Reconnect: Finding Meaning in the Mundane

By on July 7th, 2020

"If everything around you seems dark, look again. You may be the light". —Rumi.

As all of us are struggling to make sense of this isolation, one challenge is to find ways to fill the day. The time we usually spend commuting, shopping in the market, or socializing with friends and relatives is suddenly at our disposal. So much time, yet nothing to do. 

At first, I was horrified at how I would cope with being cooped up at home; there is a limit to how much Netflix one can watch! Most of us suffer from a lack of time. We complain about how we don't have the time to do our favorite things, and suddenly, here is an opportunity to do just that— not work, stay home, and do everything you crave. The first two to three days were a breeze, a wonderful holiday!

Yet, my main question remained—how do we keep ourselves occupied and distract our minds from the dreadful thoughts that follow once we see the news or read some inane forward on WhatsApp! After the first three days of despondency, I decided to take up activities that we would classify as mundane and take for granted. A few things left in the crevices of our childhood memories, others gave up due to the scarcity of time, and yet others were going unnoticed because of house help. We're eager to find something to fill at a time like this.

A lot of hobbies and projects which may have seemed to hold a lot of appeal in the ordinary course have now lost their appeal because there is no routine. Even so, one has to avoid falling into a rut. While it may feel like there is nothing one can do to eliminate this despair, it is essential to find things to do to keep yourself going. Brace yourself and take on each day as a unique experience. 

When it comes to ideas to fill time, the possibilities are endless. Different things work for different people; a game of trial and error will help you find what's best for you. 

Here are a few examples gaining traction on the internet: 

  1. Playing a board game— bring out all the games from your childhood that you might not have seen in years.
  2. Listening to music on full blast— make a few playlists share or look to you in the future to remember your time in lockdown.
  3. Still life photography— record your time at home, or make an album/ collection of the photographs already in your camera roll.
  4. Re-decorate your room— a change in scenery might help you feel inspired.
  5. Painting, sketching, baking, writing- try your hand at these common and simple hobbies; they're a great way to spend time, express yourself, and discover a new passion.
  6. Help with household chores— not only will it make your parents happy, but it might also help you establish a sense of routine.

Some of these tasks may appear repetitive or boring, but there is a great sense of accomplishment in actually doing them. Try them out and play around, you may not find a newfound hobby, but these activities will help you keep your mind of the considerable uncertainty, albeit only for a short time. 

Trying these activities brought a sense of calm, which I had not experienced in quite a while. There are various coping mechanisms, unique for each person -- I found mine in mundane projects. I guess you can say I reached mindfulness through mindless activities!