We are currently being knocked over by a tidal wave of uncertainty and fear as we collectively navigate the Coronavirus pandemic, and it’s that very state of being that is bringing out the shadow sides of humans, and the pain and suffering of the human experience. Dismal, I know. This week, someone stole from my job (a yoga studio!), people are hoarding toilet paper and diapers and soap and not leaving enough for all of us, and schools are closing but not appropriately planning for the thousands of kids who will miss out on meals they rely on during their school day. The list unfortunately goes on, and I know I don’t have to elaborate more because I’m sure you’ve also been inundated with it all, too.
What I don’t think is being brought to the forefront right now is how we can proactively (not REACTIVELY) manage this situation and care for ourselves and one another. But the question is, how can we practice love and self-love in a time when we are scared?
Fear is a motivator for people in a way that promotes reactivity, and reactivity does not always equal healthy behavior. Reactivity is a lot like the fight, flight, or freeze response, and I truly believe many people (especially the ones hoarding goods) are in a trauma response right now and doing whatever they can to survive. What is CRITICAL to practice right now is awareness, mindfulness, wise-mindedness (a healthy balance between thinking emotionally and rationally) and, I think most importantly, love; love for others, and love for ourselves.
Love for others, especially in a time when scary things are happening can look like:
- Practicing good hygiene and social distancing so that you can prevent the spread of infection (knowingly and/or unknowingly).
- Helping the elderly, economically disadvantaged, and immunocompromised community members you know. Even a phone call to check in (which also practices #1 on the list) can be helpful and loving.
- Sharing. Share the goods on the shelves at the grocery store with others. Make space for others to shop and to have their own experience with what’s going on.
- Being honest. If you’re sick, say something and keep your distance. Deceit is not loving, in any form.
- Being aware of our fear responses, our automatic behaviors, our triggers, which really means:
**Engaging in self-love, which is also a form of love for others.**
When we love and care for ourselves, when we nurture our bodies and minds and souls in the ways they need, we contribute to the collective. We are trend-setters, every single one of us. We create the environment we are a part of. We dictate what our reality is. When we love ourselves, we love others. Isn’t there that saying, “You can’t love someone until you love yourself”?
Let’s all practice contribution to our communities. Let’s all nurture and nourish ourselves. Let’s protect ourselves and others. We are all in this together.
Read more and follow Alexandra Pillion on her blog.