I actually started thinking about this post a few weeks back. But oh my goodness what a different world we’re now in as we slip into spring 2020!
My husband and I, as we sit next to each other working from home, have started to think of life as BC (before coronavirus) and AC (after coronavirus).
I’ve been through the full range of emotions from panic and fear, to joy and hope. This time has brought out both the best and worst in people, and at times I’ve found it hard not to slip into deep sadness. While I’ve been very much continuing with my little gratitude practice and have found it’s been really helpful, I also know it’s important not to deny the darker side of my emotions.
At times I really haven’t felt okay. Like so many other people, I’ve had a big rug of security pulled from under my feet.
Yes I’m grateful that I’m not doing this on my own. That I don’t live in a city so am still able to be outside in nature at an appropriate social distance. That I have a calm home to cocoon in. That I have the company of my little dog Taz whose joy and craziness is keeping me entertained. That I’m not out working on the frontline in healthcare so can be safely inside (and I’m beyond grateful to the amazing people who are out there in hospitals, homes and other healthcare settings caring for ill people).
But this is a period of uncertainty, tragedy and of some people doing silly thoughtless things because they are scared – so along with this gratitude I’m also making sure I’m letting myself not be totally okay and upbeat at all times.
Part of mindfulness practice is about recognising and accepting emotions, with compassion and without judgement. Knowing that they will pass. And to feel these feelings is part of being human, knowing I can let in as much or as little of these feelings as I can manage.
What I’ve felt able to let in has varied from day to day.
I’ve shed a few tears, which has been a great release.
I’ve felt my body shake with fear over my business potentially disintegrating and not knowing how things will look at the end of all of this.
I’ve also walked away (kindly!) from coronavirus conversations that were stressing me out.
And in response to overwhelming information overload, I’ve switched off my news feed and deleted emails. I have instead just been checking in on essential guidance to make sure I’m following the latest guidelines and read some stories, but have turned off minute-by-minute updates.
I’ve even wallowed in a little Escape to the Country viewing as a safe, unchallenging TV option to help me calm down.
I know, on a more positive note, that as a result of social distancing and self-isolation many of us are restricting travel and consumption (other than toilet paper and pasta that is!), which is great for the environment.
And that fear can spur me into doing the the right thing in terms of staying at home and keeping a safe physical from other human beings to do my small part in preventing the spread of disease.
Also, my meditation tools, now more than ever, can provide a really useful way to manage stress for both myself and others. (And yes managing stress is an important part of protecting your body’s immunity.)
Restriction and challenge can also put in place foundations for intense creativity. I’ve certainly had many little sparks over the last week that I feel genuinely excited about. It’s also helped me be very clear on things I want to offer as support or joy in my business in a way I haven’t felt able to in a very long time.
I also know we human beings are incredibly resilient and part of this resilience comes from being able to feel ALL the emotions, not just the ones that make us feel good. I still don’t know how things will look in a few months, and sometimes that worries me, but that’s okay too.
So stay safe, be gentle and kind with yourself, and if you need a little cry every now and then that’s totally fine too.
If you do need a little bit of mindfulness & calm over this period, I’m running free online meditations on weekdays at 12.15pm & 5.30pm via Zoom. Just click to join!