Self-care during quarantine. Now more than ever we need to pay attention to our thoughts. I wrote this last December. I was just finishing up my Holistic Life Coaching certification, so I was all Zen-like and really feeling these words in my heart. This was before COVID-19 was even on my radar. Now as I sit here after over 2 weeks of being quarantined due to COVID-19, or as I like to refer to it as “The Cove”, re-reading this entry became a great reminder of how I can change my perception of all that is going on in the world currently. This isn’t to say that your myriad feelings aren’t valid, rather, I hope this serves as letting another area of your brain take the wheel for a bit to give your anxiety a break. Even if just for a few moments. Please also keep in mind, I swing back and forth daily with my own feelings while being quarantined. Some days are OK, some days are actually great, some days are filled with tears. I’m human and frankly, crying is a great release for me. There have been many, many moments where I’m listening to a Podcast or see a post on someone’s feed about “how to be productive during quarantine” and I want to reach through my screen and high-five them in the forehead. So, again, I’m human and my emotions run the range like you. But I’m striving to come to peace with this “new normal” and it all starts with my words below.
There’s such a pureness in silence. Being alone with your thoughts can tell truths we’ve been avoiding. When there’s no noise pollution we can take in the cleansing that the quiet brings. It is in these moments that we get to know who we really are. The world is full of so much chatter. We have distractions layered upon distractions. Ever notice how your pulse quickens as you scroll mindlessly through social media? Are we even really truly seeing what we’re scrolling past? Or how about how we hold our breath throughout the day. I constantly catch myself tensing up and not taking in a deep enough breath to fill my lungs and feel my belly expand let alone full exhale. This is daily tension and over the last decade or so it’s become normal for us.
Like all things, silence and being still is like a muscle, it gets stronger the more we exercise it. We work so hard to fill these quiet moments because we view them as voids in our life. Some use food, some use retail therapy, some use work, some use drugs or alcohol, you name it. We find our distraction and wear it as a badge of honor to stay busy. What if we entertained the idea that these aren’t always voids but instead are vessels in time meant to hold our silent thoughts to purify us and take us back home. I think the fear of silence is actually the reality that we’re trying to avoid because we don’t trust our own minds. We fear we may not be enough. We fear we aren’t doing enough like those we see on social media. We fear our past will sneak up on us and we’ll get caught in old thought patterns and spiral down the rabbit hole. We fear the negative self-talk could be right. What we need to realize is that’s part of the noise pollution that bombards us from the moment we awake to the moment we close our eyes. It’s an epidemic that haunts us even in our sleep and robs many of us from even getting any sleep.
Take a step towards fear. Walk into that silent space and sit on the floor. There’s a lot to be learned and we can’t hear the lessons above the noise and distractions. Do not fear fear. Embrace your fear and show it that you love it. Self-love is loving all of our parts, both light and dark. Give silence your attention and see what turns up. These parts have important messages and like anyone else, they just want to be heard.
Wow! Erin this is very helpful!
I am trying so hard to stay strong and stay positive but also find myself crying and anxious. Thank you for these words and thoughts.
All of what you’re experiencing is OK and completely normal. We’re grieving right now. We’ve lost our life the way we always knew it (at least temporarily) and life will likely be different when this is all over. But I believe it will be better. Pray, meditate, do whatever it is that keeps you strong. Get outside today – it’s warm and the sun is popping through. FaceTime instead of texting loved ones. Take long, hot showers. Do what you must to stay healthy and strong (mind, body and soul). xo
I think what you are saying is so good. We need to be ok with all the things we are feeling during this time. It’s ok to be afraid and to complain, it’s ok to have moments of sadness and worry. I think I’m the end what’s most important is what you do with that – acknowledge it, but don’t let it rule your life. So much easier said than done, especially when we are being bombarded from all sides with media and negative stories. If we all stop and look around there is a lot of beauty that can be found in all this. I’m seeing more couples and families our for walks than ever before. Friends of line are telling me that their kids are usually at each other’s throats but somehow they seem to be getting along so much better now that it’s just them at home. For us, we have been using this time as a family to learn how to grow our own food, and then working on a garden together. Things are a mess out there but I think beauty can still be found and it important to look for it.
I agree; its what you do with the emotions after acknowledging them. We’re no longer watching the news in my house. We can visit different sites for updates and know it’s legitimate info and not being spun either direction.
I do believe that stillness will 100% help everyone during this time when we all have so much TIME…… self-care has become my number one job right now and it feels damn good! Getting so much accomplished and spending so much time with my family has been amazing-TIME that I normally don’t get because LIFE is so busy!By nature I’m a homebody so I have been secretly enjoying myself beyond belief !! In normal life I actually never watch the news because I’m so sensitive to the negativity on there, obviously I’ve had to watch the news here and there to at least know a little of what’s going on,just definitely limiting it.We all just need to be strong and take this time to enjoy it because it will never happen again:)
So true, Sarah. Time is the most precious commodity and it’s one we can never get a refund on.