Five days into my self-quarantine, I realized that I had forgotten one major thing: I did not have a plan of how I was going to take care of my spiritual needs during the lockdown. Millions of people are now facing the same quandary, and with a focus on mindfulness, and a few key supplies, we can all find peace and comfort in this time of unease.
First, assess how you are really doing during this unimaginable shut down of our world by carving out quiet time to sit alone with your thoughts and feelings. If you find you’re feeling overwhelmed with anxiety — thoughts of loved ones, concern for your own health — allow it to come to the surface. Feel it, hear it. Then take deep breaths.
I’ll remind myself, and you, to do conscious breathing. Continue to take several deep breaths in and out, allowing this ritual to distract you from all the noise. This allows you to ground yourself in your body and remember you have a choice of where you bring your attention. Anxiety and fear steal us of the experience of being in our center, and ultimately of connecting to our heart.
To bring attention to your spiritual self, place a hand on your heart, feel the power of your breath and feel more secure in each breath. By connecting with your heart, you’re able to connect deeper to your core. Each of us may refer to it by a different name: core, soul, higher purpose.
The challenge right now is to make conscious decisions of how to feed your soul. Taking care of your spiritual needs helps calm and nourish you, thus boosting your immune system. Now is the time to create our spiritual “home” in new and innovative ways.
Building a Spiritual Tool Kit:
- Gather necessities that are important to you and bring you calm: music, poetry, a good novel, journal, calming tea, Epson salt baths, lavender oil, or candles.
- Many people find comfort or feel uplifted when listening to religious music or by joining in to virtual song sessions triggering memories of happy times.
- Follow your favorite mindfulness teacher, yoga studio or religious organization’s Facebook page. They will message you when they go live with services, a spiritual message or workshops.
- Turn into your favorite spiritual or meditation guru for daily messages of inspiration, videos or live talks.
- Make time to reach out to family and friends that support you through technology.
- Spend time in nature. Take long walks alone or with family members. Explore a new route and turn off your technology.
- Develop a meditation practice. There are hundreds of on-line classes and apps to assist you.
- Find time to spread gratitude and small acts of kindness. Nothing feeds the soul like giving.
- Create a new ritual or two. Now is the time to connect with your heart, to reset and to find gratitude in all of life’s moments.
Nancy Kislin is a leading expert in helping parents, educators and communities cultivate resilience in an age of uncertainty. With more than 28 years of experience as a therapist and educator, Nancy specializes in helping individuals struggling with anxiety, depression and trauma. She is the author of Lockdown: Talking to Your Kids About School Violence, a book that examines the psychological and emotional impact of “lockdown culture” on kids.