Wellness During the Covid-19 Crisis - by Grace

I am going back and forth on how I feel about the Covid crisis. It’s controversial. I know it doesn't seem like it, but it is, for different people and different perspectives. It’s different from anything else we have endured in the past because a war is at least more black and white, for some, meaning war was generally known as brutally awful. For me, a fifteen year old white girl who is relatively living comfortably during this time, brutally awful is not the feeling that comes to mind. For healthcare workers it definitely might be, or for people vulnerable or suffering from coved, but for the majority of us we are not necessarily “suffering” from this in particular.

Now I say “in particular” because heck, we are humans, we always find a way to struggle.

As a matter of fact, going back now, the Covid crisis is exactly what some of the population NEEDED. To slow down, to rest. The planet needed this, that’s for sure, and are thanking us every day with every sunshine instead of rain, with every patch of blue sky instead of cloud. It’s thanking us, we're just not seeing it that way. 

But are we thankful for slowing down, for resting. I don’t know, it was a no brainer for me at first that people would be more happy, but they just don’t seem to be. As a matter of fact, the whole world doesn't seem to be “happy” about this but quite the opposite.

Now this where I don’t believe when we say the majority of people are narcissistic or selfish, this proves people do care. We're scrolling through the news and we're seeing our fellow community members or even people across the world, suffering. Now that puts a damper on things, a damper that the planet didn't even put on us this time. 

I also believe it to be true that people still struggle regardless of circumstantial reasons. We live in the era of mental illness and disease, and that unfortunately I don’t believe goes away with quarantining in your houses, I wish it did. 

The good news is, I believe in humanity. We are smart enough to get through a lot of things like we have done time and time again. I also think we are smart enough to heal ourselves. The way I have seen people heal themselves from trauma and mental illness is incredible. The pandemic was not the selected time to heal, but we have to work with what we got. 

So how do we become more happy and well for lack of better words? How do we work through the chaos and clutter of the world and find peace and balance in our lives? 

Well, firstly I believe the first steps to healing is motivation. What I find a lot is people don’t want to heal for whatever reason, either because feeling sad makes them stay in control or because of the attention and love from the people around them. Some might have even given up on trying. You can’t. Don’t give up because as generic as it is life is too short and there comes a start and end to everything. Before you know it, life will be passing you by and the world, your world will have changed. Be in the moments because though there are good people, there are not enough and the world needs you. It starts with you, but your world and life will end with you too. To heal it is absolutely essential that you have the WANT to change your life for the better. Ask yourself this now because you can’t move on without the want. 

Secondly, identifying the problem. We overlook this way too much in our society. You're sad because you're “depressed” and you're anxious because you have “anxiety.” This is not the route of your pain, that is a label diagnosed by someone else even though this is your journey. This may also be applicable if you are extremely affected by what’s happening in the world. Why? Why does this affect you so much? What does it feel like in your body? Does this story or theme connect with anything in your life that’s a soft spot? Truly identify the problem and investigate what’s going on. 

Identifying the problem often takes awhile. You might think you know why the first but several times in your journey, you will have several more realizations and see what you priorly thought was the problem was completely connected to something else. And maybe what’s happening in the world makes you realize that you have a knack for wanting everyone to feel good and wanting to control things? There’s a lot of ways you can look at something, try every angle with yourself. 

Now, it’s time to take action. Here are a few strategies that I will share with you that you mostly likely have heard before. The most important point to recognize though before you move on is to forgive yourself. Forgive yourself from the pain you feel and tell yourself it is okay to feel the way you feel. Most people don’t often realize how much they are their own worst enemy, especially in healing.

  1. Mindfulness
  1. Tapping

You have probably heard this term a lot as mindfulness is the “in” healing and coping strategy right now. Like a lot of things though in are western society, it has been standardized and with a lot of gifts, there are some misconceptions on what mindfulness really is. You probably have heard of the term “staying in the present moment.”  This is one of the first misconnections for it is your past and your future that determines where you are now. Mindfulness to me is recognizing a sense of purpose and flow in your body, your mind, your spirit, and your world around you. It is simply recognizing you are a part of something larger than yourself but also there is a lot within yourself to be explored. It’s recognizing , and recognizing and recognizing again. Mindfulness is often interpreted as pushing what you feel away when it is quite the opposite, recognizing you feel that way and exploring why in a forgiving and loving way. I have practiced a lot of mindfulness throughout the years but I only have really truly appreciated it this year. I have written meditation visualizations to affirmation Mindfulness rocks.  I encourage you to start exploring mindfulness. Sart by just sitting in a comfortable seat and setting a two minute timer in the morning. Then, just focus on your breath. If it helps, count for four breaths in then four breaths out. See how it affects the rest of your day, it might just work for you. 

Tapping usually sounds weird to people when they first learn it but it actually has been extremely helpful for me. Tapping is similar to mindfulness in exploring how you feel but more appreciative and accepted of where you are at now. How it works is you tap on different pressure points in your body starting with the side of your hand. You start out by saying, while tapping, even though…. I love, forgive and accept myself. With Tapping, it could be anything you want to tap about either if it is in the moment, a long term worry, a physical pain in your body, or just frustration or strong emotions in association to recovery or to the pandemic. For example you might say, even though this pandemic scares me, I love, accept and forgive myself. You continue tapping about your thoughts and feelings on different pressure points. The order goes top of eye, side of the eye, under the eye, under the nose, chin, collar bone, under the arm, crown on the head, then repeat. If you would like to learn more about tapping, I encourage getting the app “the tapping solution.” Here is an example, one about the pandemic specifically (Editor's note: Grace wrote this):

Karate chop (side of the hand): Even though I am worried about what is happening in the world right now, I love and accept myself.
Karate chop: Even though this self isolation makes me feel lonely, I love and accept myself
Karate chop: Even though what I hear on the news scares me, I love and accept myself

Eye brow: I am scared about what's happening in the world
side of the eye: I am worried about my safety and my loved ones
under the eye: I hear on the news of people dying 
under the nose: and people getting hurt
chin: It all feels overwhelming
Collar bone: I am scared that I may get infected
under the arm: I am scared about our planet
Crown: It all feels out of control

1. This self isolation makes me feel lonely 
2. I feel so overwhelmed being left alone with all my thoughts and feelings
3. The world feels strange to me right now
4. I don't like it
5. It makes me feel alone
6. It makes me feel anxious
7. I makes me feel overwhelmed 
8. I just want this pandemic to be over

1. I want people to stop getting hurt
2. I try not to look at the news
3. But i can't help it
4. I want to know 
5. I know I need a distraction
6. I just don't know what to do
7. I just want things to go back to normal
8. I don't want to get infected

1. But maybe I won't get infected
2. maybe my loved ones are safe
3. Maybe I am safe
4. After all, I am doing everything I can
5. I am taking action
6. No matter how little my actions are, there saving lives
7. I am surrounded by people that love and protect me 
8. I am safe

1. Maybe This situation isn't as bad 
2. Maybe my brain is making me worry too much
3. Maybe I can find light in any situation
4. Maybe this is a reminder to humanity to slow down
5. Maybe this is the world reminding me to take care of myself
6. I can take care of myself in this situation
7. I am safe
8. I am healthy

1. I am not alone 
2. I am in this with the world
3. We are all in this together
4. I am being looked after 
5. My loved ones are being looked after
6. Now, I can take care of myself
7. I can let my worries go
8. I am letting myself relax now

1. I am safe
2. I am loved
3. I am not alone 
4. I am calm 
5. I am one with humanity
6. I can look after myself
7. I am one with nature

8. This was meant to be


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