Updated: Aug 5, 2020
Tuning into your inner doctor:
Staying with the theme of controlling the controllables, everyone in the community resoundingly agreed that the best thing we can all do for ourselves is to take care of our immune system. It’s hard to deny that at some point in time we will likely encounter the dreaded COVID-19, statistically speaking. The best you can do until a vaccine is readily available is to make sure that you are in the best state of health possible. This means good nutrition, sleep quality and taking consistent action to reduce the cortisol in your system. A yoga teacher in the community highlighted the importance of regularly practicing grounding exercises and mindfulness. Athletes in the community also emphasised the importance of placing a high priority on measuring your vital signs, which show when the body has been compromised and you need to ease the gas. For me, the interesting message was that you need to monitor your thoughts to help improve your immune system. The saying goes: Your thoughts become your emotions, which then become your behaviour. If you don’t monitor the signs that we are experiencing anxiety, such as increasing sugar cravings, increased alcohol consumption, and restless sleep, you won’t be able to take timely corrective action. And so, it is important not to jeopardise the chances of our immune system being in tip-top shape to battle on our behalf.
Dealing with the emotional rollercoaster:
The enforced lockdown has created an unprecedented living situation--one that probably no one in our lifetime has ever experienced. The toll it has taken on families is now starting to bubble up. One of our members shared with us that their neighbours are getting a divorce. The enforced lockdown was too much for the relationship to bear and the close living quarters was the last straw. Sadly, this story is probably more widespread than we would like it to be. There is also the case of complicated family engagements during this period. I know that this has taken a toll on me, given that I live in a different continent from my parents and feel increasingly frustrated and overwhelmed at not being able to physically do anything to comfort them. At the start of the lockdown, I didn’t feel comfortable going to the grocery shop; So the chances of flying across the world was non-existent. One of our members is having to provide support for their father who is isolated on the other side of the world. Let’s just say, it’s complicated trying to do this over the phone.
The discussion got very interesting when two family members in the community explained how they navigate the complicated process of supporting each other in this new now. The summary was: You need your relationships to be crunchy. It needs to be honest, otherwise it will not work. You can’t do things out of guilt, this will always end up backfiring. Family relationships will always have good parts and bad parts. It all makes for a lovely crunchy texture. When it’s all said and done, you know you will always have each other's backs. The bond and love is too strong for you not to support each other through any experience.
Reflecting on the community’s virtual get-together, my main highlight is that I have changed my philosophy of always trying to keep emotions at a steady pace. Previously, I would strive to never get too excited or too down. However, after the last 6 months, my new viewpoint is: Make sure you really enjoy the good moments. Allow yourself to be overtaken with joy and euphoria. I feel this will top you up and give you a buffer to withstand the tougher moments life throws at you. My goal is to never let my emotions crash and drop too low during the tough crunchy bits.
Stay safe everyone, and keep training your mental fitness. Till next time.
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