One human family
All around the world, we are in lockdown in a bid to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 virus. And we are coming to terms with this collective experience. Here, RUBY CARMEN shares some insights, inspirations and suggestions for coping well in this extraordinary time.
Tips for coping
DEVELOP STRUCTURE AND ROUTINE
In lockdown, many of us have been given the gift of time. In a recent article published in the New York Times, astronaut Scott Kelly offers some excellent advice on putting structure and routine into your day, including fixing a time to get up and go to bed. Having structure is helpful for well-being and can offer a sense of purpose for both adults and children. There is an element of security and safety in routine. Where possible, create some boundaries of work space and home space, and allow yourself and your children time off.
JOY AND PLAY
Allow time for joy and play. This feature of the human condition has manifested in the exponential growth of online kindness groups springing up like flowers, and the outpouring of multiform and multimedia creative outlets and ways of expression – online singing and music making, art classes, ukulele playing classes, and meditation sessions across the globe. New possibilities continue to arise, as human beings endeavor to express themselves and connect with each other.
COMMUNICATE AND CONNECT
Share stories. This is an opportunity to connect deeply with our loved ones. If we are not with them, video calls are indeed a gift. In the absence of technology, children can write letters, and send drawings to their grandparents, cousins, uncles and aunts. Limit talking about the lockdown and the virus. In particular, avoid talking about it in worried, anxious ways in the presence of young children, who in turn will model anxious adult behavior.
ACCEPT AND ACKNOWLEDGE
Work towards accepting how you truly feel. On the days you feel sad, angry or frustrated, sit with those feelings for a little while. Give yourself a hug. And when you are ready, let go. Diary writing or journaling is another option, in particular on the difficult days where you feel you have had enough. Both our physical and mental well-being need to be prioritized, especially under our current circumstances.
Look for inspiration in each day. Take time to observe the exceptional courage, bravery and self-sacrifice of others: Nurses, doctors, paramedics, those who deliver food, serve in stores, pharmacists, and those who continue to keep communal spaces clean. The heart fills up with gratitude that cannot be truly expressed in words. The Italian children who drew pictures of rainbows with the caption “Everything will be alright,” the opera singers on balconies who are so touching and truly inspirational. Imagine all these acts of human kindness that we have witnessed, and those that are hidden. We are sharing a collective experience of hope for our human family, realizing the innate goodness of the human heart.
Plug into your local and global communities. There are neighborhood WhatsApp groups, online coffee meetings, parent support groups etc. The list is endless. Forums exist to help and support the needy in our communities. Depending on our skills we can offer practical support to others. One example, provided by the Heartfulness community, of which I am a part, gives me a unique sense of unity and oneness. Daily and weekly, we are sitting in our homes meditating together virtually.It is wondrous to witness the human ability to adapt and find creative solutions, thriving under difficult and restricted circumstances. To instill a sense of meaning, we can look to create more structure in our daily lives, allowing time for joyful, playful activities. We may also recognize the importance of communication and our ability to connect in whatever forms are available to us. Perhaps, above all else, we can exercise greater acceptance of how we feel from day to day, and allow ourselves time to process it. This could be through diary writing, the experience of silence, or the practice of meditation. Find inspiration in each day and reach out to local and global communities. We are one human family living in extraordinary times.
Guided visualisations and relaxation for children at https://www.heartfulness.uk/primaryschools/
www.heartfulness.org and www.heartfulnessinstitute.org
Article by RUBY CARMEN
Illustrations by ANANYA PATEL
July 30, 2020
July 30, 2020
July 30, 2020