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  • Ruth Heal

Self-Care in Difficult Times

This novel Coronavirus outbreak is an event in our history that we were never expecting. It is a pandemic outside the memory of anyone still living, as the last of this scale was the flu pandemic of 1918. We never thought we would be spending weeks in our own homes with limited trips to buy food and to exercise outside. The concept of social distancing sprung in to being. I feel this is a negative word choice, as it is all about physical distance which means we are still be connected by phone, e mail, social media, video chats etc. We can be far apart, and still reach out to show our love and support for each other.

It is important at this time that we take exceptional care of ourselves. We need to have self compassion at this point when we feel vulnerable. Eating well, getting enough sleep, taking some exercise and finding ways to release stress are a good place to begin with self care. I would like to share three ideas with you. Firstly, how to get out of your own head and find some calm, then to keep doing the activities you love, and to notice the good that we still have all around us by overcoming our inherent negativity bias.


CENTERING

Find a quiet space and take a comfortable seat, either crosslegged on the floor or on an upright chair. Notice your sit bones, legs and feet and feel your connection to the earth. Press into your sit bones and grow tall with the crown of the head reaching to the sky above. Feel your body between earth and sky, and adjust your pelvis to a neutral position. If you like allow your eyes to close gently. Begin to become aware of the sensations of breathing in your body. There is no need to try to control the breath. If thoughts arise let them drift past like leaves floating down a stream. As you feel ready you can, if you like, start to slow down the breath by breathing in for a slow count of 4 and out for a slow count of 4. Sit this way for a few minutes and you may feel your body begin to relax and let go of tension.


DO WHAT YOU LOVE

Doing the activities that you normally enjoy and maybe don't ever have enough time for can help you to feel more relaxed. You might like to walk or run in nature, to read a book or poetry, cook food from scratch. Whatever you choose to do try to bring your full attention to the activity and be present in the moment.


NOTICE THE GOOD

Our brains are naturally hardwired to notice danger and negativity and this protects us. Bringing our attention to the good requires focus, but even in this time of worry and isolation there is still beauty and inspiration around us. Try writing down three things that you have noticed that bring you joy each day.


I hope that you can also find some of the opportunities that this necessary pause puts in our lives, and that you can accept rather than resist this situation. We may all have the cleanest houses, tidiest closets and thriving gardens we have ever had.


May you be safe and well

May your mind be peaceful

May you live with ease and well being.

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