It's Sunita here.
Here in New Jersey where I live, like many other parts of the US, and around the world, we have been under 'Stay Home' orders since mid March, with no concrete end date in sight. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken over our lives.
We may desperately want to be the person who can become superwoman or superman in response to the Coronavirus pandemic but we cannot, if we don't take care of ourselves first. And right now there are many barriers that we all face to practicing Self Love Self Care First.
The desire to help and do something is deep and genuine. Adrenaline surges will allow us to fight by becoming larger than life, and taking actions to assist in this very trying time. This can go on for a while, but in the end it will burn us out.
The shut down and necessary modifications in our work patterns and social systems have jolted us out of our familiar rhythms. That can take us down a rabbit hole. And this meandering never leads to a good place.
Worry about our jobs, families, colleagues, staff, finances and our future weigh heavily on us. The uncertainty of how our lives will be after this pandemic can quickly become an overwhelming preoccupation of our minds. A never ending loop of ruminations can lead to mental fatigue and depression.
If we do not mindfully nourish, rest and replenish ourselves, we will crash.
Our immune systems are already on overload in response to the change and challenges of this difficult time. Physical and mental exhaustion, and stress will further deplete our health and result in decreased productivity, poor decision making, relationship problems, anxiety and even serious illness.
For trauma survivors and those who suffer from mental illness, social distancing and isolation can also open the door to past and present demons that haunt us. We must slow down and focus on our hard earned freedom from mental illness, depression, addictions and anxiety. Our work to be healthy, whole and free must remain our top priority.
How can we help during this unprecedented time in our history?
By making sure our bodies and minds are well rested, calm, serene and ready for high level performance.
For that to happen, we must take care of ourselves first. We must love ourselves to be able to care for ourselves in a loving, compassionate and kind way.
By loving ourselves first, we stock up on love and have enough to share and spread to others. Humans have always needed love, but now, the world desperately need it.
We can only love others by loving ourselves first.
" Everything needs food to live, even love. If we don't know how to nurture our love, it withers. When we feed and support our own happiness, we are nourishing our ability to love. That's why to love means to learn the art of nourishing our happiness". says Thich Nhat Hanh in How to Love.
Where can you begin?
How can you love yourself. Once again, I have found Thay's answer to be one of the most clear, simple, and practical ways to understand how to start loving ourselves. It has been illuminating for me. So I share it with you.
|Leonardo Da Vinci's drawing of the human body|
Go home to your body.
Your body is a wonder.
I urge you to take 15 minutes to learn how to do that by watching How Do I Love Myself. You will become your own first responder by doing what Thay teaches in this short video. And that will enable you to be a superhero for others.
Connecting deeply to yourself, and loving yourself is Step 1 of being able to be of use to someone else. I hope you will join me next time to learn some simple, but very effective ways to cultivate calm, peace, direction, energy, purpose, acceptance and most importantly, hope during this pandemic.
In the meantime, stay in, stay safe and be well!
Wishing you much self love,