It’s a very difficult time for everyone right now and each of us is learning daily about how this pandemic is affecting all areas of our lives. In our normal lives we have many parts of our identity: our work, family roles, relationships, friendships, and our athletic endeavours. The financial, creative, achievement and other rewards these bring us are all important factors to our positive mental health. At this time many of us are facing all of these being under threat at once.
Yoga has been an important part of my life for 20+ years. I use it to build physical strength and maintain optimal movement but its greater contribution to my life has been to develop my emotional and mental resilience.
Ordinarily it’s really easy for us to be accustomed to being busy, juggling all of the activities we enjoy, squeezing in those we don’t, filling gaps with distractions. All of that stops us really being in touch with ourselves.
Now is a chance for some of us to spend time with ourselves. It’s great that we have the means to stay in touch with each other via social media. There are lots of indoor training sessions being shared. Spend some time alone with yourself each day too. It’s the one thing that normally you may not have time to do.
You don’t have to meditate, especially if you don’t know how. Just sit quietly for a while, observe your breathing, be aware of your emotions without letting your thoughts run away with what you notice. If sitting doesn’t work for you then move, stretch, walk around, following what your body is telling you it needs. As you do so, notice how you would like to react without actually doing so. Resilience comes from having the ability to choose your reactions to what happens around you and within you rather than just reacting automatically or in the same way that others do. Practice that before you really need it and it becomes a habit, a resource you can rely on when times are really tough.
Those of you who are part of the emergency services and essential workers we are relying on, thank you. You are working even harder than ever and walking towards risk so that others can avoid it. Even just a few minutes taken to look after yourself in this way will help you.
Stay safe everyone.