Friday, July 01, 2022 | Dhu al-hijjah 1, 1443 H
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Cultivating new habits


Consultants, entrepreneurs, students, professionals in Oman found their own ways to keep themselves engaged during the lockdown.

‘We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone,’ seemed to be the motto of French woman Cécilia Pitré," a sustainable lifestyle consultant.

Self-isolated in her Muscat home, Cecilia practiced art at her MQ studio and has started packing her baggage towards her next move to Saudi Arabia.

During Ramadhan, she encouraged each one to contribute their bit and used the lockdown to be kind and generous.

As a first step, Cecilia didn’t think twice before moving 45km from Muscat to Sifah, helping the expatriates with required food supplies. “We are all in the same situation, but not with the same privileges,” she says and contributed her foremost for devoting their bit.

Cecilia also started disseminating awareness of a clean environment. She follows reuse and recycle at home and work making it plastic-free, collecting plastic cans and non-degradable garbage.

For Rebecca Mayston, Manager and Expedition Leader, at The Guide Oman, it was a devastating fast end to the season.

In her 11 years in Oman, this Kiwi expatriate has never spent so much time at home and often wondered why she paid rent as she spent more time in her jeep.

“The lockdown dramatically changed that and I had to find new ways to occupy myself and keep our team and customers connected and entertained.”

The situation threw many people into a tailspin, especially those in the midst of enjoying the great outdoors like for this travel addict who is used to spending weekends out camping, exploring, and adventuring.

“Art helped to keep my brain occupied and got me back revisiting activities that I previously greatly enjoyed. Creativity has a great way of calming the mind, and a 21-day drawing challenge kick-started the action.”

Installing new habits was a big addition, as her day included exercise, reading, or keeping connected with family in New Zealand and the UK.

For Russian student Ekaterina Shubenok from British School Muscat and Lebanese Julia Nasser from ABA it was a lifetime achievement. Both of them scooped third positions at the Caspi Art Competitions (Turkey), an international piano competition conducted online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

They managed to use music as a motivating mechanism and stayed safe.

Both students of Dr. Saida Khalilova’s Muscat Music & Art Academy, Ghala Heights, adapted by coming up with different ways to continue practicing and polishing their skills.

Julia is excited as she practices more difficult pieces like Chopin Nocturne and Beethoven Sonata No 8 in C minor, Op13 for her next competition in Florida this September.

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