Caring for Ourselves and Each Other

As this pandemic continues, we are all reacting in different ways. Some are adjusting well to staying at home and living simply. Others are climbing the walls. Regardless of which end of the spectrum you’re on, now more than ever is a time for self-care and care for others. There’s plenty you can do for your health and wellbeing, besides following the recommended hygiene protocols that we’ve all seen many times. Practicing yoga or tai chi, riding a bike, taking a walk, going for a run, listening to and even dancing to music, gardening and other movement activities can get the nervous system out of a freeze (immobility) state while benefiting your heart. Healthy eating, staying hydrated, meditating, praying, keeping community connection and journaling are good ways to nourish the body-mind. Right now, we have an opportunity (unwelcome though it may be) to practice patience with ourselves and others as we navigate this new threat together. We can recognize that our dissatisfaction with the way things are is normal during these chaotic times and extend self-compassion. We can realize that our loved ones are in the same boat and deserve our patience. Hunkering down at home offers a chance to practice compassion for ourselves and others. Each time we wash our hands or wipe down a counter we're expressing compassion – the underlying wish that we, our family and our community be free from harm. Every time we hold back on a trip to the store or avoid contact with others, this too is a manifestation of our compassion. Like a sudden, unexpected tornado, Covid-19 has barreled through, shaking up our patterns, beliefs and ways of being. As we navigate the unfamiliar territory, we can forge a new way of being with ourselves and each other that acknowledges our interconnectedness. By practicing mindfulness and compassion, each of us can make our small mark, contributing to a colorful mural of a more loving and kind world. How you can help others by practicing mindfulness. If you want to join me in using these times to cultivate compassion and awareness, you can find opportunities below. These times call for gratitude. So many people are supporting us, even at personal risk. So many are stepping up to answer the call for help. How grateful I am! And how grateful I am for the folks who are keeping our mindfulness communities together during this period of isolation. May we continue to support each other and grow lovingkindness.