How can we stay grounded, calm and spiritual during the coronavirus? For some of us a way to cope could be to tune out. But the best way is to take the time to tune in…
My daughter and I went to the movie theater to watch Frozen II a few months ago. As Elsa let her long blonde hair flow down and sang out, “Into the Unknown,” I felt the tears welling up in my eyes (how do I always cry during any Disney movie?) But I couldn’t shake the emotions as I thought about all the unknown that lay ahead. Little did I know things were about to get MUCH, much weirder and embracing the unknown -specifically a world facing the Coronavirus pandemic – would be an experience that would forever change me.
The Coronavirus and Your Spiritual Journey
In February 2020 the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) began making a big splash across the world with thousands of people being infected with the virus and the death toll increasing. In the United States we were still unprepared and unbothered. Business was going on as usual. But by March the shit had really hit the fan. Within weeks the whole nation was on a quarantine or lockdown, places like New York City were seeing an explosion of cases and that was when the fear set in.
What do you do when you move into the unknown? For me – I turn to Spirit.
The biggest test to your faith is what makes your faith stronger. Pandemics, disasters, losing a loved one, diving into depression, when you come out the other side the sun is shining in a new way. You see the world differently. During this time of fear and pandemonium, don’t forget your spiritual side! Your spiritual journey needs nourishing.
Here are five spiritual practices to help you stay calm during the coronavirus pandemic:
Find Strength in the Silence
If you are on quarantine, stuck inside, or on some sort of curfew or lockdown, imagine the gift you have been given. You have been given the gift to slow down. Many of the most profound, spiritual, and inspiring leaders the world has ever seen have spent time in isolation. I often think of Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, both of whom spent years in jail and both who came out of this confinement with more spirit, more drive.
Silence teaches us so much. Within the silence we can finally truly hear. During the coronavirus, turn off your devices, stop the music, and sit in true silence. Let the quiet embrace you. Don’t be afraid of it. Instead, write down any messages or feelings or awakenings that come out of that stillness. Slow down and breathe.
When there is a wave of massive fear and panic, it’s easy to get swept up into the storm. In an article on Psychology Today, we can see how our immune response is directly affected by our level or worry and focusing on fear. “Your emotional health is intricately linked to your immune system. Your immune system is a collection of billions of cells, and some target organs that have the primary job of keeping you healthy and fighting off disease. Your immune system cells travel throughout your body and defend it against antigens, such as viruses. Unrelenting cortisol, your primary stress hormone, suppresses your immune system by reducing the number of its virus-fighting cells.”
Grounding is an amazing way to feel yourself being supported by the earth. When working with my clients, I sometimes ask them to take their shoes off and go walk outside (if it’s warm out, no frozen toes please). As you sit or walk on the ground, practice deep breathing and feel yourself safe, happy, and calm. Ask yourself, “How can I take care of my inner world? How can I feel connected to this Earth beneath me?”
Embracing the Unknown
“The one thing that you know in life is that you don’t know,” I always hated when people said this to me but it is true. In times like these surrender is so important. Right now there are a lot of conspiracy theories of where the virus came from. People are refusing to social distance and there are others who think the coronavirus is just the same as a the flu. Wherever you stand in this you still must face one reality and truth: life as we once knew it has changed.
Change is a scary thing! When big changes like this happen many people find themselves doing things to try to “control” their reality and their world. How can I keep my life in some sort of order? Sometimes this control may come up as controlling other people. Sometimes it comes through as sharing scary statistics or keeping up the vibe of fear alive. Notice what you are doing to control and breathe into it. Surrender to that unknown feeling of what is coming up next. The truth is, none of us know. But just like the magic of life and death and the cycle we all go through, no one really knows the WHY and yet we live to our fullest! Embrace it.
Write About It
Emotions are high right now and I always find that is the most beautiful time to write. When you write you allow yourself to go deeper into emotions and feelings you might have hidden deep inside. The coronavirus pandemic has caused such a swirl of emotions for everyone. Some people are angry, some people are hurt, some people are sick, some people are scared, some people are numb. Ask yourself, how do I REALLY feel?
Here is an exercise I often give my clients:
In a journal or notebook, write down the words, “I am sad because…” and then allow all the things to come forward that you need to address. If anger is what is bubbling through, write, “I am angry because…” Wherever you are with your emotions, confront them! Get to know yourself better and through that knowing yourself, feel that much closer to healing yourself.
Think Loving Thoughts, Change Your Inner Dialogue
Spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra says, “In a time of crisis, the impulse is to go into emergency mode, fear, concern and panic. Giving in to those impulses will engender an epidemic of soul sickness.” There is scientific evidence that if you think you will become sick, you are more likely to get sick. Our thoughts are so powerful!
Change your inner reality by re-programming your inner dialogue. Speak loving words to yourself. Think loving thoughts about yourself and the world. Mantras can be a great way to distract the mind and tune into the soul. A mantra that I have been using to calm down through all of this coronavirus pandemic is:
As one of the more famous Hindu mantras, this mantra is used to remove “Mukti” or illusion from your life and center you with the creator and divine spirit. OM = the universal sound, the creator, the beginning, the oneness in all of us. NAMO = salutations, hail, worship, surrender. BHAGAVATE = God, the creator, divine spirit, the Universe, higher power. VASUDEVAYA = the inner light in all of us, the giver of light, the life within all beings, the one true love.
When you chant it, you will feel the fear lift from you and feel the replacement of light and healing and love. It’s super powerful and inspiring! Give it a try.
As we step into the unknown I advise you to let the reigns go. Stop the controlling, stop the worry, stop the fear. Let the emotions flow! Be creative in this time. Be yourself! Slow down.
As I welcome baby soon I know I am focusing on opening, releasing and just be-ing. It’s really all I can do and I am so glad I have my spirituality and my faith to propel me forward.