Hi everyone, Joan here.
Before I get started, I hope you and your loved ones are okay. This is such a strange and difficult time we are in but I truly believe we will make it through.
Writing this post came about as I was cooking dinner the other night and being as present as I can with what I was doing. Then a thought came to me: that at that very moment I was fine, healthy, safe, and just grateful to have what I have, as I cut my vegetables.
Again, I know it’s a very difficult time for everyone. Things are changing so rapidly on a daily basis that it’s easy to get caught up in stress, anxiety, fear, feeling helpless and not knowing what to do. While my experience of the pandemic is minor compared to others, I definitely felt those emotions too.
But I decided for myself that I must accept the situation as it is, and focus on the things in my life that I can control: my well being, my health, and how I spend my time. (Now that we have all this time at home… woohoo!)
I’d like to share what has helped me find peace amongst this pandemic and quarantine, and hopefully it can help some of you too. If we can all focus on our well being first and foremost, we can all get through this together.
- Limit your time spent on social media (especially Facebook) and mainstream media/news. There’s a lot of negativity out there, half-truths, doomsday sayers, etc., all at once and it can be overwhelming. Just keep yourselves up to date with important information and what matters, don’t feed into the negativity, and move on with your day.
- Help when you can, but don’t be afraid to ask for help. I’m seeing a lot of beautiful things happening within communities lately and it’s bringing out the best in people (helping the elderly with their needs, people trading goods, sharing of knowledge, skills and services, etc.,) so let’s keep that up!
- When I have my moments of anxiety and stress, I ask myself these questions: 1) Do I want to feel this way or not? 2) What “problem” do I have right at this very moment? These questions are enough to help me get out of my head and into the now. There are things we have no control over, but there are a lot of things that we can, so focus on those.
- When you can’t get out of your head, meditate, and meditate daily. I like using the Headspace app which comes with different kinds of meditations. But there are free ones you can find everywhere, even on Youtube. I also like having “meditation music” playing from Youtube to help me clear my mind of clutter and stay focused on the task at hand. Creating that “space” in your mind allows for inner peace, and a lot of times, space for new and amazing ideas!
- Move your body and get some sun! I’ve been doing yoga, looking for “indoor workout” videos, and going for walks around the house to keep my body moving. Get some sun everyday, if possible, because it can lift your mood, boost immunity, is a natural way to get your source of vitamin D, among other benefits. So step outside to your yard, your balcony, crack a window, or whatever access you have to get some rays!
To sum it up, be present. We have no idea what the future holds and there really is no definite answer on how things will pan out. While we have things we have to plan for (job security, paying bills and rent, overall survival, etc.,) we just have to take things one day at a time, and we will figure it out along the way.
In a way, this is an opportunity on different levels: a time to develop healthy habits, do the things that you never seem to have time for before, staying in touch with loved ones, and doing things for yourself. Start that thing you’ve been wanting to do, or keep building what you’ve already started, maybe make that career change?! Take this time to expand your knowledge, practice self-awareness, develop your mind, express your creativity and when this is all over, you’re ready to take on the world much stronger and wiser than before!
If this blog post doesn’t help you find peace at all, it’s okay. But maybe this picture of my dog, Joey, will: