The first official announcement in March said everyone over age 65 was in the high risk population for a bad outcome from Covid19 and should stay at home. I never considered myself old before.
The next official recommendation asked everyone who was not essential and who could work from home to do that indefinitely. I wondered about the use of the word essential and what that would do over time to the psyche of the non-essential. I was one of those.
To be in close contact with others for longer duration was risking the lives of both people, and lots of people were dying. I closed my Trager® practice indefinitely.
When the shut-down happened, I imagined a month or two before life would return to normal. Family medical workers established new laundry protocols. Family trips were cancelled, toddler birthday parties happened online. A late May snowstorm did nothing to discourage the spring flowers, the grass and the weeds.
My well-oiled daily routines of rest and activity, trips to the post office and the grocery, spending time with my grandchildren were all abruptly cancelled. I wondered if life was always this unpredictable and just hidden from view by my rigid routine.
I felt frozen in time.
At the end of June I tried to write a second blog post, sitting at my desk with a sheet of paper and a pen. I stared at the blank paper for a long time. I went outside for a walk. I reminded myself to touch something alive and pulled weeds. I set my timer for one minute and sat on the porch breathing. When I finally came back in to write, I learned my inner critic has a very loud voice. What could I possibly have to offer in these times?
Mentastics Minutes come from curiosity and exploration of the unknown, doing things in new and unexpected ways, discovering patterns and exploring change. Yet, all I had were questions:
What makes this situation feel so difficult?
Why do I feel paralyzed?
What one minute activity could help today?
I put the pen down, took a long deep breath, closed my eyes, and cried.
Sometimes the important minutes are taking time to feel my feelings.
For days when you feel paralyzed by the unknown.
- Sit comfortably
- Set a timer for one minute
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath
- Can you name what emotion(s) you are feeling? (If not, that is OK, this is not a test)
- Is there a place(s) in your body that feels connected to this feeling?
- Experience your feeling and any physical connection until the timer beeps
- Stand up and shake your arms, gently kick your feet, take a deep breath
- Say ‘thank you’ out loud to yourself