Written by Dr. Yousuf Siddiqui, ND
I am feeling reflective at the moment. It is World Health Day- a day to discuss health innovations and discoveries, a day to remind our patients that we continue to offer truly integrative natural medicine to our community. Yet – today we are in the middle of a global pandemic. Information about COVID-19 is so rapidly changing that it feels almost impossible to stay on top of things. We had to quickly adapt our lives to accommodate self-isolation.
Everything has changed. But is there a light at the end of the tunnel?
This morning I was taking out the garbage and noticed that we only had 1 small grocery bag of garbage, our cardboard recycling was reduced by 50%, and we only produced 2 organic waste bags. Granted that we are only two people but I found this reduction significant considering this represents 100% of the waste we are producing. While sipping my morning coffee, I began to think - In light of this tragedy, what positive can come out of this?
Similar to yourself, I am spending a lot more time at home! I am a Naturopathic Doctor – a small business affected by COVID – and I had to re-invent how I practice my medicine. I love seeing my patients – I really do. But out of necessity, I shifted my in-person consults into a home-based virtual practice. After a week of working at home and adjusting to the new normal – I started to evaluate what I actually need.
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How do I keep my sanity during self isolation? I enjoy flexibility in my life but I also understand that there is a need to remind myself to keep looking after my body, mind and spirit. Every morning I write down a schedule for the day. I am not the type of person who likes a lot of structure in my life however I found that writing down a schedule first thing in the morning does not make me feel restricted. Instead I think of it like a to do list. I allow myself some flexibility but I make sure that every task is completed before the end of the day.
Our culture is driven by consumption. Bigger. Better. Faster. We are inundated with images of extreme beauty and perfection. Our individual narrative is often swept away and lost within a sea of superficiality. We are often lead to believe that happiness and fulfillment are achieved through how we compare to others. Yet, at this point in time of self-isolation, we have time to observe our own reality – our environment, our home life, our relationships, how we consume, our community (for a distance of course) and so on. We have the opportunity to re-connect with ourselves and re-assess what our needs are.
It is World Health Day. As your community naturopathic doctor, I invite you to ask yourself the following question:
What gives me energy and what takes it away?
If something gives us energy – it is fuelling our mind, body and soul. It gives us purpose, strength, hope and love. If something is taking your energy away it is important to ask yourself – is it worth it? Is this something you need?
As I sip my coffee I am optimistic that after this tragedy has passed, we will have adapted to make authentic decisions without unnecessary distractions that take our energy away. Scientists have already confirmed that pollutions levels are at all all time low. We have given mother nature the ability to begin the process to regenerate itself – now why would we not do that for ourselves?