What we in the UK call Lockdown is what US folk are calling Shelter-in-place — a prettier term, in my opinion.
It is an interesting and revealing, many-faceted experience.
Not immediately, but after a while, noticing myself following new grooves unrelated to anything imposed on me by circumstances, I woke up to the reality that this is a first-class opportunity to establish a new habit. Or habits.
Under normal (or perhaps one should say "former" or "previous") circumstances, I find an obstacle to establishing new habits is the distraction of other things to think about.
Say, for example, I want to establish the habit of walking down to the spring to fetch water as soon as one of the big bottles is empty, rather than waiting for all six bottles to be empty, then making a trip to the spring in the car. I can do that; of course I can — but I don't. The reason I don't is because there are so many other things to occupy my mind; obligations and stressors and worries and commitments that fill up my mental bandwidth, such that walking down to the spring becomes one more darned thing to think about, and I don't go and don't go — and suddenly all six bottles are empty and a car trip looks essential, when it wasn't in the first place.
During lockdown we are allowed one walk a day for exercise. So, once a bottle is empty, we walk down to the spring and fill it up. To make it an extensive enough walk for exercise, we go the long way round by the brook and through the park. Simple.
Those who have investigated into the matter have discovered it takes anything from 18 to 254 days to establish a new habit, but the average time it takes people is 66 days — so, just over 2 months.
I am finding, in this lockdown, the lack of things competing for my attention is allowing me to focus properly on evaluating what I want to prioritise, and then I have this golden opportunity to begin laying down the tracks for a new habit.
Habit energy is one of the strongest forces in our lives. It is what creates the phenomenon of the path of least resistance — the way we have always walked will be that. A habit is extremely hard to break.
I cannot think of a time in my life that has offered a more shining opportunity than this for establishing new habits. This jewel of lockdown is surely one of the arcana secretorum Isaiah mentioned.