Kimberly M. Ewing, Ph.D.
Finding peace where you are
It has been much longer than I’d planned for sending out another installment of Nuggets of Care. I have had several ideas and observations. But when I sat down to write, procrastination won out. Then I’d think “Oh goodness, I need to get on those Nuggets! I promised!!”.
This was hard. Not being able to get myself to do something for people I value, that I said I’d do, yeah that doesn’t sit well. And, yet, some part of me was “on strike”. It just wasn’t happening. Then, it finally occurred to me. I needed more space and time away from doing work...after work! I needed more moments of peace.
Learning how to live in a pandemic. I am learning what my new self-care needs are. I am learning how to detect signals that I need an adjustment. For those of us newly working from home, the challenge seems to be learning how to truly separate work time from home time. That is what was happening with me. Procrastination was my signal. I was longing for more peaceful space than I was giving myself.
I can't say it enough times...We are all figuring this out. For some of us social distancing feels pretty good, but we are struggling to manage without the activities we counted on for down time. Some may find working from home manageable, but not while juggling children. By now, several of us know at least one person who has fallen ill from the virus. Some of us even know people who have died of its complications. This is a lot to deal with. You might be feeling increasingly weary from it all.
We are all likely struggling with some aspect of the uncertainty of this experience. That is probably going to push us to face our greatest struggle and steepest learning curve.
Sound familiar? Have I recommended that to anyone?
Watch out for internal judgments about how you are managing this experience. It can be easy think there is a “right” or “wrong” way. Some days you may be tuned in and productive, learning new skills or life lessons, feeling at ease. Other days it seems like you are hanging on by a thread. Its okay. What you need to restore balance will change; that's how balancing works. Make small adjustments, notice how you feel, adjust again, and always REMEMBER TO BREATHE.
Just TRUST that you can FIND MOMENTS OF PEACE in the midst of it all.
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In the meantime, here are a few resources that might help:
You’re not Failing, You’re Just Learning
Black Zen meditation podcast
Coronavirus Anxiety Workbook (Thanks to the person who shared this resource with me!)
And, for something to take you to another place…
Leontyne Price's "Climb Every Mountain" (I’m not familiar with operatic singers, but, Wow!)
Important note: If you or people you care about are struggling with active suicidal thoughts or impulses; constant panic attacks; engaging in risky behaviors (unable to cope with the discomfort by staying drunk, staying high, spending compulsively, etc.), seeking immediate professional help is crucial. This difficult time will end; there is help to get you there safely.