Skip to main content

Keep calm!

My fellow travellers around the world, it's a difficult time but this doesn't mean we have to give in to despair.
The questions that I usually receive when I meet with friends are: 1) where do you plan to travel next? and 2) what events are happening this week(end) in the city?. Now with the new measures I will not be able to do any of them.
Am I starting to panic? NO. More than ever this is the moment when we have to be rational.
Have I been to supermarket to buy more food? Yes, I have been, but I didn't make stocks for weeks or months. I bought the necessary for ONE person so I don't need to go daily to the supermarket.
I don't like keeping social distance, but during these moments some physical and mental distance can help us to overcome this crisis.
So how do I cope with the situation?
In normal situation I am against online meetings, but now, I started to use these tools more. I am doing more often video calls with the loved ones. Remember this is a temporary situation!
I said before, that we need to remain rational. I will give you a little bit of context. In 1960, the neuroscientist Paul MacLean introduced the model of the Triune brain, a model of the evolution of the vertebrate forebrain and behaviour. The triune brain consists of the reptilian complex, the paleomammalian complex (limbic system), and the neomammalian complex (neocortex). The first two ones are the oldest ones and they are focused on keeping us safe, and if you like, the ones responsible for fight or flight switch. The latest one, the one that differentiates us of the animal reign is the neocortex which is responsible with solving complex problems (differential equations for example) and the ability to make predictions. It's easier to remember this using the metaphor of the elephant  and the rider. This metaphor was introduced by Jonathan Haidt. Haidt argues that we have two sides: an emotional side (the Elephant), and an analytical, rational side (its Rider). For my Romanian readers, I recommend Mind Architect podcast to learn more about this subject.
Source: https://www.creativehuddle.co.uk/the-elephant-and-the-rider
Now let's analyse the current crisis, and remember I am not an expert in the domain (I'm just a programmer). All the news from media about hoarding essentials is a response of the Elephant which takes over the Rider. I'm not saying the situation is not serious. It is but let's train our Elephant to make wise decisions. Most of you, who read this post, are living in developed countries and the threat of starvation was eradicated many years ago. So, you will be fine if you take only one pack of pasta, or toilet paper, and leave some for others too.
Let's have a look on how to train the Elephant! You might heard it before but the most effective way is meditation! Just try it and observe how your mind feels! Headspace or Balance are just two examples of apps that can help you to start meditation today. 
Another tip for a calm Elephant is sleep! A good quality and quantity of sleep helps the neocortex be in charge of the decision making. There are many studies which prove this. The neocortex is not able to run 24/7 as the reptilian brain and the limbic system. If you want to learn more about the impact of the sleep in our daily life I recommend Why we sleep
Why we sleep

This is also a good moment to catch up with your reading bucket list! Reading a book forces your mind to focus on the present. 
I am currently reading A Gentleman in Moscow. The novel concerns Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, a man ordered by a Bolshevik tribunal to spend the rest of his life in a luxury hotel in the heart of Moscow. See the irony here. Alain de Button has a saying: "Most of what makes a book good is that we are reading it at the right moment for us".
So far, I've provided tips and tricks for the mind. But let's not forget the body. I used to order a lot of take away and I wanted to change this habit. Now I am focusing more on cooking and trying to be creative here. With cooking you have double benefit, you are nurturing your body with healthy food and also keep your mind focused in the present.
Who says you have to stop exercising if you can't go to gym? There are plenty of apps or youtube channels with trainings you can do at home. Be considerate for your neighbours if you need to jump! For me it's easier as a yogi. I recommend Down Dog (which provides free subscription until 1st of April) or Yoga with Adriene. And I am happy to see creative ideas from yoga studios from Bucharest. Most of them moved their classes online. Checkout Studioul Universul, Ahimsa Yoga Studio or my friend's initiative:  Community Check-In, Sharing & Yoga Online
Other creative idea that emerged during this crisis is of unteatru, which makes live stream of their plays! As an expat in Netherlands I miss a lot going to a traditional theater play in a language I can understand. This evening I am going to enjoy „The Sunset Limited” from the comfort of my couch!
Least but not last, now it's the moment for a spring cleanup! I've discussed about mental cleanup but cleaning up the space where we leave keeps the diseases at the door! Next time when you go out to do groceries think about buying cleaning products if you are running out of them!
I hope once the crisis passes we keep applying these habits! 

Till next time, keep calm and social distance! 
Older photo of me from my 2018 trip to the largest Buddhist temple in the world. Namaste!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Stories from Hamburg

Lately I've heard a lot about Hamburg, how awesome it is and I was curious to see it with my own eyes. Being in Berlin these days, was the perfect moment to do it. I bought train tickets and here I am in a train going to Hamburg. With my book, enjoying a 2h train ride  The weather was not favorable to me, but I still have all my fingers. I must say, the rainy day enhanced the colors of this city. I was not kidding about the cold It took me a few time to get used with the temperature, but after that I forgot it was cold. I had set in mind to see the canals. I came here for that. I read some articles about this and I was impressed. It's said that it has more than Venice or Amsterdam. From what I've seen, it looks a lot with both of them, but on a different scale. If in the two cities mentioned the buildings are not so tall, here we find massive constructions. #wanderlust #urbanphotography #enthusiastictraveller A post shared by Madalina G. (@gmadalina92)

Kasteel de Haar - a luxurious castle

During the rainy days and with the current restrictions, my only consolation is writing about magical places I discovered in the past months in Netherlands. The subject of this post is De Haar Castle, a place rich in stories!  The joy of exploring this flamboyant castle De Haar is the largest castle in the Netherlands, once the private residence of the Van Zuylen family, whose descendants still stay there yearly. In the last century, the castle also frequently hosted members of the international jet set with their lavish lifestyle; from Coco Chanel to Roger Moore, they too left their mark on the sumptuous rooms of the most opulent spot in Utrecht. I visited the castle a couple of weeks ago, together with my dearest friend, Ioana, and it was a lovely Sunday, even with some warm sunshine!  This year I bought  Museumkaart  which allows free entrance to about 400 museums in the Netherlands, De Haar Castle included! Despite the months when the museums were/are closed, I got to use it a coup

Zaanse Schans - Dutch history on the river Zaan

 It's been a while since my last post in March. Despite the pandemic, in May - June, when the restrictions loosened up, I started to go on short trips in Netherlands to explore the nature and iconic places, such Zaanse Schans. You may wonder why I waited so long to visit this place. Well, I've never been a big fan of crowded places, and according to the statistics, Zaanse Schans attracts nearly a million visitors per year and it's one of the Netherlands' best loved attractions. I seized the moment and when I visited the place it was almost deserted, for my own content. Additionally, I did a return journey with my bicycle! From Amsterdam Oost (where I live), is approximatively 20km one way. The route includes a ferry. I took the ferry from Veer Hempontplein because I stopped in West to surprise my friend with a delicious cheesecake that I baked the night before. And also this route went through Zaandam! I had to stop to capture this Who let the ducks out! This is not the