This extraordinary time has brought siblings, friends and families together all
over the world. Including my two children, who wouldn’t have this close a bond if it
wasn’t for the lockdown, I can see this in their positive interactions.
American psychologist Susan Doughty has extensively studied sibling
relationships and concludes that one of the major factors at play is age
difference. “If siblings are born more than about 6 or 7 years apart, in a lot of
ways they are essentially two only-children,” Doughty says. “They are in such
different developmental places that they don’t relate to one another the same
In my observation I can see my daughter talk and sing to her little brother and
in return he will watch and laugh. It’s a parent’s dream to see their children
bond. One of the challenges I have found is activities which they can both
enjoy due to their six-year age gap, but we’ve found that reading together either during
the day or before bedtime is fast becoming a favourite activity.
Non-materialistic Value of Life.
The virus has taught us to live without things, and certainly having access to
only a limited choice has meant that life has become clearer and much simpler
for some people, including me. The luxury of choice may have been stripped
away but we are still fortunate to be able to carry on.
Yes, I do miss deliberating whether to have chai tea or an americano, or
deciding to go all out and indulge in a hot chocolate from the posh coffee
shop. And yes, I do miss going shoe shopping at House of Fraser at
lunchtimes, however I’m also loving this new ‘take it or leave it’ mentality. I’ve
found that the less choice I have the happier I am in my decision-making.
With this new mindset, I find I am channelling it to other avenues such as
catching up with friends and family or streamlining the range of Podcasts I listen to and books I want to read. By narrowing down my communication and
consumption, I’ve found I’m feeling much more fulfilled. Physical doors may be
closed for now, but the window of opportunity to learn in an efficient manner is always open.
Health is Wealth.
Sri Harkrishan Dhiyaiye Jis Dithe Sab Dukh Jaye – By meditating on Sri Guru
Harkrishan Sahib Ji all pain and suffering is removed.
I’m a firm believer that your physical and mental wellbeing cannot be taken for
granted. The Pandemic has shown us how quickly this disease can spread,
especially within our BAME communities. All I want in life are my loved ones
safe and healthy. Not being able to see family and being concerned for
the health of family around you can be difficult to deal with but having a strong
family unit is like a security blanket.
These past months have certainly highlighted that we will never know what is planned for us in our lifetime. Time ticks by with a degree of uncertainty but all
I can do is to accept Waheguru’s Hukam (Divine Will) and know I will always
have His support during these testing times.
The Importance of Faith.
Resilience is an area I’ve been working on within myself over the past year or
so. The pandemic taught me that I am not at a level I am happy with despite
all the work so far. My mental wellbeing did take a knock and there are times
even now when I find myself vulnerable.
In Sikhi, the internal religious state of an individual is the most important
thing. Whenever I’ve found myself vulnerable, I turn to the Almighty to ask for
strength, support and guidance through meditation or through reciting Simran.
YouTube is a great source for finding Shabads, a tip – subscribe to the World
Gurdwara channel where you can read along and find the English
translation. For meditation, the Apple Store has an array of Sikh Podcasts you
can listen to as you take some time out each day.
I would feel so lost without my Faith, without that ‘something’ to keep me
focused and in the present. I’ve found that I’m turning more to the Divine to try
and make sense of what is happening externally.
Changes to the Working World.
I’ve always had a strong work ethic and have championed different ways of
working. Whether that be in groups or remotely, or in the office or off-site, I
feel that an individual should be able to decide how they are more productive.
I’ve found it interesting to read how companies and organisations are having
to adapt to new ways of working. It’s really highlighted the benefits of working
from home and flexible working. For some employees this may feel like a
breath of fresh air in not having to work the standard 9-5, go to the office and I
bet they’re glad they’re not doing the school run/commute too.
Add to this new way of working, home schooling children and you can
understand how difficult and chaotic day to day can be, but workplaces have
managed it and it will be hard to shake off once offices start to open back up.
This has certainly ignited questions of whether people are needed in the office
all the time. Should all jobs be advertised as 9-5? Additionally, we need to
look at the work/home balance and see how employers can support that. I’ll
be watching to see how this plays out for a lot of organisations.
Finally, after taking away these five key learnings, I end with three words to
describe my time in isolation: Reflective; Family; Grateful
Written by Kamal Kaur Reehal