We only get through this by helping others.
We only get through this by being kind to ourselves. Even if it’s giving ourselves a deep breath, in and out, right now, through the stress. We only get through this, ironically, through community, networking, asking questions, getting advice, slowing down, being brave enough to feel it all.
Empathy will melt your stress, turning the ego’s inward view outward until, through real mindful action, you find yourself helping others, helping others, helping others.
And that brings a feeling of joy, connection, that creates blessed community.
Engage with the true joy that can only be found in compassionate action. Learn how to feel through meditation and tonglen (see Tip 7). And—if you need it—let’s all give everyone here a big (virtual) hug. Support local or online mindful businesses!
Read our favorite, fun, sweet, weird little shelter-in-place ideas, compiled with love, below. Use ’em to help you get through, take one for every day of the coming month, and share with a loved one. May they be of benefit!
Elephant’s 30-Day Guide to Surviving COVID with Care & Compassion. Take One a Day.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1
1. Laugh at Yourself. Seriously.
Take the Zen approach: life is a cosmic joke, punctuated with occasional tears. From a Buddhist perspective, we can still laugh through tragedy. In fact, we must. The great Zen teachers are famous for their irreverent troublemaking humor. The view at the top of the mountain of our own foolish path is…equal parts sad and funny. Since all is nothingness, we might as well laugh about it.
14 Buddhist Jokes, 0 Punchlines
THURSDAY, APRIL 2
2. Put Community First
From grocery care packages to color-coded window morse code for the elderly (green paper means I'm okay, red means I need something), there's kindness in this crisis. Bearing in mind the latest regulations where you are, think of one small way you can reach out (without coming too close) to a neighbor today. Or connect with Elephant's readers & writers across the world in our free online retreat.
Register Free for the Ele-retreat
FRIDAY, APRIL 3
3. Buy Bulk, Buy Eco, Buy Plant-based
Buy bulk bags of organic rice, quinoa, flour, lentils, beans, oats. At your local grocery, they're often 10% off & compostable. Shop bulk eco TP, nut butter (get bulk, bring your own container, cheaper), regenerative plant milk like Milkadamia (one of our faves) or make your own oat milk (couldn’t be easier: oats, water, cinnamon, vanilla, a few dates maybe). Avoid plastic & carbon footprint.
Maybe the Best Plant Milk to Buy
SATURDAY, APRIL 4
4. Get a Grown-Up Sex Education
Use this time to up-level your love life with our sex-positive friends at Beducated—they’re dedicated to helping us increase our sexual happiness with mindfulness, communication & hands-on techniques. Stream video classes and sexpert advice directly to your bedroom & get support from their sexperts. You can try their premium online content for free, for 14-days, no credit card needed!
Try Beducated, Free
SUNDAY, APRIL 5
5. Stay Informed
Read real journalism—not fake social media-driven partisan sensationalism. Now's the time to support caring, ethical media to do good work for you. Subscribe to the New York Times if you don't already. Or to Elephant Journal, if so inspired. A subscription to read unlimited & see fewer ads is $3/month, though we will likely need to raise it a little soon. Download the Elephant iOS app, free.
Subscribe to Mindful, Indie Media
MONDAY, APRIL 6
6. Listen Up, Kiddos
Did you know that Audible audiobooks for children is now free & will be "for as long as schools are closed"? Listening to a story is gold for stimulating a child's imagination...& unlike screentime, there's no such thing as too much storytime!
TUESDAY, APRIL 7
7. Eat Mindfully
Stress eating? Comfort snacking? That's perfectly understandable, but you could also use this time to heal your relationship with food. We have tons of delicious, mostly vegan, healthy recipes on Elephant, just search "recipe." Our longtime mindful partners at Noom help you get to grips with your food habits so you can live & eat healthier. Take their 30-second evaluation to see what's possible.
Take a Psychology-Based Evaluation
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8
8. Practice Tonglen
If there was ever a time when "good vibes only" & "inhale the good sh*t, exhale the bad sh*t" didn't cut it, it's now. In order to move through our fear & suffering, we must face it. In order to be of benefit to the world, we must learn to accept & embrace the suffering of others, with courage & empathy. Tonglen is a powerful Buddhist practice that you don't have to be Buddhist to do.
Breathe it all In, Love it all Out
THURSDAY, APRIL 9
9. Sprout Where you're Planted
With spring here, it's the perfect time to get planting. Gardening is good for the soul...& the immune system. Soil microbes for the win! We have a lot of searchable veggie growing tips & tricks on Elephant. If you don't have a garden or it's cold, sprouting or microgreens is the simplest, cheapest, most nutritious thing you can do indoors. Our partners at Hamama have an easy-peasy starter kit.
FRIDAY, APRIL 10
10. Print This Out & Hang it up in your Kitchen
As Chogyam Trungpa said, we can’t fix the world if we can’t even do our own dishes. We have to start at home, on a kitchen sink level. Now's the perfect time to practice. Let’s create peace at home, then share that. Mindfulness is priceless, and joyful, and sad and sweet. Mindfulness is home.
10 Tips for a Mindful Home
SATURDAY, APRIL 11
11. Date—from a Distance, Mindfully
If you're lonely right now, that's okay. From a Buddhist perspective, loneliness is a good thing, something we need to make friends with, but if you want to connect, romantically, this is not the time for Tindr. There's a more mindful way to spark a new romance, from a distance, via our longtime, trusted partner, Meet Mindful.
Online Dating, the Mindful Way
SUNDAY, APRIL 12
12. Join the Bear-Hunt
Unless you're in quarantine, it's still safe to take brief, socially-distanced walks outside. Just be careful—there are bears out there. To help parents and children alike, and keep community spirit alive, people around the world are putting stuffed toys in their windows or on fences for children to spot on "bear hunts." Put one up yourself and if you're a parent or carer, keep your eyes peeled!
3 Buddhist Tips for Parents/Carers
MONDAY, APRIL 13
13. Calm yourself with a Vibe of a Different Kind
Now, here's a smart way to support your peace of mind. Check this out: “Apollo is the only wearable device available that will modulate your heart rate variability to a higher level and put you in a meditative state without meditating. You’re calmer, you’re more relaxed, you’re able to focus.” ~ Dr. Joseph C. Maroon MD, FACS
Get those Keep Calm Vibes
TUESDAY, APRIL 14
14. Write a Book (no kidding)
Use this time to write a book. Online learning is a good choice now. We have a How-to-Write a Book course. It’s great. Thorough. Unique. Mindful. Helpful. Normally it costs $324. For the next month, it’ll cost $250. It includes tons of community: live meetings, lectures, trainings with Waylon Lewis, author of indie bestseller, Things I Would Like to Do With You & Eleditor-in-chief.
Start your Bestseller
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15
15. Start Drinking...like a Buddhist
For many of us, drinking isn't a big problem, it's a small problem. It's a problem like too many potato chips. And yet, there's little help out there for those who just want to drink less. You know, the middle way of moderation. For this reason, Buddhist Life Coach, Ana Verzone created her wildly popular online course, Drink Less, Feel Free. Check out her 4 Steps & Free Training Video.
Learn How to Drink like a Buddhist
THURSDAY, APRIL 16
16. Balance your Socially-Distanced Doshas with Abhyanga
In Ayurveda, daily oil massage, also called abhyanga, is an important part of a person’s daily self-care routine. Everywhere you touch your body, there are nerve endings. The sensory nerves on the skin are exposed to constant tactile, circadian, microbial, emotional & environmental stressors 24/7. In fact, just one arm has over a million nerve endings which you can calm by lovingly applying oil.
Learn How & Why to do Abhyanga
FRIDAY, APRIL 17
17. Meet with a Psychic Advisor
We're a little on the skeptical side when it comes to all things woo-woo, but were (mostly) impressed & heartened by the quality, ethics & authenticity of Keen.com's online psychics. Read, "It took a Life-changing Reading to Change my Mind about Psychics," on Elephant to learn more about our editor's experience.
Find the Right Advisor for You
SATURDAY, APRIL 18
18. DIY your Skincare
What better time to play around with making your own cosmetics to replace your store-bought favorites? Check out three of the simplest, yet most effective beauty switches—they’re completely natural and almost free, as most of these ingredients are likely to exist in your pantries already. Plus less plastic, fewer toxins: everyone wins! You may never look back.
3 DIY Cosmetics
SUNDAY, APRIL 19
19. Stimulate Intimacy, Alone or Together
Intimacy and wellness are more essential than ever. So whether you're planning on getting intimate with yourself or another, we've got the perfect stimulus package from our longtime, eco partners at Foria: $25 off any order, including their new micro-vibrator, which pairs perfectly with Awaken CBD Arousal Oil. Just enter code BEWELL at checkout. Terms and conditions apply.
Redeem your Offer
MONDAY, APRIL 20
20. Clear out your Emotional Baggage, through your Nose
DIY Nasal Cleanse to Clear out your Sinuses & Emotional Baggage: new research has confirmed the Ayurvedic take on brain lymphatics, suggesting that brain lymphatics are related to mood stability and, when congested, can cause a host of brain, mental & emotional concerns. The traditional name for this therapy is shiro (head) abhyanga (massage) nasya (nasal inhalation), or SAN.
Learn how to do SAN
TUESDAY, APRIL 21
21. Build your Resilience
Turn toward your experience, care for yourself, and become a resource of love and sanity for others with Sounds True's new free offering: Resilience in Challenging Times. Explore free webinars addressing how to stay strong and centered with some of their most popular authors, including Michael Singer, Caroline Myss, and others.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22
22. Boost your Immunity without Leaving the House
Avoid the Target scrums and widespread panic (fear literally weakens our immune systems), and boost your own immunity without leaving your house. 10 simple things: aside from vitamins and the food you’re already buying, nothing on this list costs money, asks another person to put themselves at risk, breaks a promise of social distancing, or otherwise disrupts your life.
Boost Immunity, at Home: 10 Ways
THURSDAY, APRIL 23
23. Get your FeetUp!
One of the downsides of being holed up at home is how sedentary we can quickly become. Moving our bodies a little every day is important &, especially if you have limited space, here's one of our favorite ways to move. The FeetUp® Trainer™ lets you master inversions safely & easily, within minutes and over time, helps you build strength, flexibility & balance. Each one comes with a pose chart!
FRIDAY, APRIL 24
24. Forget Shampoo: Lemon, Lime & Lager your Hair
Soft, shiny, and clean hair can be yours with this natural shampoo and conditioner, whipped up for just pennies with ingredients most of us have in the kitchen.
DIY Natural Shampoo Recipe
SATURDAY, APRIL 25
25. Bring your Therapist Home
Whether we're on our own, or in relationship, or suddenly faced with not just 24/7 parenting but homeschooling, too—whatever our situation, communication is key to getting through the hard parts, and learning to appreciate the little joys of this precious life. In times of physical distancing especially, Talkspace offers therapy for the way we live today, wherever & whenever we need it.
Connect with a therapist
SUNDAY, APRIL 26
26. Lift Weights...with your Bits
Gwyneth Paltrow described Kegel balls as one of her “must-have items for the best sexual fulfillment,” but Kegels are no new trend. Women have been doing them for decades to strengthen the pelvic floor, which comes with a host of health benefits. But most of us don't do them because...yawn! Well-designed & sensual kegel balls can turn boring into pleasurable & we have just the set for you.
Empower your Vagina
MONDAY, APRIL 27
27. Learn to Live without TP
No toilet paper? No problem! Zero Wasters have been waiting for the (Western) world to come around and this might be our moment to shine.
Speaking of shine…get a clean bottom without toilet paper. No need to stockpile loo rolls, no need to tear sheets out of your beloved books, or forage in the garden for leaves. Family Cloth is here to save your ass.
TUESDAY, APRIL 28
28. Break Up with your Alarm Clock. Wake Up with Yoga.
It's been proven that we need some structure in our days to feel good. During a time like this when a lot of our regular routines are out the window, we can feel a bit lost. Here's where Yoga Wake Up, the first yogic alarm clock, strikes the perfect balance between waking up more gently and starting our days with intention. There are lovely, bite-sized kids, bedtime & afternoon goodies here too.
Try it Free
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29
29. Run out of Cleaner? Make your Own, Naturally
Avoiding immune-system weakening chemical cleaners is better for our health, but making our own cleaning concoction can be quite tricky—especially if you don’t know which substances to mix and use for removing wall stains, disinfecting dishes and cleaning carpets. Here are a few formulas—alternatives to the usually expensive and toxic ones...
5 All-Natural Cleaning Solutions
THURSDAY, APRIL 30
30. Get Lost in a Love Story
"Things I would like to do with You" is about love. A love for a new generation—a love that includes room for independence, change, humor...even loneliness. Poetically searching through four seasons, Things is a sweet book to curl up with. Available as a beautiful ebook PDF on any tablet. With original illustrations—and five new chapters! The most eco and shelter-in-place friendly book.
Get Things, the Ebook
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