Maintaining structure has been difficult

Maintaining structure has been difficult

Mikayla Magdziarz, Columnist

It seems as though everything one could say about the pandemic, including obscenities, has already been said. Rather than repeating the same pandemic sentiments you’ve heard before, I’d like to state an observation I have found relevant in my life and in many others: It has been difficult to maintain structure.

The other day, I sat and thought about my current schedule, my relationship with rituals and how fostering that relationship has been my saving grace throughout the pandemic. Structure is needed in nearly every sector of our lives. It’s needed in the workplace, which is now, for many of us, in the comfort of our own homes. It’s needed in our personal lives, where we’re now spending more time in isolation and less time socializing and making personal connections. We’re left with the task of reshaping our world. 

Witnessing the virus fester through the media has felt like watching an avalanche occur in slow motion. Throughout the year, it also became apparent that the overconsumption of news could take a significant toll on one’s mental health. It is almost innate for the ferris wheel of fear and dread to pop up in one’s mind when overwhelmed with headlines that seem to only grow more unsettling. It became difficult for me to think the same, and to focus on completing tasks. I had paused my world to submerge myself in the present moment of the pandemic, which felt awful at first, but yielded a powerful realization of how our habits shape us.

Accepting the now was the first step into reclaiming structure. I can social distance, wear my mask and be aware of the risks of living in 2020, but I cannot change the state of the world. The only positive thing one can do is come to terms with the situation, and prevail nonetheless. That’s a hard truth to reckon with, given those who are faced with harder realities than others. Yet, what other choice do we have? We must continue to go on; we will wilt and wither as a human race if we do not come together during the most daunting events of our waking lives. 

Routine and rituals are how I moved forward and strengthened my soul. It is in habitual practices that we discover more about who we are, and our potential for who we can become. This is achieved by simply setting intentions and acquiring results though discipline. Let me tell you, the execution is by no means a breeze. It’s hard work, but isn’t that the point?

Make your bed, wash your face, talk to your loved ones or yourself. Move your body, expand your perspective. Set goals, whether it’s washing your hair or taking that package to the post office that’s been sitting on the counter for over a week. Create habits and rituals, force the self to do things that require time. We must make the time in order to maintain the structure of our ever changing lives. This is an act that can only come from within, and it has the power to control and maintain our external lives. 

When the mind begins to feel, and to understand its ability to overcome something after merely completing a simple task, there is a great wave of hope that comes. There’s nothing more I could wish for one during these times, than the knowledge and the strength to carry on. It exists in all of us.