Amidst the current frenzy, everyone’s sense of time and structure has been tossed into the air. For somebody who consistently burns themselves out, my restlessness set in pretty quickly. My unhealthy habit of taking “productive” to a burn-out level was faced with a choice. Was I going to use this extra time to tackle neglected and new projects? Or was I going to look inward and do some exploring?
Currently, it’s just Speckles (my cat) and me. This lonely quarantine is a serious test of my self-control and my social connections. Being left alone with my thoughts often leads to heightened stress - so was some introspective digging a good idea…?
I’ve tried to find a balance of both. However, among the unusual stillness, I have discovered some incredible insights and aspects to appreciate. Initially, my intention for this post was to explore various ways in which people respond to a scary situation such as this. But I don’t want to read about COVID-19 anymore than necessary so I pivoted and decided to shed some brighter light instead.
Let’s explore some opportunities we can be incredibly grateful for during this time:
1. Feel Hugs Across Space
The feeling of a good squeeze is highly missed at the moment. But we still have an option. Close your eyes and visualize a person you want to hug right now. Imagine them wherever they probably are at this moment - on their bed, couch, or porch. Now walk up to them and hug them nice and tight. Feel their torso and how your heights match up. Coordinate your inhalations and maybe listen to their heartbeat. Really allow yourself to feel the warmth of that embrace. Caress their hair or squish them, however you would if you were there! Energy works in mysterious ways and a solid hug can travel distances. Send your loved ones hugs every day.
My dear friend Amanda (@earthangelcr) and reiki practitioner (@nikki_salomon) did a zoom interview about this very subject! Check it out here (3:22 for Amanda's personal experience with distance reiki; 6:26 for how to connect energetically).
2. Self-Reflection (Shadow Work)
As intimidating as some good ole self-reflection can be, now is a better time than ever. Try some new meditations. (I'm a big fan of Yoga With Adrienne. Here's a chill yoga practice for loneliness specifically.) Consider your current priorities. Are they in line with your highest good? Draw a pie chart of how you spend your daily energy and see if it matches up.
Is there a fear you typically keep busy to ignore? What does it look and feel like? I had some significant revelations when I did some meditating this week about my deepest fears. Unlike before, I have more confidence and clarity to step bravely into that fear thanks to extra time to be still. Who knows the next chance we’ll “have time” to be this focused and introspective. Don’t be afraid to explore your own mind during this time. Find your roots. By nurturing yourself, you may even sprout some new branches.
When did you last chat with your inner child? What are those hobbies or passions that ignite your soul? Get your hands dirty! Be messy on the canvas or roll around in the dirt. Let your heart run a little wild this month.
Remind yourself of the activities that you love. Relieve the pressure of perfection and enjoy playing. Honestly, is anything as valuable as playtime? (Check out 9:18 for benefits of play in Ash Perrin's TedTalk.)
4. Breathe in Nature
Despite being cooped up, most of us have the opportunity to take a stroll around the block or at least crack open a window. Get your blood flowing at least once a day and inhale that sweet fresh air. If that’s still undoable, use the mighty power of the web to find some botanical garden virtual tours or watch videos that let you watch water flow down the river.
We have an unusual opportunity for some major global healing. We're all in this together. So let's remind each other how infinite our love is.
Woke up this morning / I suddenly realized
We're all in this together
I started smiling / ‘cause you were smiling
And we're all in this together
I'm made of atoms / You're made of atoms
And we're all in this together
And long division / Just doesn't matter
‘Cause we're all in this together
What fun activities are you doing while in quarantine? What mindfulness exercises are you practicing? Share below!
We got this,
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