As a yoga professional there are a number of tools I can recommend to help us adjust to the current pandemic reality. We may be in this situation for weeks and months. It’s best that we all embrace new practices, or modify current ones, to be prepared and be able to get through this individually and collectively.
I include some contextual analysis following these practices.
This can be a challenge for many of us, but it is essential.
When stuck indoors for long periods your physical and mental well-being will deteriorate without physical activity.
Due to the change in your daily routine brought on by isolating it is most helpful to create a new routine. This will differ depending on your situation - if you are isolating alone or with family.
Here are a few things to consider:
Self-isolation gives us an opportunity to reflect. Contemplation can be a powerful way to reconnect with yourself. Here are a few things to consider for contemplation:
Using these practices will help you during isolation. Individually and collectively we can work to get through the pandemic. We are learning about ourselves and having a greater understanding of how working together we are stronger.
The Coronavirus currently wreaking havoc on the globe is forcing many of us into new daily life practices that may be unfamiliar and even unsettling. The need to practice physical distancing is a necessity, though not so easy for everyone to adopt. The science is clear and the evidence is bearing out - if we distance ourselves from others, the virus’ transmission will be limited.
Aside from physical distancing from non-family members, we find ourselves confined to our living spaces that now become the hub of everything. We are living in close quarters with family 24/7, which is challenging. Consider that many of us who work full-time actually spend more day-time with our colleagues than with family members. This new intense family situation may be a stressor for some.
We can intellectually process the need for physical distancing and the need to make our homes the hub of all activity, but we don’t necessarily have the tools to make our homes offices, daycares, activity centres, schools, play centres and places of well-being.
These are real stressors we need to figure out.
We’ve become a society of goers and doers. We run to the market daily for a few items for a meal. We dine out with increasing regularity. We travel the country and the globe in increasing numbers - flight travel has doubled in the last decade. We socialize at bars and coffee shops. We attend our kids’ sporting events. We frequent social gatherings. We shop a lot. We go to movies. We visit friends and family. We commute to work. We taxi our kids here and there. We swipe left - or right. We share and consume social media posts. We look after our homes or apartments. We work. And sometimes we rest.
When told by public health officials to stop much of this in the face of a global pandemic we react.
We panic. We worry. We plan. We grieve. We obey. We cheat. We wonder.
Everything familiar is stopped in its track.
If you are a busy Mom who has become accustomed to doing the majority of household duties, plus being the primary caregiver in your household and you’re also holding down a job to contribute to the household income, you now have to do things in new ways. You are now a full-time caregiver, home educator, housekeeper and likely still balancing your work from home. This is a challenge.
If you are a busy professional who's seen the merging of work life and private life over the past decades because of the proliferation of digital technologies, you may be forced to find even more exploratory ways to conduct business outside of an office space. The merging of your work and private spaces can add very real stressors to your life. While the initial novelty may be embraced, the real challenges with self-care and distinction between private and professional will present themselves in time.
If you live in precarity, trying to figure out how to make enough income to pay for living expenses, paying student loans, rent, and having a bit extra for yourself you are well aware of living in challenging times. The call for physical distancing and self-isolation may not even be an option for you. You may have shifts at a grocery store, restaurant or another “essential service”, many of which are staffed by precarious workers. Your reality includes wondering how you’ll pay the bills if you get sick and if the government programs will be sufficient to see you through. The stress or precarity is familiar to you. You live it daily. Now you have an added level of stress to carry.
If you live in an Indigenous community where health services are limited, jobs are not sufficient and community services are inadequate, the prospect of pandemic impacting your community is beyond comprehension. The call for physical distancing when you live in overcrowded and inferior housing is not feasible. The concern of what will occur if a community or family member gets the virus and how it will spread through your household and community weighs heavily on you.
We have a lot to consider as we move forward. Governments and industry are doing what they can to adapt, adjust, modify and move forward.
Collectively we need to look after each other - even if from a distance. Individually we need to do what we can to look after ourselves as well.
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