In South Africa, we are going through a dark phase. Our electricity gets switched off a few times a day, and it’s good for you!
In our country, we are facing massive issues with regards to electricity. Our economy is suffering because of this thing we call loadshedding. We are now on day number 4 of Stage 4 loadshedding. This means that our electricity gets switched off 3 times a day. For small businesses the struggle is real. We aren’t all fortunate enough to purchase or rent generators to keep us going. This blog is all about why we should be thankful for loadshedding.
It might seem odd that I am thankful for loadshedding but over the past few days, I have started to find various ways to keep myself busy and have connected with my colleagues and partner the old-fashioned way. Electricity in the 21st century is really a luxury. In the 1800’s, they didn’t have things such as connectivity and electricity to keep them going. There were less mental illnesses and people communicated by means or writing letters and having real conversations with each other. I used to have an arts and crafts hobby before I discovered Netflix, social media and the internet in general.
Having limited electricity during the day has pushed me towards my hobbies again. After swearing our government in my head, I dug up all my arts and crafts and started making art again. I haven’t felt this relaxed in ages. My phone was somewhere, I didn’t really care where it was, and I was enjoying the silence and creating my art pieces. When the power came on and the city noise returned, I was kind of sad. Listening to the world move in a natural way is so peaceful. You can hear the birds sing, you can hear the bees and take in your surroundings without any disturbances.
There is a lot of cons to the whole situation in the country, but we should make the most of what we have. Sometimes the punishment of being without electricity is a blessing in disguise. It gives you time to work on yourself and indulge in activities your normally disregard because you would rather spend time surfing the web or watching movies.
With mental illnesses, we must practise mindfulness and being kind to ourselves. Being kind to yourself doesn’t mean take a day and watch movies. It sometimes means that you need to go sit in the garden and get lost in a book. It means participating in activities that make you feel good about yourself again. You don’t have a laptop or WiFi so why not write a letter? Yes, I mean writing a letter the “old-fashioned” way, by using pen and paper. That manicure you always used to give yourself? Do it!! You have nothing disturbing you. Feeling lonely? Get to know your partner better or go to a friend. Have a real conversation with someone. Enjoy the peace and quiet for the few hours you have.
We rely on electricity to make our world go around. Many apocalypse movies show how people must survive without food or phones or even basic essentials. They make it out just fine. Why can’t we survive without it for just a few hours a day? I do however understand the impact it has on businesses but maybe they should take a different approach to it too. Use the time to brainstorm, share ideas and get to know your colleagues. You never know whether your next big money-making idea might come out of your 3 hours of darkness. You won’t be stuck without electricity forever, it will come back on, I promise.
There is a video about the number of seconds you have in a day. The video tells us that time is precious and we need to spend it wisely. We need to look after ourselves and, in our country, it seems like our government is forcing to do just that. With loadshedding, the government is forcing us to speak to each other, to get to know each other, to self-nurture and relax. Work and life in general are super stressful. The fact that there is no electricity makes the situation even worse but instead of freaking out about it and stressing, put up your feet, light a fire and have braai (barbeque). Instead of fretting about having no connectivity or television, pick up a book or write a letter. Relax and be kind. Take in your surroundings and just let it be. There is nothing we can do in that specific moment that will change the fact that there is no electricity.
There are billions of people so caught up in their own universe that they don’t understand what it is like to relax. Us, as South Africans, should consider ourselves lucky that our government is forcing us to take a time out from our insane schedules, endless meetings and television addictions.
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