If it's one thing that I came to realize since the beginning of self-isolation, it's that I'm far from recovery when it comes to my mom's death. Up until self-isolation, my daily organized routine is what kept me going. I have always needed the need of knowing what my schedule was going to look like the next day, the following week, or even next month. I'm a massive planner and like to stay super organized and on top of everything that goes on around me. But, since now I find myself stuck at home, my organized life and routine have gone out the window. The uncertainty of not knowing what tomorrow, next week, or the next months will bring causes me to toss and turn for hours at night until I finally fall asleep. During the day, I find that I can handle everything that's going on around me, and I tend to keep myself busy, but it's at night that all my feelings and emotions decide to rise to the surface. Not only has Coronavirus brought anxiety back into my life, but in the beginning, it turned me into a bit of a hypochondriac. For the first two weeks, anything that remotely seemed like a Coronavirus symptom would scare the crap out of me, and my automatic thought was "yup, this is it, I have it." I started sneezing =coronavirus; my body would begin to feel hot= Coronavirus. You get the picture. But, thank God all the "symptoms" I was feeling were false alarms. And, now, my hypochondria has entirely subsided. Bueno, so now what? Am I going to live in this grief, anxiety written state of mind until the quarantine is over? I started researching different coping mechanisms and exercises to help control anxiety and how to learn to be at peace with one's self. I know the clinical ways of helping with both, but I wanted something more organic. Something that kept coming up in my research was mediation and yoga. Up until I tried it for the first time, I was very "mehhh" about both. I have never really believed in its practice. So, I thought what the heck, what's the worst thing that could happen. Sure, the first couple of times, it felt a little awkward. I wasn't quite sure if I was doing it right, my mind kept wandering, and I couldn't get "in the moment." But, the more I made an effort to tune everything out that was racing through my mind, the more I slowly began to feel at peace. This how it started: My first mediation was guided by a mediator who mainly was cueing everything. He talked us through on how to control our breathing, be mindful, and how to block everything out that was going through our minds. At one point, he told us to think of something that brings you peace, which can be a person, place, or thing. The first thing that popped right out at me was a beach that I used to go every day with my mom growing up during my summer breaks in France. For me, that beach in the south of France was my peaceful place. I still remember that beach like it was yesterday: I can hear the small delicate waves crashing on the shore and the distant sounds of seagulls above me. I can feel the fresh, crisp water on my feet and the rough sand between my toes. I can smell the scent of sunscreen and salt. I can hear the sound of kids playing and splashing around in the water and the warm sun on my skin. I still see my mom when I close my eyes. She's lounging on a blue and white striped beach chair, wearing a large hat & sunglasses, as her blonde hair lightly blows in the wind, and she's reading a book. My mom loved books. While I was sitting there meditating, with my eyes closed in lotus position (like my yoga term?), I cried, and I mean, I cried like a baby, and I couldn't stop. But, there was something that happened when I finally stopped crying, which was that I felt at peace. It's almost like my body needed me to release some of the pain and feelings that I have been holding onto for so long. Up until I decided to give mediation a try, I tried not to think about that beach because I knew deep down inside I would get emotional. While we all continue to be in quarantine, I'm going to keep meditating in hopes of keeping myself at peace and learn to be in more in tune with all my feelings and emotions. Having to deal with grief daily and now also anxiety is something that I am working on every day. I went ahead and attached a couple of links to the bottom for those of you who are looking to get into mediation. I used Head Space, but I know that are many different ones out there. If you decide to try it, I would love to hear everyone's feedback, thoughts, and feelings on it.
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