Our daily in life in Canada changed very suddenly a couple weeks ago with the closing of schools and businesses. Having seen the lockdown that happened in China a couple months ago, it seemed implausible that we would see such restriction of freedom here in North America with our cultural norms being so different. When I saw the news of lockdown for friends in Italy, I learned there is no discrimination for a virus. This is a global issue that will be resolved most effectively with the collective cooperation of humanity as a whole.
The field of health and wellness involves connecting with and being around groups of people. Traditional chinese medicine which I’m about to start practicing involves physical touch for diagnosis. It has been a real adjustment to learn and accept that work I know as essential to being healthy is considered a health risk at the moment. All human contact is viewed as a potential health risk for now. How will this affect our psyche in the long term?
How do we cope with our world being so suddenly disrupted? Surely, we will be distracted on some level and we need to find a way to bring ourselves back to balance. The best way to optimize emotional, mental, physical balance and health is to focus on what is within our control. Top priority being how we utilize our time. Depending on our field of work and family situation, we may be busier than usual, adjusting to working from home or completely out of work with time on our hands. For all situations, we need to own our time and cultivate acceptance for the present moment.
Here are some mindful habits I recommend to feel more at peace at this uncertain time:
- Practice meditation daily, any form for any length of time. I’ve made it a habit to start and end the day with meditation with additional short pieces at sunset and 3 minutes at 9pm daily to join in a collective meditation with friends around the world.
- Prioritize sleep. With a pandemic illness circulating around the world and no treatment available, the defence is to be as strong and healthy as you can. Sleep is crucial to having optimal health and wellness.
- Limit the amount of news or social media you consume as it can affect your emotional/mental well being and focus. I decided to stay away from one form of social media and notice feeling much better.
- Get into a consistent hand washing habit and sanitize your smart phone and computer keyboard with alcohol frequently
- Maintain healthy eating habits-drinking water, eating veggies and fruit daily, minimizing caffeine intake, and moderate alcohol intake
- Get fresh air and physical activity daily. We have limited access to fitness facilities at the moment and we’ll need to be creative with the resources and space we have for now. A yoga mat is sufficient to practice yoga, some weights, gliders, tubing, anything that works in your space for strength training.
- Be creative, try something new! Cook, dance, draw, garden, sing, write, anything that inspires you. Take the opportunity to work on something you’ve always meant to.
- Most importantly connect with family and friends any way we can, practice gratitude together and reflect on how fortunate we are to be Canadian and we are all in this together with the world.