The world is on to the final quarter of 2020 and so is the pandemic. Most of that time was about the coronavirus and its effects on the economy, jobs, family, friends, etc. According to medical health experts who had seen and experienced being under the grips of the virus and have survived, its scars remain, unseen and its effects on some may be long-term.
The dream is this: the promise of a complete cure, a vaccine, or even the thought that we will all wake up one day and the coronavirus is gone, like it never happened, just like that. In reality, none of it can be true. There will be no complete cure or vaccine that will keep the virus away or eradicate it immediately. It will take more time and a deeper understanding of the virus. Worse, it mutates and lives on with a different set of destructive or disruptive information targeted against a human host.
Something to do to stay sane in a time of social distancing is also stress distancing. Create distance from stress by doing the following mindful activities:
Maintain connections with family, friends, colleagues and community leaders. Knowing how your family (who live far from you), friends and your community leaders are doing could start productive and meaningful conversations that could spark relevant projects that can be duplicated in other parts of the community. What you do together, with the addition of those interested, would ease the situations of everyone involved and might know someone who could use a similar but different paradigm in socializing, setting up purposeful activities or be one on the receiving end. Share insights and talents on ways to cope with job loss, illness or infection, death, and food distribution, personal protective equipment (PPE) funding, acquisition and distribution and some others activities that could help some sectors in the community.
Painful adjustments brought by the pandemic would ease up and healing would start, so, too, would be the processes of acceptance and closure. The take-away is, getting busy with doing good and deriving positive outcomes from challenges make you feel good and therefore spreads goodwill with your connection and those you’re with physically, your immediate family; it decreases stress. And the effect multiplies.
Be thankful. Note two or three things you are grateful for in a day or a week; or go more than three. Keep a gratitude journal to write down everything you need to thank for—the instrumentalities, contexts, narratives that have brought a particular occasion or person to you. Write it down at the moment as it happened so you capture the feelings you experience. When you go back to it on a later date or time, the captured richness of the moment will flow back to you, and you are flown back to the very time the event took place.
Putting them down in writing—the moments—and going back to them later make you realize that life is not just doom-and-gloom after all. You feel anchored and steady, not confused, tensed, or unstable. A good take-way is, people who practice gratitude have fewer aches and lesser pains and feel healthier than other people who do not. A 2012 study proves that. They are more inclined to do healthy activities, eat well, and seek treatment for health concerns, adding to their long life.
Engage in a well-loved activity and go for it for as long as you like. Weigh the best activity you want to do. There’s a lot and you may want all. Pick the best you can handle. If you don’t feel confident about your choice but want to pursue it, you may check online for available courses that will get you to level up and feel more confident when you have completed the course. When you are done upskilling and have acquired enough amount of confidence and knowledge, plan on how to share it to others you know, among friends or persons in the community.
This way, you do not feel isolated, you get to update others about what you may offer; you create new relationships as you connect with people who may be outside your usual circle. Meet-ups may not be viable just as yet, but virtual meet-ups will do and will not need a mask or a face shield.
Quit watching the news on television or online. Limit your viewing of the news to 15 minutes a day or remove it altogether, including other stressors for that matter. In its place, if you have Chromecast, or Apple TV and other similar gadgets connected to your television set, try queue-ing cooking or craft shows that you can emulate, given you have the basic materials you can use. Or tune in to drawing or painting—watercolor, oil, pastel, pencil or charcoal—for a change. You may also try the digital counterparts with any draw, paint or sketch applications you find from the AppStore or Play Store. Don’t forget to check the app reviews before you download.
You may also try hydroponics gardening. It’s all up to you. You’d be surprised to find how enjoyable these hobbies can be and they provide some therapeutic benefits you forget about the time and negative issues as you get into the flow. Take-away? You’ll feel better.
Most of all, stay healthy. Eat healthy and workout gently. Experiment between eating raw, and blanched veggies, torn leafy veggies and the thin or light beans as string beans tossed or osterized, a piece of banana or apple thrown in, with your favorite light dressing and garnish with nuts, herbs, or spice or all.
Work out to avoid being sluggish or do some asana that would strengthen, align and keep you balanced. If you are just beginning, opt for poses that will address lower back aches or some stress on the shoulders, etc. Search for the specific outcomes you need and get on. Proper alignment, balance and strength will keep your chiropractor at bay. Treat yourself with a good book instead.
Staying positive despite the quarantine and doing something about it will keep you on top of things. Stay home and keep safe. (DS)
Featured photo: Artworks on the wall. Photo by Anne Shvets from Pexels