avoid everything, and now during the slow paced society there is more room to think about this in the moment of now. ‘’We have to take advantage of this moment, we have been given the moment to do nothing. You can use it as a ‘gift’ for your own self-awareness, to get close to yourself, your own autonomy, to reconnect with who you are. These kinds of crises happen on purpose, this is a reflection of human behavior. Use this time when everything is fucked up to grow. Change the things you really want to change instead of just thinking about them. We are still going to be in this shit for a bit, figure out how you can turn this shit into a beautiful garden’’, says Hadden.
‘‘Use this time when everything is fucked up to grow, and turn this shit into a beautiful garden.’’
Self-care is growing and people are finding new ways to be just present in the moment. Mindfulness is a huge part of self-care. It’s a technique to find well-being in the moment of now where you can get joy and satisfaction from just breathing. ‘’Meditation is a great antidote to the fast-pace society’’, says Sam Harris. Scientific research carried out by The Harris Poll on behalf of Samueli Integrative Health Programs has shown that 80% of U.S. adults want to practice self-care more regularly once that the pandemic is over. “The country begins to recover, it will inevitably create questions about the future of the healthcare system”, Dr. Jonas continued. “The findings from this study show the critical need for a system that empowers individuals to maintain healthy habits they formed and emphasizes strategies that support self-care—like good nutrition, exercising, and stress reduction—alongside guidance from physicians.’’
In times of a big historical crisis as the COVID-19 pandemic people start to reconsider personal aspects of their lives. They start to look back at certain behavior that was way to fast, they reflect on themselves and see that they need to go for a new direction. A direction that is less hurried, les focused on technology and social media, and less focused on wanting more. It’s a new direction full of self-awareness, time for yourself and personal growth through self-care. We can finally get away from the noise and hustle and bustle of the world. We now have a chance to think about who we are, as individuals but also as a society. Suddenly we are on our own, with our thoughts. We now have the time and space to open our minds. We can put ourselves back in the foreground. This should become an ongoing part of a more conscious life. It requires a change of lifestyle and habits. As Hadden would say, use this shit to create something for yourself to bloom in.
Regaining balance in your life again