Covid is a reality that friends of mine are living with. It’s becoming apparent that some who’ve experienced it and thought they were on the other side of…aren’t. We’re starting to see that it can be a long-term condition.
Those are facts, which we can deal with in many ways. And on the basis of that biological condition, the flurry of activity which we can encounter whenever we look at a screen is doing a very good job of creating fear. Here’s the thing: being scared doesn’t make illness go away. What it does do is chip away at our immune systems. Add to that, many of us are cooped up in our homes and aren’t seeing people we love. Others are trapped there with abusers. Or parents whose fears for their children are amplified every day they send them to school, and again when they return home with an innocent sniffle.
Fear triggers the fight/flight response. Look at American politics in those terms and it makes a lot more sense. Then look closer to home. At those we’ve cut off contact with because it’s impossible to have a sensible discussion about politics in a world where what passes for debate is too often conducted in Tweets with less letters than you’d order a pizza with.
Unplug. Don’t turn on your phone or computer until you actually need to. Make sure you turn it off again at intervals. Find time to lean against a tree for a few minutes. And when you do use Zoom, or Skype, or whatever your preference is, as well as work calls find time to have an intimate connection with someone special. I’ve had revelatory conversations with people I was in danger of letting slip from my life, and we’ve rebonded. That’s what matters.
Richard Bandler, one of the key names in the field of NLP, said “Freedom is everything, and love is all the rest”. It’s a beautiful and radical outlook that I find added meaning in at this point of lockdowns. Our physical freedom might be constrained – don’t let your thoughts and feelings be shackled. Ask yourself a couple of Richard’s favourite questions, “How much fun can I have? How much pleasure can I stand?”. Commit to those rather than misery, and see what happens…at the very least write some ideas down: reflecting on your experience and its possibilities is great for your mental health and will give your immune system a boost too. And repetitive creative task like crochet, drawing, and knitting are a much healthier way of getting a happy dopamine hit than any amount of likes on social media.
Source for science stuff in this piece: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2018/07/25/heres-how-creativity-actually-improves-your-health/
Until next time … Namaste