I have to be honest. I really don’t enjoy talking about or listening to other people talk about Corona. I feel it’s unhealthy to focus so much on the negative. I hear influencers, even amazing, worthwhile influencers, trying to help and yet the words they use are “in this time of fear and chaos” or “we’re all in unprecedented times right now.” I don’t know about you but as soon as these words fall upon my ears my body is reminded that it should be reacting in panic. I have to actively tell myself that all is well, I am okay and that panic is not a necessary requirement of society as a whole right now.
When the pandemic reached a global circumference, I was in New Zealand with my boyfriend. We’d been in the country 9 months and were getting ready to sell our campervan and plan our transition back to the United States. For weeks it seemed as though every time I spoke with someone back home, I was met with hysteria and fear, which I would have to spend half a day recovering from in order to gain back my spiritual grounding and mental focus. The media was even worse, every single article began with “Corona” or “Covid” and they all seemed to have a negative slant.
It only took me a few days to realize I had to remain in control of my own mental wellness, which meant slowing down my news and social media consumption from a bubbling river to a slow, steady drip.
By the time New Zealand went to mandatory Level 4 lockdown, I found myself in a house with eight other individuals – all of us tied together by our jobs in the local hospitality industry. I worked as a waitress for exactly four days before the lockdown began. I find it an absolute blessing to be quarantined with such an interesting group of people from all over the world. In the four days I lived here before the lockdown we barely saw each other, everyone stayed busy going to and from work. The kitchen was hardly used and the common areas were desolate. Now we have quiz night once a week, we play badminton, soccer and basketball together and nightly movie get-togethers are a regular routine. I’ve learned so much more about my housemates than I ever thought I would. Our conversations have often been deep and introspective, since we are all in a space of stillness.
New Zealand has done an excellent job at handling the virus, no doubt. People here are kind and willing to be a team player in order to move toward the country’s mission of totally eliminating the virus here. Still, I find my inner-peace is always challenged when I scroll social media or read the news. My solution? Don’t. I’ve gone to extreme personal measures to keep my wellness and spirituality a priority. This is what I’ve been “practicing” my whole life for. A spiritual practice is just that, practice for the times when you need it the most. That just happens to be now for most of us, and yet we’re still surrounded by chaos. So how do we learn to focus on peace?
- Turn it off. Unplug the television, get off your phone, shut the laptop – do what you need to do to disconnect from electronics and the internet. Mass amounts of information and not to mention hysteria can be incredibly damaging to your psyche at a time like this.
- Switch your perspective. This unique time in history is such a blessing. We have to choose to see it that way though! Rather than complaining about your bank account, your future, your job status or whatever else you can’t control, try switching your perspective on the positive. You’ve hit the jackpot! Your days are for your total and complete enjoyment right now. What would you do if you had no cares at all? Go for more walks? Spend more time with your family? Rest? Don’t feel that you need to better yourself or achieve something either, unless you truly feel joy for doing so. It is of your best interest to rest first, as this time won’t last forever.
- Practice. Whether you’re new to spiritual practice or haven’t the first clue of how to begin, now is a great time to try something safe and sacred inside the comfort of your own home. Why not try a beginner’s meditation, a virtual dance party, yoga or chanting? Any spiritual practice is designed to usher in more peace. Give it a shot. What’s the worst that could happen? (Here’s a guided meditation I recorded for people of all experience levels.)
- Spend time outdoors. It may sound cliché, but being in nature is one of the best ways to tap into your inner peace. Hug a tree. Contemplate the clouds in the sky. In many ways you may find yourself reverting back to childhood, which may have been the last time you had all day to play outside with no real agenda or responsibilities. Doesn’t that sound like a marvelous opportunity? Relax. Let go. Play and enjoy yourself! You are worth it.
Remember, you are in control of your own life; not anyone else. Not the media, not the virus, not your influencers or your roommates. By choosing to see the virus as a gift, not a curse, you may find yourself enjoying self-isolation much, much more. Accept it for what it is and be grateful for the gifts it’s designed to teach you.
P.S. Grab my free journaling workbook which will help you clarify your biggest dreams for your life in post-Covid19.