I’ve lost track of the number of times I have sat down to write something. I am not sure what I wanted to say that wasn’t already said by someone else in my field. I guess I wanted to give some comfort, some advice, some prophetic words of wisdom that would somehow make this time a little easier, let you know that I am thinking of you, uplift someones mood, help someone who might be struggling with either grief, fear, stress, anxiety- all of which can be helped so much with Chinese medicinal herbal formulas. Instead, I found myself not being able to find the words. I found myself struggling and maybe even feeling like a fraud writing words that I haven’t always been able to follow myself.
Every morning feels like groundhog day. Every day blends into the next. Neighbors stop me in the street while with my two very young children and say “You are my hero. I can’t imagine going through this with such young kids.” On one hand I feel the struggle so intensely. Trying to maintain a clean and functional house, constantly preparing food, trying to entertain 2 toddlers, trying to make sense of this new reality, and feeling lost myself. On the other hand, I feel like I am not allowed to feel the struggle due to how fortunate I am. I am aware that not all families are in the same situation. My heart aches for people dealing with both life and death alone. All of the feelings of struggle coexist with immense feeling of gratitude. I have a loving family, a roof over my head with a backyard so my kids can run around, plenty of food, plenty of toilet paper, my family and friends are all still healthy, and I’m not alone. I have my husband to help me entertain 2 very needy children. This dichotomy can be unsettling as well. The truth is, we are all allowed to feel what we are feeling and we can’t compare our experiences. We are all in this together and we are all just trying to make sense of it all. These are incredibly uneasy times and I don’t think that anyone can say that they are not struggling in some way or another.
I went to the super market yesterday and it felt incredibly surreal. I was wearing a mask and gloves waiting outside because they were only letting one person in at a time. Shelves were empty. There was an uncomfortable silence within the store. Our lives are different, and I don’t think that our lives will ever be the same again. We will need to rehabilitate into our new reality.
In the meanwhile, I would like to say that we are all in this together. We are all feeling so many emotions, all struggling, all trying to make sense of all of this. Over the last few weeks I have been thinking of what we can each do individually to help ourselves.
Here are a few things that can help during this time.
1) Eat well
Our immune systems need to be strong. Trying to avoid too much sugar and comfort foods during this time will help your body fight any illness both physical and mental, and keep you strong through spring into the summer. Stay hydrated by drinking broths and soups. Bone broth is always my go to, but if you are a vegetarian, miso soup is also very effective. As always avoid iced drinks and cold foods. Fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha to name a few, help boost your body’s immune system. Lastly, Chinese medicine is also a powerful tool! If you are struggling with stress, anxiety, fear, sleepless nights, digestive issues, or any symptom due to viral infection- please contact me and we can get you started with an herbal formula to help you.
2) Keep moving
Increasing the amount of oxygen to your muscles, organs and brain will keep you and your immune system strong. Do yoga, take walks, or try any one of the zoom classes being offered at this time. I love jumping jacks! It moves energy in all of your meridians, helping with anxiety, fear, stress, and help boost your digestion! On the days that I do not exercise, even for just 20-30 minutes, I feel the results of stagnant energy. Energy that rubs together forming heat that rises up and feels like anger and anxiety. How lucky are we that we live in a time where we have access to amazing technology.
In a time where there is so much uncertainty, one thing that is certain and that you can have control over is your breath. Meditation can help manage your stress and that feeling of not being able to control anything in your life.
Also, have a glass of wine and relax, reflect, virtually connect with people you haven’t spoken to in a while, read, watch movies, and spend quality time with your family. Say something that you are grateful for every single day. Write it out. Say it out loud. Put it by your bed so it is the first thing you see when you wake up and the last thing you see as you go to bed.
One last thought. This brought me a lot of perspective and I wanted to share.
A friend shared a hypothetical conversation between a parent and their college kid in the year 2030.
College kid: “In history class, we learned that the COVID-19 pandemic was really bad. What was it like?”
Parent: “Well, everything was shut down in an attempt to kill the virus, but not everyone followed so rather than a 15 day quarantine in lasted much longer. Many people died, food was scarce, we were scared of economic failure . . . Don’t you remember? You were 8.”
College kid: “All I remember was that schools were closed and we were being homeschooled, doing scavenger hunts, eating meals as a family for a change, getting lots of sleep, less stress, family board games, virtual play dates . . . Honestly, it was the happiest time of my childhood.
I want to send peace and love to the collective human race. We will get through this and be stronger on the other side. Positivity is contagious. Try to stay positive at home and with your neighbors.
I am more than happy to connect and talk about any questions you may have!
Be safe! We are all in this together!!