For Hilal al Abdali, a Shotokan Karate instructor in Muscat, who has officiated as a judge for numerous national, regional and international karate competitions over the years, staying at home during the current lockdown is something alien to his outgoing personality. ‘ ‘The enemy is hidden, yet we need to gain control of the situation with presence of mind and perserverance,’ says Hilal who believes that physical strength begins in the mind.
“Corona virus is now all over the world. This virus has recently spread in different countries very quickly, prompting people to take several steps to prevent and overcome it, such as home quarantine. It is true that the latter helps to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in a wonderful way, but at the same time, it brings along some feelings of boredom and tension. Therefore, it is preferable for the person to take several steps to defetat the feeling of boredom sitting at home,” says Hilal, adding, “I am doing just that.”
Hilal has been keeping himself busy attending to official work from home as well as devoting time to his family and domestic obligations. He has been exercising at home as well as training his three children (one daughter and three sons) to keep fit as well as stay in touch with the karate lessons that they have learnt from him.
“It is very important to keep fit because this helps me overcome boredom and stress at the same time. Likewise, exercise indirectly strengthens the immune system, thanks to its ability to relieve feelings of nervous tension which negatively affects one’s immunity,” he said.
Also, during the extra time at home, he has been spending it reading books that are available to him in his home library as well as those available on the Internet in order to stay informed on a variety of subjects. He also is appreciative of the fact that he now gets more time with his family, especially his children, and is able to educate them on how to handle the pressures of life.
He has also been following certain educational programmes on television along with his children and they spend quality time discussing stuff they see together. Hilal also keeps time for networking and socialising with his friends and colleagues as well as family members by sharing messages on social media or calling them up.
The lockdown, he says, is a time for staying positive and learning new skills. “It is a time for personal growth and family bonding, and we should make the most of it,” he says.