When the coronavirus pandemic hit and we were instructed to work from home and self-isolate, I suddenly felt like my world had shrunk to the confines of my small apartment.
I realised then that I had spent years building a life based on exploring and enjoying the spoils of the outside world, rather than one that revolved around being a homebody.
This all started a few years ago when I decided to shift my focus away from desiring and acquiring material objects to one that focused on finding interesting experiences and nurturing meaningful relationships.
In my quest for a more minimal lifestyle I ditched buying clothes and spending weekends at shopping centres in favour of enjoying a meal at a restaurant or meeting friends at a bar for conversations over cocktails.
And overnight, all of that was stripped away. I was no longer able to get my daily dose of the things that made me feel most alive.
As many of life’s luxuries and pleasures were taken away, I tried to fill the void by seeking out small daily joys.
However, the challenge for me has been in finding these moments of joy from the selection of things that are still available to us.
For me, it has been about trying to find the things that closely aligned with my life pre-coronavirus, which largely focused on the freedoms that came with travelling, exploring, and spending time out and about.
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t felt anything close to ‘free’ during lockdown – it’s been all about following the social distancing rules and adhering to the things that we are not allowed to do.
Many of the things I normally find joy in are now out of bounds – enjoying brunch with a friend at a cafe, seeing a movie at a cinema, my daily commutes on the train – meaning I’ve had to search harder to find those pockets of enjoyment.
In my pursuit of joy in recent weeks, I have stumbled upon it in unexpected moments: early morning walks in air so frosty it wakes you up, admiring the greatness of tall trees in my local park, savouring the velvety texture of a takeaway coffee.
These daily delights have been neither extravagant nor expensive, and while I appreciated them previously, they didn’t carry as much weight as they do now.
I suppose this has been a side effect of life in lockdown – it has forced me to slow down and pay attention to the small things.
In times of struggle, indulging in the little things that make us happy and give us a glimmer of hope is so important.
As social distancing measures ease and businesses are allowed to reopen in the coming weeks, I hope to continue finding enjoyment in the little things.
It’s the little things, after all, that make life big.
SHARE YOUR STORY: What are some of the little things you’ve found joy in recently? Tell us in the comments section below.