Happy Monday! How’s everyone doing? 🙋🏻♀️
For me, the initial shock of shelter-in-place and upheaval of life routines has gradually transitioned from a place of anger/denial into acceptance and meaning-making. It’s a contributing factor to why this newsletter is so important to me and why I’ve 4x’d my Zoom usage in an effort to bond with others and learn new things via virtual classes.
However, by the weekend I was feeling overwhelmed and drained. In all the flurry to problem-solve away the collective grief of the world, I had put the proverbial cart before the horse.
This is a consistent theme in my life pre-corona - in encountering uncomfortable situations, I’m quick to prescribe action items and worship at the alter of growth mindset. Instead, how does one learn to stay with the uncertainty and discomfort, to fully process it, before moving on? I’m convinced that at the root of many human problems is the aversion we have to pain, and the need to numb it with things like entertainment, alcohol, physical pleasure, status and in my case, more “doing”. Slowing down enables us to fully process the trauma we’re undergoing and make a realistic plan to pivot towards our values.
The mind is quick to problem solve - that’s what it’s built to do. However, we are not just our mind - we are the observer of our minds. And the observer takes into account the holistic state of our self, which includes the gut/intuition, heart, and body. Going into this new week, I hope you can slow down and take into account all aspects of your being ♥
Here are a few tweets that really made me feel seen:
Bryan Liles @bryanl
I heard this from a co-worker: You are not "working from home", you are "at home during a crisis, trying to work". This is important to realize as even I'm struggling and have been working from home for years. 60% effort may be all you can muster.
jonny sun @jonnysun
a helpful reminder, perhaps obvious: a lot of our anxiety might be coming from this feeling of “how is everyone keeping it together so well?? how am i not able to keep it together??” rest assured, no one is keeping it together right now. we need to let ourselves grieve and mourn.
Gianpiero Petriglieri @gpetriglieri
I spoke to an old therapist friend today, and finally understood why everyone’s so exhausted after the video calls. It’s the plausible deniability of each other’s absence. Our minds tricked into the idea of being together when our bodies feel we’re not. Dissonance is exhausting.
and some additional resources on mental health during Corona:
- Greater Good’s Guide to Well-Being During Coronavirus
- Jon Kabat-Zinn is doing inspirational daily livestreams "Cultivating Mindfulness at this Critical Moment" that you can check out here
- When difficulties arise in our lives as they invariable will every day, take 5 minutes out of your day to try this self-compassion break.
- To help people break unhealthy habits arising from COVID-induced uncertainty, Psychiatrist Dr. Jud Brewer — Director of research and innovation at the Mindfulness Center at Brown — has used his YouTube channel to teach people how mindfulness can reduce worry arising from the pandemic. Each day, Dr. Brewer posts a brief video focused on a specific issue related to coronavirus anxiety, such as news addiction or how anxiety becomes panic.
wishing you peace and health,