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  • Lisa7367

Seven Things We Can Do For Self-Care & Connection In This Crisis

Updated: Apr 4, 2020

The serious impact of the Coronavirus is obvious today with the devastating rate of infection, deaths, and the financial implications for so many individuals and businesses including the theatre, tourism and restaurant industries, industries near and dear to me that have been a big part of my life for many years.

Like myself, so much of us are feeling not only the financial impact of all this including sudden layoffs, but also the emotional effect. But, there's another impact, which has also become my reality: the drastic slowing down of an on-the-go lifestyle. As a result, there's more stillness leading to more introspection and a shift in planning, routine and perspective asking myself "What am I being taught in this situation?" and "How can I still serve others while staying at home?" Plus, a reminder and more clarity to the fact that there are things that I cannot control and some things that I can, like my attitudes and behavior.

Cancelling my trip to a dance convention in Miami Beach in April and currently, my summer trip to Italy and Sicily is a small impact compared to what other people are experiencing. Today, I have a heavy heart and sadness for those in our community, in Italy and around the world that have lost loved ones due to the Coronavirus.

And, it is my (our) responsibility to do as much as possible to prevent the spread of this virus and its impact as recommended by our world, national, and local health agencies.

Have I felt anxious and panic? Absolutely. Have I been on hold for hours on necessary phone calls I needed to make? 100 percent. And while these are such uncertain times, and there are many restrictions on how we live our lives today, there are some things that we can still do for ourselves and our community. Slowing down has made the simple more profound. Here's some of the things I'm doing during this time:

1) Tending To My Spirituality - Morning meditation has always been a daily start to my day but now, I'm spending a little more time in the morning to be still and read or view something spiritual, inspiring and uplifting. Although traditional Mass is not celebrated now, many churches are open at certain hours. Entering a church to pray and light a candle also brings more peace and perspective to my day.

More during times of uncertainty and fear, I go to the Bible, specifically the chapters in Psalms and one of my favorite verses: "For God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of sound mind." - Timothy 1:7.

There's also virtual ways to tap into spiritual guidance and inspiration:

I watched a social video this past week of Deepak Chopra who talked about the 3 A's: Acceptance, Appreciation and Affection (affection in his definition - stay connected in ways that we can; have empathy in action) and read something on a social site of Dalai Lama stating the importance of the 3 R's to "Re-set; Re-adjust; Re-focus - as many times as you need to."

2) Self-Care - In times of crisis, I need to be even more diligent with this and keep things simple: good food, good rest, and good mind set, then take the actions. Taking this one day at a time and sometimes one hour at a time is a mindset and practice that helps me to stay in the present while taking responsible action on my priorities. And in the slowing down, I have more time now to cook some of those comfort food recipes (of my great-grandmother's). There's more virtual opportunities that we can take advantage of including yoga and mindfulness training; a friend is offering these regularly. Connect on Facebook with Yoga with Sarah at Sarah Haykal Life Coaching.

3) A Walk - Like many others, I have found that just getting outside in the sun among nature for a short walk does a lot of good.

4) Checking In & Being of Service - Whether by phone, text, mailing a card, or virtual conferences, I am checking in

regularly with family, friends and some coworkers and delivering groceries to elderly family members. Although I am not able to do my regular weekend outings with my 7 year-old nephew, I can still connect with him in other ways.

5) Read - There's more time to read those books I was planning on and opportunities to read to your child. A book that I recently read "The Next Right Thing - A Simple, Soulful Practice For Making Life Decisions" by Emily P. Freeman, talks about the importance of doing the next right thing and being where you are for allowance of clarity. In times like these, I also go back to books by Spiritual Teachers Eckhart Tolle and Pema Chodron.

6) Tap into Creativity - Things that I had less time to do before, I'm doing more of now: writing, photography, cooking, coloring books, and even crocheting.

7) Solidarity in Social Distancing; Not Isolation - I have been staying home, and following the precautions. It is a social responsibility I feel strongly about. Although physical interaction is very restricted, I find that connecting with friends virtually or one-on-one outdoors, while maintaining social distancing, has been beneficial.

One of my greatest passions and hobbies is Latin social dance, but with all of these types of gatherings not permitted during this COVID-19 crisis, I will be using that time for some rest, writing and service.

Event organizers had to cancel this close-contact experience; for some, it is a main source of income. As someone who attends these gatherings regularly, I also understand how not being able to participate in an activity with so many positive benefits could feel like a major change. It is.

In addition to dance, attending theatre has been another form of my go-to entertainment and positive escape. Although we cannot attend theatre right now, we can still support it in other ways. Please support your local theatre(s) in any contribution you can during this difficult time to help our theatres survive. There are simple ways to donate online through theatre websites, and if you had tickets to a canceled performance, please consider donating the purchase of your tickets.

As a community, we will get through this and learn from this difficult time. I am already learning more gratitude, patience and the power of slowing down.

What are you learning in this crisis?

Follow my blog at www.onlisasjourney.com and on Facebook @LisasJourney; instagram LisaJourney27.

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