Buddhist psychiatrist Mark Epstein recently posted side by side photographs on Instagram of a Zen Monk in meditation pose and the same monk in quarantine. The photographs are identical.
While most of us don’t have quite that much calm attending to self care is the influence we each have control over. It’s a very significant piece. It can make a huge difference in how we experience challenges. These troublesome times call for a strong emotional core and using ourselves as a resource. There is so much now, as always that we don’t have control over. This lack of control is not new or different it’s just very much in our faces now. We can however chose our response. Pay attention to what works to refuel yourself and manage stress.
Sift through all the information out there. Too much news is not a good thing. There are a wealth of online opportunities to access from home. Choose what are a good fit for you. Maybe it’s music, exercise classes, books or recipes, meditations and inspirational or soothing reading or recordings. Meditation is an opportunity to access yourself as a resource. Try it for short periods if you are new to it. There are lots of instructional and guided resources online.
Your particular circumstances and temperament affect your experience. If you are a highly sensitive introvert you may welcome the support to filter out the world and taking more down time. If you are active or intense that very same isolation may be one of your bigger challenges. You are probably experiencing some very concrete challenges too. Maybe you have children at home all the time now while you are trying to work from home or you are not able to work at all.
Anxiety and stress will not keep you safe or well or pay your bills. Prioritize your self care as a way to make these challenges less emotionally costly. I like to think that in the midst of all the hardships we are all experiencing in very solitary ways that we can also take solace in how connected we are. We are all on the same planet, struggling and learning together.
Take good care of yourselves out there.
Attention highly sensitive parents: Elaine has a new book just for you, The Highly Sensitive Parent: Be Brilliant in Your Role, Even When the World Overwhelms You. It comes out on March 31st, a week from today. If you order from her website you can get an autographed copy.
** My next blog, Finding Enough: a Call to Flexibility and Filtering, a Challenging Opportunity for Highly Sensitive Parents to Thrive, will be up on 4/1/20. It’s a long one, the self care guide for HS parents to go with Elaine’s new book.