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With Coronavirus cancelling all of life’s leisures—from travel to events and music festivals, it can be quite jarring.
It seems as though, overnight, the intense fear grew to a new level especially after the United States saw the news about all NBA events being cancelled and famous actor Tom Hanks and his wife being quarantined in Australia.
Although the media is creating what feels like an inescapable layer of fear, perhaps we can take advantage of this bizarre time of cancelled events and enjoy life in a new way.
As your typical skeptic when it comes to politics and newsfeeds, when this virus started trickling to the top of the feeds everywhere, I got super freaked out because only two months prior, I watched a short excerpt of the Netflix show “Pandemic.” As I started it, I got a really strange feeling. It seemed staged, as if this show was a premonition of what was going to happen. Lo and behold, two months later, the world is indeed dealing with a China-born pandemic.
I believe there are no coincidences in life, so as scary as this is, let’s try and keep ourselves uplifted and positive in this temporary time of chaos. Turning off the TV and separating ourselves from the high-strung fear of media could be a beneficial practice as well.
As grocery store shelves grow bare, Walmarts become war zones, hand sanitizer becomes scarce, and people buy everything imaginable as if we are in an apocalypse, it can be daunting to watch. This is a crucial moment to turn inward and disconnect from fear in any way that we possibly can.
Our society has been infected with fear due to the constant 24-hour newsreel on repeat, which is only a constant reminder to feed into fear.
Sh*ts getting real, but it doesn’t mean we have to give up everything out of fear. Yes, of course it’s in our best interest to limit the number of public activities we partake in, but let’s all still find ways to enjoy life, shall we?
Instead of getting stir-crazy or falling victim to cabin fever, there are several ways we can use this time of cancellations to our advantage and make the most of this amidst the chaos of the Coronavirus.
Cleanse and Declutter
Use this time to do the things that you’ve been putting on the back burner. Chores like cleaning and organizing your closet, going through old material items, or fixing up the house. If you’re anything like me, then perhaps you have several home projects going at once.
Plunge into chores that might not seem so appealing. Organize your bookshelf, move furniture around in your home, create a safe space, put on a great album or listen to a podcast (just don’t watch the news!). Cleaning also counts as cardio, so you’re getting a home workout in at the same time.
Meditate and Turn Within
As 2020 approached, the amount of people wanting to get into meditation is astonishing. There are thousands of Ted Talks about how meditation has been proved to help in the healing process of depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental illnesses or disorders. If you are stuck at home, with all your plans cancelled, this might be the perfect time to lean into practices that are new and foreign, because, why not?
There is an endless wealth of free YouTube videos with guided meditations, breathing exercises, and sleep binaural beats for de-stressing. Meditation and breath work don’t only mean sitting on a cushion on the floor and looking like a “yogi.” You can lay in bed, lay on the floor, sit in a chair, or meditate on your daily walk outside. Moving meditations are just as effective as sitting meditations. The initial push is the hardest; once you get into the flow and figure out what style of meditation you enjoy, you’re in the grooves of a new habit.
Write and Journal
Along with meditation and movement, self-reflection in the form of journaling or writing of any kind can be such a releasing ritual. You don’t have to have a plan of what you’re going to write about. Journaling is used as a therapeutic practice to let go of inner stress, intrusive thoughts, and has been proved to help people navigate through mental illnesses such as panic disorders, PTSD, OCD, depression, and anxiety.
Get Fit at Home
Now, this may be a nerve-wracking time to workout at the gym or whatever type of exercise classes you do on the regular. This may be a perfect time to take advantage of at-home workouts! YouTube has millions of free home workouts ranging from Cardio, HIIT, yoga, pilates, and more.
My favorite fitness instructor is Cassie from Blogilates. She has been in the game for over a decade, and her workout videos will leave you sore in places you haven’t felt in years. Trust me. I did her thigh videos and I was sore for a week. So, if you’re stuck indoors with cancelled plans thanks to COVID-19, you can still feel good!
Nature as Medicine
Although the gym and public classes seem a bit daunting, it doesn’t mean you have to quarantine yourself and lose the powerful medicinal effects that exercise has on the body. Outdoor walks or runs can completely change the dynamic of the emotional state.
Dr. Rhonda Patrick has an amazing wealth of knowledge on her website and her Instagram where she shares several studies on how cardio and nature exercise can help alleviate depression and anxiety along with other mental illnesses. She has a great podcast called “Find My Fitness.”
Read, Rest, and Recover
This can be the ultimate permission slip to cancel plans that give you any sense of nervousness, and lean into self-care rituals. In the time of face masks, and bubble baths, our culture has become somewhat obsessed with self-care. Now is a great time to start that book (or three) that you’ve been wanting to finally dig into.
Reading in the sun is one of my favorite hobbies. If weather permits, spend some time outside, breathe deep and nourish your soul.
Some of my favorite books:
Women Who Run with the Wolves , Clarissa Pinkola Estés
When Things Fall Apart , Pema Chödrön
The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire , Deepak Chopra
Becoming Supernatural , Joe Dispenza
The Power is Within You and You Can Heal Your Life Classics, Louise Hayes
Now is The Way , Cory Allen
Witches Goddess , Janet Farrar and Stewart Farrar
Your Psychic Self , Melissa Alvarez
A good, old podcast Binge
If podcasts are more your cup of tea, here is a list of my fave pods to binge on the regular.
Third Eye Drops, by Michael Phillip. Enjoy deep and organic conversations about psychedelics, the herbs journey, psychology, and all things philosophy.
The Astrology podcast . This is the top podcast to listen to if you’re looking to learn more about your birth chart, astrology, planets, and the strange times we live in.
Me and Paranormal You . Ryan Singer interviews a wide variety of guests where they talk about bizarre paranormal and spiritual experiences, the occult, witch culture, meditation, and practices that can help us connect to a deeper sense of being. I love that the stories shared are also rooted in shadow work, childhood trauma, relationships, and psychology.
Making Sense with Sam Harris . My personal favorite place to consume current news and media. Sam has a whole and easy-to-digest way of explaining what is happening in the world without too much of an aggressive or biased opinion. It’s very informational, and he weaves in the magic of meditational talks and mindfulness within the episodes, which is why I love it.
The Rich Roll podcast . I am sure you have heard of this one already, but there are so many episodes that are golden. He has amazing authors, doctors, writers, speakers, musicians, and famous influencers who share their stories about self-growth, development, addiction, health, wellness, disease, and life in general.
The Ten percent Happier podcast for all you meditation skeptics. It’s hosted by a self-proclaimed skeptic himself, Dan Harris, the ABC news anchor who allegedly had a panic attack on-air years ago before he got into meditation, Buddhism, and mindfulness. This is an amazing pod to tune into if you’re looking for wholesome information and interviews with some of the most well-known meditation teachers, authors, and trailblazers.
And my podcast! The Vibe Within, where I talk about a variety of topics with guests and solo episodes. From mental wellness, depression, stigmas around awakening, natural healing, Saturn return, astrology, crazy rock bottom stories, relationships, drugs, and addiction.
Lean into Netflix and Chill
Looking for some films or shows to binge on? Now is the perfect time to embrace your homebody energy. Sit back and enjoy some of these shows that I’ve enjoyed recently.
“I am Not Okay with This .”
“End of the Fucking World.”
“The Goop Netflix Series.”
“One Strange Rock.”
“The Mind Explained by Vox.”
“The Therapist on Viceland .” Watch it on YouTube.
Embrace Your Inner Introvert
This might be my favorite. I used to be such an extrovert, but over the years of “awakening,” I moved deeper into spirituality. This opened me up to a more sober-ish, holistic lifestyle. I have become more comfortable than ever spending time with my cat, journaling, and leaning into rituals, spells, and practices.
Turning energy inward can be humbling, relaxing, and cleansing on a psyche level. We don’t realize how much energy we absorb through the day that isn’t ours, so this can very well be a permission slip from the universe to slow down, reflect, and tune into taking care of your body, mind, and soul.
I created a user-friendly online workshop with over eight hours of guided audio meditations and binaural beats paired with over 30 journaling and writing prompts to help you get through an emotionally challenging time. Check it out here!