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March 30, 2020

Feeling Anxious? You’re not Alone. COVID-19 Unites Us!

Change is inevitable. Social distancing is making me anxious and I’m not alone. Cancelled plans are making me nervous. Staying active has become a challenge. Surprisingly, I miss work face to face meetings that I always thought could be dealt with via emails. Hilariously, I miss cancelling plans with friends.

I miss sipping my coffee at the local barista, although I wouldn’t go there too often. But now that they’re closed, I miss them. Dining out is a treat for my husband and myself, but for some unknown reason, it feels like a missing puzzle piece from our routine.Grocery shopping was a chore that has to be dealt with. Now, I miss grocery shopping.

Each detail of my changed routine tests my patience.

Self-monitoring means being on guard all the time. A small cough turns to a nightmare. A muscle ache from being stiff at home with little activity disguises itself as a symptom. The tension headache that shows from time to time confuses me. The strain around my eyes… is it my sinus?

Let’s admit this, self-monitoring is not an easy task. It’s adding to the anxiety and uncertainty around COVID-19. The online self-assessment tests are useful for people showing symptoms. But a helpless nervous person might mimic some of the symptoms.

However, let’s together work on changing perspective, regardless of how challenging this might be. I’ll be sharing some of thoughts here and you’ll hear (or read!) from me more often than usual.

For many of us who are fortunate to stay at home, there are many ways to fight anxiety and stress. Find your passion. Stick to a routine and find a purpose. When days and night start melting into each other, it’s easy to miss our goals. What’s your goal during this crisis? Do you want to help people? Can you help people?

Let’s remember what Rumi said: “So human beings come to this world to do particular work. That work is the purpose, and each is specific to the person.”

What’s your purpose during this stressful time?

It’s okay if your only purpose is to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy and safe. Let’s choose our purpose and perform the work perfectly. Keeping yourself safe means staying at home. Some of us have another purpose— I salute our frontline teams: health care staff, grocery workers, public servants and many others who are struggling to keep us healthy and safe.

Finding the purpose, help shape my routine. AND my purpose NOW is to stay at home, be calm, safe and healthy. I want to share with you some parts of my daily (and weekend) routine that help me focus on my purpose:

  • Don’t stay in pyjamas after 11 AM
  • Work from home and pretend that there people around: put on your lipstick if you usually do
  • Check on my loved ones
  • Observe how my plants grow and propagate them!
  • Yoga creates magic. Find a Yoga teacher who can help you experience a beautiful practice
  • Watch my favourite movies. Dig into out of the vault movies
  • Write
  • Self-care: I’m now a fan of home facials
  • Stare out the window and wait for the fox

AND finally, find a comforting spiritual routine and maintain it.

What’s your purpose? And how are you going to shape your routine in a way that serves your purpose?

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