Self-Love During COVID Meditation

Self-Love During COVID-19

September 2020 marked six months since the COIVD-19 pandemic locked down the United States. Dutiful and caring Americans bit the bullet and followed the suggested protocols. For most, it meant a strange and frightening new way of life.

At first, we had no real information about the virus, how deadly it was, or how it was communicated. Life became eerie. The streets were empty. Businesses were closed. Our children were home, full-time, under our feet. No one went outside if they could avoid it.

We were told to stay in our homes except for getting essentials. Grocery stores became petri dishes for the virus. We wore gloves and zigzagged around arrowed floor patterns lest we encounter each other. Clerks snapped at us not to put groceries on the counter before it was sanitized. Other shoppers became creatures with cooties to be avoided. If you enjoyed a trip to the grocery store, it was no longer fun.

Everything was cancelled. St. Patrick’s Day, movies, baseball, Easter, church, sports, lunch out, lattes, conversations, air travel, family gatherings, weddings, funerals and even hugs!

Yet, we persevered. We were told it would not be forever, just until the initial wave of infections was slowed. Once our medical facilities were no longer overwhelmed, we could go back to normal. “Fourteen days to flatten the curve” is what we heard.

Information on what was happening and how to keep ourselves safe was confusing. First, it was do not wear masks—then it was wear masks to protect others. Some states had testing, others did not.

Our leaders disagreed on how things should be handled. By Memorial Day, some states were cautiously opening back up. Others required their citizens to remain at home for an extended period of time.

Human beings are marvelously adaptive creatures. As time wore on, we became used to this “new normal”. We figured out how to work from home and supervise online learning for our children. We cooked at home, binge watched our favorite programs and took up hobbies.

By mid-summer, we were weary, but adjusted. Some knew enough to take it one day at a time and turned off the news. But as we adjusted, we also forgot these are unprecedented times.

Many of us hold ourselves to impossible standards. We are doing more with less and still expect perfection. Our task levels have increased as our stress relievers disappeared. We can become short-tempered, depressed, obsessively worried, and blame ourselves for it.

Self-Love and Self-Care are the lowest priorities under perfect circumstances. But during COVID, they are almost non-existent.

So, how do we take care of ourselves in such strange times?

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Remember, this is NOT NORMAL. Do not expect anyone, especially yourself, to react normally.

2. Acknowledge that it is HARD, because… well,… IT IS!

3. Be easy on yourself. If you gained back your New Year’s resolution weight, if you conquered depression and it is back, if you are edgy and short-tempered—forgive yourself. You are under extraordinary, invisible stress and uncertainty. Back sliding is normal. This will pass and you will do better again.

4. Exercise in any way you can. Getting your heart rate up releases feel-good endorphins in your brain. It is the most effective treatment for anxiety and depression.

5. Try not to isolate. It is tempting when you have so much to do at home, but it is a trigger for anxiety. Humans are social creatures. We need contact with others. Many of us need to express our feelings out loud. It makes us feel better to support others. While it is tempting to lock yourself in the bedroom with a box of Wheat Thins and every episode of Star Trek, that is not helpful. Reach out to your friends.

6. Since you are cooking more at home, throw in some veggies. You do not necessarily have to give up your stress-releasing foods, they may be helpful now, but at least throw in a bagged salad or frozen veggies.

7. If you have a religious tradition or spiritual practice, do it. If you do not, learn mindfulness meditation. Quiet time with whatever you relate to as the source of solace and love is imperative. We all have to dig deeper to stay balanced.

8. Avail yourself of remote therapy sessions if you need a safe place to vent or work out a relationship problem. Many therapists, hypnotists, and healers have embraced the Zoom world. If you need someone to talk with, do it.

9. Stay away from agitating news and social media. There is great political dissension in the nation. Most of us have already decided how we want to vote. That is really all we can do. Engaging in arguments online only disturbs your harmony.

10. Drop normal compliance where you can. Do not worry about supervising your children’s 100 word problems home. Teach them practical life skills instead. They will catch up when things finally return to normal. Lower your cleaning standards or hire help. If you do not feel like getting dressed up, do not. If shopping makes you nervous, order online.

11. Try not to worry about money. If you have to use your savings or retirement accounts to get through, do not fret about it. Be grateful it is there. Do not catastrophize about future financial goals. If you have enough for right now, you are okay. Be sure to tell yourself—you’re okay.

12. Be easy on others when you can. Remember, this is affecting all of us, especially our children. If their behavior is more defiant or less than desired, let it go. If drivers are not paying attention, remember they have not driven much lately. If you are tempted to get into a debate, walk away. You need all your energy now. Do not waste it.

13. If you cannot do any of these suggestions, that is fine. Forgive yourself and begin again! Good Self-Love does not require perfection, especially during COVID.

14. Practice the Loving Kindness Meditation.

Loving Kindness Meditation
(In a quiet place, close your eyes and repeat these phrases until you become relaxed.)

1. Sending Loving-Kindness to Yourself

May I be safe
May I be happy
May I be healthy
May I live with ease

2. Sending Loving-Kindness to an Acquaintance

May you be safe
May you be happy
May you be healthy
May you live with ease

3. Sending Loving-Kindness to Someone You Love

May you be safe
May you be happy
May you be healthy
May you live with ease

4. Sending Loving-Kindness to Someone who is Difficult for You

May you be safe
May you be happy
May you be healthy
May you live with ease

(If you become agitated, go back to sending Loving-Kindness to yourself.)

5. Sending Loving-Kindness to All Living Beings

May you be safe
May you be happy
May you be healthy
May you live with ease

How this resolves remains to be seen. But one thing is certain, this too shall pass.

Cynthia Beck Master Hypnotist, Reiki Master, and Medium shares her powerful wisdom with Self-Love Retreat clients. Experience her transformative healing sessions during your Sedona Self-Love Retreat!

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