We are living in unprecedented times. As levels of uncertainty are on the rise, so is the demand that things be different, or at least be a version of “BC,” that is, “Before COVID.” These are “DC,” times, “During COVID,” with no calendar date reading “AC.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has leveled the playing field of global discomfort and dis-ease. COVID-19 is the center of our conversations, news broadcast, lack of sporting events, pandemic pups, canceled weddings, why can’t I’s, abbreviated holidays, zoom schooling, staycations, evaporating vodka, no pants meetings, do’s, don’ts, have to’s, provided that’s, connections, I need my space, I want a hug, where are all our spoons, and absence of all normalcy.
We would run and hide from COVID-19 if we could, yet we wear the impact of this disease on our faces. (Smile) Our quality of life relies on our ability and opportunity to nurture our well-being, through a balance of connection. We are multidimensional creatures with complex needs. Our well-being depends upon a balance of physical, emotional, sexual, intellectual, spiritual, social, and occupational connections. The absence of any one of these dimensions can lead to discomfort, depression, anxiety, and a whirlwind of dis-ease.
In March, the rapid spread of COVID-19 required global adjustments at warp speed. The fear of the unknown created an energetic frenzy and a demand for lifestyle changes. Many of these changes were and continue to be external and physical. All healthy external changes require an internal pause. This pause or transition is an opportunity to expand awareness, feel, and make a shift in mindset. When rapid fire circumstances demand immediate change without time for internal processing, the results can be traumatic. (Ninivaggi, 2019).
- How can we begin to shift the effects administered by this pandemic?
- It is essential to acknowledge the mass amount of change we have incurred and notice our emotional responses.
- Notice the loss, the chaos, the stops, the starts, and the do’s the don’ts.
- How are you feeling?
- Sad, angry, frustrated, anxious, disappointed, grief, longing, hurt, guilt, judgment, and empty?
Our feelings align with what is the focus of our attention.
When we let go of the demand that things be different, we are more likely to find acceptance and new ways of being. In letting go, our awareness expands, our energy is freer, and we can step a little lighter. Letting go of the demand doesn’t mean we like the circumstances of the pandemic. The “demand” is massive and heavy; it is the burden of the current time. It is a self-inflicted pandemic all by itself.
When I notice myself carrying the burden of demand, I also physically feel my posture cave in a bit, my energy is low, and my mind is full of disconnecting thoughts and limiting beliefs. One of my coping strategies is to write a physical list of 3 things that allow a feeling of gratitude to surface and to experience the feelings of gratitude and notice how my energy rises. When I can do this, I let go, and I nurture my emotional well-being. I feel love, openness, grounded, connection, joy, peace, ease, and I regain a sense of clarity.
I seek out moments big or small to snowball the feelings of connection. It isn’t always easy, and holding on to the “demand” that things be different is heavy. We are living in DC (During COVID) times. No demand will change the current pandemic. Letting go of the demand changes everything. Let go and invite in a new beginning. Repeat.
If you find yourself feeling stuck, we can offer support through mindful breathing, yoga, a Sister Axe Throwing experience, and Professional Coaching. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org with feedback and requests for help learning to let go.
Ninivaggi, Frank, John (2019). Learned Mindfulness: Physician Engagement and MD Wellness. Cambridge, MA: Elsevier.