The expression “Carpe diem” has Latin roots and is attributed to the Roman poet Horace. Its literal translation means ‘seize the day’, and is referenced in many books, movies and motivational speeches. It is used to urge someone to make the most of the present and take advantage of opportunities that present themselves in the ‘here and now’.
What does it really mean to seize the day? Some dictionaries define it as…To do the things one wants to do when there is the chance instead of waiting for a later time.
Seizing the day can be a difficult thing to do because everyone thinks there is always tomorrow… or next week…or some other time.
Ways to Seize the Day
Many people have a bucket list of adventures, travel or achievements they would like to experience during their lifetime. With the busyness of life, many often feel they don’t have the time to pursue those goals or cross those achievements off their list.
During this time of mandated quarantine, being forced to stay home has opened up our schedules and given us more free time than we are used to having. It would be easy to fall into ‘holiday mode’, staying in our pajamas all day and doing nothing. Drawing inward might be fine…or even fun for a little while, but we also have to remember to continue living life.
With this gift of time that has been given to us, there are endless things we can do to seize the day without ever leaving our homes:
- Read books:
Most of us have that list of books to read – one day… as well as many books that were started, but never finished. Finding a chunk of time to read during our hectic daily schedules can be hard. Often, we only get around to reading when we go on holiday… a few lazy afternoons in the hammock immersed in a good novel. Now, we have time.
There are many ways to source books from the comfort of your home. If you don’t mind reading off a computer or tablet, you can have most any book at your fingertips in seconds with just the click of a few buttons. There is also the option of downloading and listening to an audiobook on one of your electronic devices. Lastly, if you prefer to have the physical book in your hands, you can order online and have a book on your doorstep within a few days.
- Learn a language:
How many times have you heard people say, “I really want to learn another language”? Usually, the excuse of ‘not enough time’ is what stops most of us from even starting. No more excuses! There are many accredited language courses online. You can join a class, have private tutorials or work through a curriculum on your own. Whatever your choice, there is no lack of options. Learning a new language will not only stimulate your mind, but it can also open up new opportunities… or at the very least, it can make that next trip to Mexico a snap when needing to converse with the locals.
Making time to meditate is as healthy as physical exercise. Engaging in contemplation or reflection assists in fostering good mental health, relieving stress and anxiety, and keeping us focused on the truly important things in life. If you’ve never tried meditation before, there are numerous online articles and tutorials to get you started and guide you along the way.
- Watch movies:
There are so many great movies and documentaries available online. We have access to countless documentaries that enlighten, teach, and expand our minds… as well as many movies that move, motivate, and encourage us. For example, the movie, Dead Poets Society, has a theme around carpe diem, urging viewers to look at life in a different way. There are many other well-done scenes that will pull on your heartstrings.
Taking in a documentary series is a wonderful way to relax while still engaging our minds and learning new things. There are endless documentary topics available, and no matter what your interests are, there is something for everyone.
‘Do It Yourself’ projects. Dust off that list of things you’ve always wanted to do around the house. The project to renovate the downstairs bathroom, or reupholster that old couch. The list of good intentions that sits at the bottom of the drawer is just waiting for you to pick it up. Now is as good a time as any. Right now, we have some time on our hands, and most hardware stores (as essential services) are open.
If you don’t have a list of projects you need to finish, there are plenty of DIY arts and crafts ideas online to inspire you and get you engaged in doing something creative.
This list of 5 ways to ‘seize the day’, does not even begin to scratch the surface of possible things you could do while you are at home with time on your hands.
Although the days we are living in bring many unknowns and concerns about what life will look like in the coming months, don’t wait to achieve your goals. Utilize and take advantage of the extra time you have now to do those things you have had simmering on the back burner! Even while we are mandated to stay in our homes, there are many positives that can come out of the experience if we choose to make it so – if we seize the day.