The Gift of Time
Like many people during the Coronavirus lockdown, I suddenly found myself with time on my hands. Reflexology, as a close-contact therapy, was not permitted; the shut-down was sudden and brutal. A busy full life, fitting in work, chores, meals, family time…. (sounds all too familiar I’m sure). And then there were no clients and no work, but there was time, and lots of it!
Initially, I filled this void with cleaning and tidying. This was a great opportunity to decorate my treatment room while it was lying idle and gave me a much-needed sense of purpose. The jobs on the list were ticked off one by one until there were no more jobs to do. The sun was shining so I sat; and then I sat some more and listened to the sounds around me, watched the birds on the feeders.… and sat. Gradually the pace of life slowed. ‘Useful’ activity was not necessary to fill time; as time does not need to be filled. It is okay to just ‘be’.
I explored the countryside around my home; previously overlooked in favour of the more dramatic, sexier Peak District nearby. I have found hidden dells full of bluebells, woodland alive with birdsong and meadows of wildflowers. Each new place, each new view has been a gift with the time to savour it.
Being out in nature benefits our mental well-being as well as our physical health. Walking in beautiful green spaces or spending time in the garden helps to calm the mind and lift the spirits. This has a positive impact on mental health problems including anxiety and depression.
This slower pace of life has made me more mindful of my surroundings. I have found the practice of ‘Mindfulness’ difficult in the past. Now I’m doing it without thinking. Connecting with my senses, hearing nature’s sounds and noticing details of colour, scent and form.
Covid-19, for all its devastating consequences has given many of us this one gift – TIME; a precious commodity that we normally have too little of or spend unwisely. I am now welcoming back my reflexology clients, the time to just sit and ‘be’ or to get out into the countryside is less freely available once more. But that time is no less precious; I appreciate it even more.