Relaxing In A Time Of Panic
Everything is nuts right now, yes? Yes.
I think we can all agree that we're in a state of the world that we've really only seen in movies. Watching the news is panic-inducing and every article seen or sent to someone has a different fact, figure, total, than the one sent before it...4 minutes ago. Yes, It IS a scary time because of the uncertainty of it all and what will happen next. This is the very definition of anxiety. It's come to full fruition and everyone has lost their damn minds.
It's true that the unknown is scarier in this situation than most because, let's be real, this isn't being unsure of where you're choosing to move or go to college or which job you want or whether or not you should get married. This is our health, our access to things that we need to survive, and the crazy of other people. However...this is where the last several years of a push for self-care, mindfulness, and meditation really come into play. This is what we've been preparing for and it's the perfect time to reset our whole way of life.
Here are a few ways to find some peace and work with what is happening:
1.Mindfulness is the antidote to anxiety. I've chosen to make a career out of teaching it because my anxiety was horrible and mindfulness works. It restructures your brain, your stress response, and your thought patterns. The basis of this being that we can only control what we can control and the only events that are actually, currently taking place are the ones in front of and with us right this very second. That is you, reading this sentence right now. That is the only thing that's actually happening. Our anxiety comes from made-up scenarios of what might happen or be happening now or in the future. "Might" is the key word. While it's beneficial to think about the possibilities and be prepared, it's even more beneficial to chill the F out for a minute and focus solely on what is happening right this very second, right now, for real...which is you reading this sentence...and that is all that's actually happening.
2.Our stress levels directly affect our immune system function. Been meaning to try meditation or start a yoga practice? Well, now's your time. Both are proven to soothe and slow down the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing our "fight or flight"/ "panic response" and transmute it to our "rest & digest" response. In this time of a highly contagious virus all around us, our immune system strength is crucial to our health. But, it's not just now...it's always! Our immune systems can wreak havoc on us at any time, Coronavirus or not, so now shouldn't be of any more importance to our health than the rest of the time. High stress can cause us to develop or contract an illness without a pandemic in the mix.
3. It's no secret that we should wash our hands frequently and cover our mouths when we cough, but apparently everyone has forgotten this fact. We are not here alone. Other people are alive, too. So us getting sick being "no big deal" may be a huge deal to the next person we give it to and also, that's just a horribly selfish attitude. Look out for your neighbors. Stop being a greedy asshole. This is another benefit of a mindfulness practice-it makes you hyper-aware of everything in and around you.
4. While people are forced out of work or kids are out of school and it's definitely grounds for a financial freak-out, it's also a really good time to practice a mindset shift. What is within your control? What do you have the power to do right now? Ask that question because that's the only answer that matters. Meditation is a great way to shut it down for a minute, focus away from the worry and overthinking, and make some space within yourself to answer that question of "what in the fuck am I going to do?" Meditation and yoga can quiet your brain enough to let your creative side come through, and that's what we all really need to do right now-get creative with how we're going to live and make money. Those practices can allow us the space to think outside the box.
5. Embrace the downtime. How many times have you said to yourself "I wish I had time to do this..." or "I'll do it eventually, when I have time." Well, looks like you got some time, yeah? For any of us out of work, now is the time to fully immerse ourselves with family, pets, nature, books, that free online course you keep putting off, or even just binge-watching a show and being immobile for a few days. Relax. Take the gift of forced free time and use it as just that: a gift.
Do something fun with your kids now that you're not too tired to. Go for a bike ride when the weather is nice. There is plenty to enjoy out of this if you shift your mindset to meet it.
And for fuck's sake...WASH YOUR HANDS!!!
Love you all,
Namastay away from people.