As we all know, the impending stage 4 lockdown is now reality. Please see yourself out if you do not.
In response to this announcement, many students proceeded to vigorously abuse the nearest wall with their heads. Others rejoiced at the forcible shifts of forthcoming tests. One student notably said: “A curfew? Y’all dictators.” [This was, however, a sarcastic comment which was covertly recorded. Please read with a lovely southern accent].
Now, personally, life pains me a lot. From smashing pipettes in chemistry on the daily to getting conned out of a dollar at the gas station, sometimes, I really just want to speak to the manager about all of this. I mean, who controls all this stuff? Some kid gleefully spamming windows + ctrl + d?
So you can imagine when the lockdown was announced, I became extremely distraught. I was sitting down to watch my daily episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender when a certain Victorian Premier caused my phone to aneurysm in capital letters.
DANIEL ANDREWS ANNOUNCES STAGE 4 LOCKDOWN.
Memories of the first lockdown spun fleetingly through my delirious mind: repulsive olfactory imagery of greasy nights spent in front of my phone, and anthropomorphized stress monkeys jumping around while I wiled away the hours checking and rechecking the fridge.
It was such an overwhelming moment that I probably would have died if not for one thing: meditation.
“Gee whiz Ingrid, WhAt iN tHe SaM HilL aRe YoU pUlLinG hErE? Are you trying to evangelize?”
No—I’m talking straight up entering a vegetative state, where all of my non-essential internal bodily functions pause, and my attention is fixated on a single thing: my thoughts. At that moment, I felt like I would either punch the wall or run very quickly away from my problems.
(any eerie reminiscence of the fight or flight response is purely coincidental)
But instead of picking one of these options, I carved a new path. I thought, why not just…let it go?
All my life has been a series of doors in my face
but for the first time in forever, I will venture
into the unknown-
And at this point I stopped because I knew I had gone too far into my introspections. But I knew what I would have to do to start decluttering my life.
Seriously, I needed to get my faeculenti together.
To give you an idea of what I did, I would like to invite all of you readers to engage in a hypothetical with me.
Begin by closing your eyes.
Imagine that it is the start of a new day. A new dawn. A new era. You managed to get up when the alarm rang, but you’re still vibing in bed with your phone, because you’re human—GET OFF YOUR PHONE. In fact, your phone shouldn’t even be in your room because if you say good morning to that before your parents, c’mon dude.
Now I want you to try to remember what you dreamt: this’ll get the cognitive wheels spinning positively loopy so that you’re revved up for the day. Some side effects of repeating this each morning is that you may either eventually begin to lucid dream or get a brilliant novel idea that could land you millions of dollars.
Next, you’re going to make your bed, so that at the end of the day, you can mess it up again. And it is the most rewarding feeling, let me tell you.
Drink a large glass of water. And another. And another. Feel the dihydrogen monoxide rush through your internal organs, awakening and revitalizing your shriveled, prune-like innards.
Open a window and take some deep breaths—I’m talking Mariana Trench deep, so that the hemoglobin in your blood can finally deliver some oxygen to your brain.
Put the kettle on and while you’re sipping some hot green tea (or whatever tea tickles your fancy), have a look at your to do list for the day. What needs to be done immediately? What needs to be scheduled? What can be put to later? What can be suspended indefinitely? Use your newly oxygenated prefrontal cortex to make these decisions. Take a couple seconds to meditate on what you’re grateful for, and what your goals are in the short and long terms.
Next, do something, anything really, to get your heart pumping. Maybe skip some rope, or just jump around, or if you’re intense, do a short workout. Believe it or not, your brain is part of your body, and you need a healthy body to have a healthy mind.
Finally, I want you to pick up a book.
And then, I want you to read it.
For 20 mins.
Crazy stuff, right?
At the end of this half hour or so, you should feel a deep sense of calm, as if you had embodied a free grazing, docile, majestic sheep. Then, like a soaring eagle, you’re ready to take on the day ahead.
So get up and get going. I believe in you.