girl with rainbow umbrella in light rain during coronavirus quarantine

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Springtime in quarantine: How to nurture self-growth and flourish in a season of coronavirus anxiety

  • Every challenge and uncomfortable moment in life can be an opportunity for growth, learning and change – if we let it.
  • “If uncertainty is unacceptable to you, it turns into fear. If it is perfectly acceptable, it turns into increased aliveness, alertness and creativity.” – Eckhart Tolle

This was the month I was supposed to be planting my garden, dreaming about summer plans, and taking restful vacations to beautiful places. I wanted to spend this month, this switching over from winter to spring, embracing hopefulness, creativity and enjoying the sunshine and festive mood.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has shifted all of that. Whether you are a healthcare worker, stay-at-home mom, or empty-nester, this spring has been much different than we expected or wanted. Fear has a grip on our minds and society. We are worried for others, we are worried for ourselves. We are all dealing with altered daily rhythms and an unknown future. We don’t know how long this pandemic will last. How long we will be cut off from our loved ones. How long until life feels “normal” again.

In these uncertain times, I’ve been turning to the words of spiritual author Eckhart Tolle. He writes: “If uncertainty is unacceptable to you, it turns into fear. If it is perfectly acceptable, it turns into increased aliveness, alertness and creativity.”

Uncertainty is not going away anytime soon. Just as with any chronic condition or state of being, we are invited to go through a process of acceptance. When we are able to move through denial, anger, despair into a true acceptance, it can change everything. It can foster that kind of “increased aliveness, alertness and creativity” that we all long to feel in springtime.

I believe this is still possible for us, amidst the anxiety, amidst the limits and restrictions of this particular season. Here are some ways you can tend the soil inside yourself. Make these a part of your life and your day, and I trust you’ll see some blossoms rising soon.

Care for your body

Our bodies hold energy, anxiety, and even trauma. So often we go through the motions of things and ignore what our bodies are actually experiencing. When we are anxious and overwhelmed it can be tempting to eat junk food and crawl into bed. And this is OK for a while, but at some point, let yourself exercise or stretch to release the tension from your muscles. Eat nourishing food. Sleep well. Take some deep breaths.

Care for your heart

Our feelings and emotions are vital to staying present and making this season sustainable. Find a way to process your emotions. All of them. You might be angry, sad, anxious, relieve, and more. Some people process their emotions through art, writing in a journal, or talking about feelings with a trusted friend. Find a way that works for you.

Care for your mind 

Our minds are trained to quickly go into analysis and “fix-it” mode. Situations like the coronavirus pandemic though, are beyond our control and don’t have an easy fix. The worry and anxiety can feel endless. Meditation, writing down your thoughts, and focusing on something else can help. Don’t let yourself get caught up in pandemic panic, losing your perspective and fixating on fear. Care for your mind so that doesn’t happen.

Care for your spirit

We carry not just our own anxiety and stress, but also that of those we love. We cannot help but be impacted by these difficult times. They make us look at our own lives differently. To care for your spirit, do something that fills you up, that brings life. Go for a walk, paint, hug a child or pet, listen to some favorite music. Pick something that you know is restorative and not just restful.

Every challenge and uncomfortable moment in life can be an opportunity for growth, learning and change – if we let it. I hope that we can be inspired this season to recall the beauty of stillness, home, family, nature or the sacred in new ways. May it be a chance for aliveness, alertness and creativity to take root within us. May we all practice gratitude and love each other into blooming, even from a distance.

 

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