Here we are, secluded for the most part in our homes. Even those who work must refrain from contact, stay protected from others as best we can. This is the result of a threat to humans and to our medical systems. How will we recover from this, spring back into shape? Perhaps this threat, the coronovirus, is forcing us to do what we have not been doing, to retreat and restore to build resilience. This time can be a blessing. During this time of isolation, do you find yourself taking much more time for self-care? I have always tried to put aside Sundays for family, but today (a Sunday in isolation)I had the luxury of lots of me time. This is something I am noticing that I have had difficulty giving to myself. Other things have taken priority, but now with no clients coming for treatments or trips to town to teach classes or do errands, I find myself finally giving ‘me’ what I need. What about you? Has this been your experience?
Starting the day today with our shots of grapefruit juice with apple cider vinegar, then coffee with my homemade oatmeal cookies and a tangerine, my husband and I lingered over our IG accounts while still in bed. Next I did some stretching, including a five element stretch I will soon video for the ‘Ki to Health=Ki to Happiness’ online course I am creating, and a few yoga poses. At the end of stretching I lit a candle and some incense and did a ‘Ki breathing’ session. (see earlier post) After the stretching and breathing, I made a lovely breakfast with local eggs, garden herbs and Seedy Salish Sea bread with a little of a friend’s homemade jam. Once the stomach was satisfied, I found the turmeric face mask my daughter had given me and mixed it up with a little honey and rosewater to make a gentle but stimulating mask. I drew a bath and added some bubble solution to emulsify the essential oils I chose from my stash. I soaked, washed my hair, rubbed away the callouses on my feet. Once clean and dry and dressed I was out to see what had grown overnight in the garden.
I don’t spend this much time on self-care every day, but I am finding much more time for routines during this isolation period than I normally would. I can tell because I am finally using my supplies of incense and essential oils. After daily stretching over the past month, I am able to do poses or stretches that have been ‘out of reach’ for years. I notice I am more patient, both with myself and with others.
I also notice that because I am caring for myself I am thinking more of others. I am finding creative ways to contribute to our communal effort of support. I check in with clients and have been doing distant reiki for some. Instead of paying me for the treatments I have asked them to donate to a food bank or an organization that supports people who may be struggling to live through this challenging time. This way my client benefits, I benefit from feeling useful and from the fascinating feedback I get from clients, and others benefit from the donation- a three way win!
I notice that I have become more mindful during this isolation period. I remember to drink water more regularly. I think ahead to what we will eat and plan so that I shop at most once a week. Mindfulness has so many benefits, including the environmental benefits of less trips to the store.
Drinking water regularly, breathing exercises, rest, all contribute to health of the ‘water element’ of traditional Asian medicine. Kidneys are the yin organ of the water element and the foundation of a strong constitution. Strong kidney energy gives the body and mind resilience- the reserves to restore when assaulted or challenged.
I hope that we as a species are learning from this threat, this reminder to slow down, rest, restore. If we do, we and our world will emerge from this time more resilient and ready for….who knows? This I find exciting about these times.