The coronavirus suddenly presents an ambiguous threat to all, throwing our society into a time of great fear and uncertainty.
Do you feel overwhelmed, anxious or confused? You’re not alone, so let’s talk about it. It seems to be the biggest crisis of a generation. With all the uncertainty and negative consequences that the coronavirus entails, the question arises: how can we approach this positively?
I think it is important to take care of ourselves as whole people, including our mental/spiritual, physical and social well-being aspects. Doing so not only boosts our immune systems, but also gives us the strength and energy to thrive through these challenging times.
So what can we do to achieve this? In the past few days I have taken a number of steps to try to restore my balance. Perhaps these tips will also help you to experience more air, light and love in this uncertain period.
TEND YOUR ESSENCE:
We should try to accept the situation and find balance. Try not to surrender to fear and panic. It would be ideal to find a loving balance without dismissing the seriousness of the situation.
1. Do what you can do – let go of the rest, accept and realize this crisis is temporary
So, what can we do? Well the good news is, very little besides staying at home. This is both a curse and a blessing. When the world around us destabilizes we would like to do something to restore balance and experience a sense of control. But we have to accept that this is simply not possible. The situation is as it is, and we cannot change that. No matter how intense, confrontational, disappointing, frustrating, frightening or undesirable. The sooner we face this, the sooner we can look forward.
Realize that this is a temporary crisis. This too shall pass. In no time we will look back on this period as a surreal and unique time. A moment in history where all noses were headed in the same direction, where we felt scared and insecure, a time when we were all suddenly in the same boat.
2. Confront your fears, live in the moment and try to make something positive out of it.
If you find it difficult, know that you are not alone in your struggles. Everyone struggles in their own way, but often with the same things. Talk to loved ones in a video chat or connect via social media.
You could also write down your worries or try meditation and mindfulness to return to a place of inner peace and balance. Take time to observe… what emotions and thoughts come up in you? Observe the anxious thoughts, feel that knot in your stomach, see what’s going on in your brain and body. Use your anxiety as a means to practice, to realize that you can experience a bad feeling, but that you don’t have to suffer as a result. Instead of distracting yourself or turning away from the bad feelings, you can bravely face them. Give them space, so they lose their strength. Running away from negative feelings makes them stronger and stronger. Perceiving and embracing the feelings helps to resolve them.
It can be an invitation to go more inwards. Observing on a deeper level what you might want to change. Are you the person you want to be? Are you living the life you want to live? And if not, how can you transform this in you, in your life? You can look at it step by step and always with lots of selflove (don´t be too hard on yourself)!
Smiling Mind is a not-for-profit, free Mindfulness app developed by Australian experts and field tested since 2012. https://www.smilingmind.com.au/smiling-mind-app
3. Only watch the news twice a day at most. I think it is important to remember that news is by its nature only reporting the extraordinary. Articles and segments are designed to be attention grabbing and strongly emotive. By being selective about what you read and listen to and limiting these inputs to perhaps just once or twice a day, you can prevent yourself from being in a state of “alert” all the time.
As part of society it is only natural that we want to be “informed”, but as we are bombarded with information of questionable quality from an unprecedented number of sources the conflicting statements of experts and politicians cause more confusion in all of us. We have to use our own experience, knowledge and intuition to filter that which we absorb.
ENHANCE YOUR MIND AND CULTIVATE CURIOSITY
Some have to work a lot right now and we all honour the commitment of so many working in health care all around the world. However, most people just have to stay at home. This can be challenging, especially if you are on your own or surrounded by your children who demand all your attention, which can lead to tension and stress. But at the same time you can see this situation as a gift of time to spend either with yourself or your family. New opportunities arise for activities that you normally do not have or take the time for.
There are lots of ways to make the most of this extra time! Think of cleaning and ordering your house, your computer, your shed. Do overdue chores and maintenance. Sweep the garden, prune the plants, etc.
Nourish your mental appetite with arts and sciences of your choice. Learn new skills, and better yet, share your gifts with others.
You can also use this time to invest in your personal growth. Take time to read, meditate, or take an online course.
Here are a few interesting leads:
- TED is a curated collection of 18 minute talks from world renowned experts for the past two decades, on virtually any subject.
- Free access to Museums and Virtual Tours
- Free access to online education resources
EMBODY YOUR HEALTHIEST POSSIBLE SELF
In addition to the essential prevention and medical care information highlighted everywhere else, you should not forget to:
- Move your body daily in any way you wantJ. There are plenty of (free) online classes available:
- Get enough sleep! This is a perfect time to catch up on these most needed zzzzzzzz´s….. Why is sleep so important, more about it in our blog: https://www.spa-in-spain.com/blog1/2017/03/17/good-quality-sleep-soundly-nurture-life/
- With everything that is happening in the world at the moment, you still have control over what you put in your mouth. Do your best to improve your health these days. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables and try to avoid emotional eating. Finding comfort in food is common, and it might be hard to resist in these stressful times. Often you are not even realizing you are doing it. But become aware of the following; how much energy do you really need? You probably move a lot less these days being at home, yet plenty of food is available and you might eat more. We have to be conscious, ´do I really need this much food´? And it is not just about the aesthetics of putting on weight, eating more and moving less will make you feel sluggish, with less energy and less patience making it harder to being a good partner, parent or friend.
ENGAGE WITH YOUR COMMUNITY AND LOVED ONES:
Love and connection is humanity’s super power. It is how we have evolved and thrived on this planet since the beginning of our time here, through countless disasters.
In times like this it is important not to alienate from each other. We are all human, we all experience the same feelings of insecurity. Some people start hoarding, others choose to dismiss the situation and dive into denial.
But this should be a time to listen, to support each other and to give each other space to share our fears and insecurities. Locally, via the internet and internationally towards our friends in distant countries. We are in this together – we as humanity currently share a unique moment of unity.
More than ever, we have the opportunity to choose love, where so many people choose fear. However, fear puts us in a downward spiral of panic, where love brings us into an upward spiral of positive actions, compassion and hope!
So phone a friend or relative every day, oh and very important, try to laugh as much as you can, practice your humour muscle and share this with as many people as possible. Because sharing joy and happiness is the best medicine if you are feeling low.
So, live your values, your truth, be grateful for your life, stay healthy, stay positive, take care of yourself and each other and keep your head cool, not only now, but also when this crisis is behind us. Oh yes …. stay at home 😉
Written by your SISter in Wellness Femke