15 May Reset your Mind to Experience Mindfulness, Acceptance, and Hope in Times of Crisis
Obviously, no one could predict or be fully prepared for a pandemic, so to say that some have had a smoother transition than others would be a gross understatement. From learning new vocabulary words to incorporating new and more frequent hygienic practices to seeing all of your peers and clients online, maybe while homeschooling your kids. For many, it has been a roller coaster of feelings and news as every day seems to bring new information about the status of COVID-19 in our world. If you have struggled in any aspect fo adjusting to this new reality, here are some key elements to keep in mind and stay grounded while adjusting to significant and abrupt changes like these:
Discovering (or Rediscovering) Mindfulness.
This means that the mind is fully attending to what is happening at the moment, to what you are doing, and the space you are physically in during that moment. Being present for your thoughts, feelings, sensations in your body, and the information you are feeding your mind is key right now. Paying attention to what’s going on inside you and around you will help determine if you need a break from the media, your family, or perhaps to even have a “virtual coffee” with a friend. It will help you regulate stress and anxiety while staying connected and grounded.
This means that you are acknowledging reality “as it is” without denying it, trying to change it, or detaching from it, but embracing it just as it is right now. It does not mean that you like it. It just means that “it is what it is” and you are willing to face the feelings that come with that reality. In this case, there are many emotions attached to the new reality. Fear of getting sick or spreading the Coronavirus, fear of financial struggle, losing your job, and stress about forced self-isolation. Allow yourself to be present for all of these fears and emotions while giving yourself permission also tapping into feelings of gratitude, humor, and joy. The emotions, just as waves, will come and go.
Brené Brown, a researcher, and professor, explains “hope is a function of struggle”, and talks about the value and power of adversity to grow our strength and courage. When we talk about hope, we are talking about setting realistic goals for the future and coming up with creative ways to achieve those goals. We also need to be more flexible to explore different options and paths, while developing alternative routes, staying persistent, and tolerating disappointment.
We are all riding the waves of emotions that COVID-19 has brought with it. This is the time to believe in ourselves and know that we can overcome hard obstacles (externally and internally). As a community, we can stay strong together and help each other stay calm in the midst of so much uncertainty. Help and hope are always available!