“Every difficulty in life presents us with an opportunity to turn inward and to invoke our own submerged inner resources. The trials we endure can and should introduce us to our strengths.” Epictetus
Currently, we are in what psychologist call the third quarter of this COVID-19 experience. The initial shock of physical distancing has dissipated. The words social distancing, self isolation, work from home and flattening the curve are now norms in our lexicon.
In the second quarter, we got into a rhythm of staying from home more and reducing non-essential (as stipulated by the government) activities. Many of us even saw the benefits of having less activities and social engagements. A big pause was happening to all of us collectively. A big exhale!
The effectiveness of flatten the curve, has started the conversation of easing of restrictions, does give us a sense that we are close to the end but like the third quarter of a game, we are not at the end yet. Unlike a game, at the time of writing there is no set time and clear process on how the easing will happen.
There is collective optimism and excitement as well as nervousness of reentering a post- stay at home world. This brings the sense of uncertainty to the fore once again. Uncertainty of when will it happen. If when it does happen, how will work place look like? How will physical distancing be maintained with more people around? Is it safe to go back to park and playground? When can business reopen? What happens if the infection rates increases again?
Amongst all this, the sense of grief/loss will be brought to the foreground of our experience as the world that we used to know is no longer there. Sadness, nervousness, sense of loss, fear, helplessness, hopefulness and excitement are some of the feels that are arising now. How can one navigate this?
Here are some tips:
- Welcome in the sensations that is arising with great knowing that you are doing your best! Do get specific. Rather that just saying ‘’I am stressed’ – noting what sensation is being present with the belief that ‘I am stressed’.
- Locate the sensation in your body
- Gently invite your breath to meet the location of the sensation with no agenda to ‘breathe it away’ but to truly welcome your entire experience
- When ready, keep feeling your body and then the space around you including the ground that you are in contact with.
Gently remind yourself that this feelings comes and goes and are pointers towards our ground of being that is unchanging – that sense of deep ok-ness within us – the base of our resilience. This is the time to keep nourishing it little and often.
Here are also some tips that you can strengthen the muscle of deep okness within you during the day :
- Use a time like Mindfulness bell, Insight timer or Pomodoro to check-in with yourself and your breath.
- Spent some time savouring – practice of paying extra attention to something that brings you delight and joy
- Spent some time outdoors everyday
- Connect meaningfully with friends and family
- Have a lunch break!
- Do a livestream meditation or yoga class – Join weekly iRest Yoga Nidra Donation based class or develop a stillness practice at home with Course of Rest (starts 22nd May)
Remember you are doing your best. Reach out and connect. Get back into your body and breath whenever things feels a little shaky. Remember you are doing your best and that is enough. It continues to be a day to day proposition.
Stay well and let us thrive together!