You will be tested throughout your lifetime. Until now, however, most have never experienced a global shutdown. During this time, it’s important to have a better understanding of life itself and stay centered for your mental well-being. Everyone’s COVID-19 experience will be different. You will grieve different losses than those around you—life, time, jobs, income, weddings, birthdays, businesses, and perhaps even some dreams. From this, you will learn profound lessons, grow, and choose how you carry on.
How Are You Helping?
The global population faces an awakening. What the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed is that, despite the fact that you are a unique individual in an individualistic culture, your life heavily relies on the actions of others.
This test of humanitarian change is a challenge that relies on people to cooperate as a group. It doesn't matter whether you're a health care worker, custodian, delivery driver, grocery store employee, teacher, or writer—you are being called upon to do your part in helping others. Doing so means sacrificing the normalcy you were used to; you must quarantine for the greater good. This is what the moment requires. How you respond to this challenge will shape your future—how you cope, pray, spend your time, and rise.
Here are some ways you can rise to the challenge at hand:
Unless you have no other choice, stay home. It's a tiny win and it helps save lives.
Care for Yourself
You can't help others if you're depleted or not well—prioritize self-care. A few of my favorite self-care practices include reading Radical Acceptance by meditation educator, Tara Brach, and meditating paired with matcha making in the morning. Stay healthy by sweating it out. Your personal commitment to working out is a positive way to care for yourself. Body brushing before a lavender Epsom salt bath or watching the sunset every evening provides a rejuvenating experience. Surround your home with plants and flowers. Greenery keeps me feeling alive!
Learn Something New
Learn a new skill (how to shoot pictures with a camera, start a podcast, grow some fresh produce, cook a new ethnic meal, tend to a garden), check in on a friend, practice limiting news intake, and/or stay away from your screens.
Learn a new language! There are dozens of online courses or books to study from. Learn about where people come from and where your lines of lineage are drawn. Read more books on history, culture, geography, and war—stories from the past can prompt you to see life through another lens. Read up on Vincent van Gogh, the Dalai Lama, Picasso, and Nelson Mandela. Many of these great leaders and artists struggled through times of tragedy and despair.
Consider What Matters
Money, power, beauty, and greed aren’t imperative to health and joy. And quite possibly, they were destroying you—environmentally, socially, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Take this time to pause and recalibrate your values. Consider making some changes. When you pause, you can reflect and consider new perspectives on life itself. The essentials matter: food, running water, health, a family to love, friends to call, and a roof over your head. What else matters to you?
Listen to others. How is another person's experience different from—or the same as—yours? Now is the time to be mindful, spread more love, and educate yourself about those who come from different places and have diverse backgrounds. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Be confident that things will get better—practice patience, be kind, share love, and pray for others.
When you need to do it, let yourself do it. No judgment.
Start letting go of the things that do not serve you. When you hold on to things that are not meant for you, suffering results. Release anger, pain, suffering, and the bad habit of telling everyone how busy and important you are. Let nonessentials in life go.
Volunteer Where You Can
This pandemic is giving us an opportunity to serve, whether through sweeping initiatives, petitions to be drawn, hands to help feed others, or small kindnesses that make one person's life a little less lonely. I've shared on my website a list of resources that could use various levels of support right now.
When this is all said and done, you will remember—and be remembered by—what you do to keep yourself and others safe and healthy. Use this opportunity wisely to rise to the challenge of practicing inner peace, helping others, and learn to accept what you can and can’t change.
Discover how to use the ancient healing wisdom of Ayurveda to feel vibrant and fulfilled—now and for years to come—with our introductory online course, Discovering Ayurveda. Learn More.