This is a time for hearts,
for big hearts, growing hearts,
Hearts too big to fit into this picture.
Let’s take good care of everyone,
Life during a pandemic, even in countries like Canada which is still in the early stages, is full of anxiety. We're thrown off balance so we have trouble finding our footing. It's like the ground keeps moving.
It's not just that we are having to learn new practices to stay healthy, it's also the fact that the situation is constantly changing, close at hand, and around the world.
Some people have reached out to me, each experiencing some degree of distress. Some are experiencing a lot of fear – of the virus, for the future – and the 24/7 news cycle has become a vortex that infects us with fear.
There are others for whom the loss of normalcy, the rhythms and routines of their ordinary life, is the biggest issue. Losing so much so suddenly, they find themselves wading through grief for their life pre-pandemic. The suddenness can hit us hard.
I have been fortunate in finding meaning and purpose in the new things I have taken on, directly in response to the crisis, to help people get through the isolation and disquiet, and doing that has given me a little comfort.
Before I tell you about that though, I want to share with you some thoughts I wrote to someone who needed help and emotional support through her distress at feeling unable to focus, unable to work, unable to settle. I feel it too. So many of us do, even if not all the time. So here is what I would like to say to you:
Nothing is normal right now. Nothing. So be gentle on yourself for not being able to work, and for feeling scattered. That is a natural response to feeling the anxiety of our crisis situation and even trauma and grief at the loss of normality.
We humans adapt to amazing things but to stay healthy in the full sense it is important to do gentle things that nourish, calm and ground you. That will ease the transition to the new normal, and you will feel better for it.
Activities that get you focused on your body are especially beneficial: movement of any kind and focusing on your senses instead of your thoughts whenever you can, or for part of each day.
Do something with your hands, go outside for a walk if you are healthy (and keep your distance from others). Above all, have patience with yourself and those around you... even for the times that you – or they – lose patience :-)
. . . . .
On March 20, I started holding Virtual Studio Parties online, via YouTube livestream so that anyone with high-speed internet, no matter how unconfident with their computer, could take part.
It’s a no-cost creative gathering for anyone who’s missing the experience of community, is feeling isolated or anxious, or wants to have some gentle fun in the real-time, virtual, company of others.
People have said it's really helped them and it's something they look forward to now.
If this sounds like it might help you, or just be fun, visit my Virtual Studio Parties page.
Do you have a suggestion for self-care during stressful times? Please share in the comments.