Some Social Distancing tips

Posted: March 22, 2020 by Ty in Current Events, Spirituality
Tags: , , ,

FIt is the ending of week one here in Alberta, for where I teach it was pause week as we prepare to take courses online for the last 4 weeks of the semester. Remember students who do not traditionally learn by online pedagogy this week as they are moving on, and instructors who do not normally teach online as they take the plunge. Everything is a temporary new reality, and as such we need to invert how our world has been functioning with populism, and truly lead with compassion and kindness.

I have been using Facebook to share some thoughts, and I will share them here, before moving into some self-care to maintain better mental health in this time. From Facebook:

No photo description available.From March 21: Anecdotally hearing of earth healing from highly polluted areas, and animal returns in this time of humanity’s isolation. This is good, we too can take time to heal, spend time in contemplation, journaling-its not just writing, but poetry, singing, painting, doodling, drawing, scribbling–get the pain out, and let the hope in anew. Let’s make this season truly one for new life here on Planet Earth for all.

Continue to figure out ways to connect, especially with those who live alone, in long term care and our elders. Use phone calls, see if face time, skype, zoom or MS Teams for video conversations, follow rules if you are the one on the list in Alberta and ensure you are there and present. The increasing anxiety and depression can do just as much harm as what we are social distancing to stop.

Image may contain: possible text that says 'CHALK YOUR WALK Sunday March 22 DRAW OR WRITE ENCOURAGING MESSAGES ON YOUR DRIVEWAY OR SIDEWALK WITH CHALK. THEN HEAD OUTSIDE AND TAKE A WALK, LOOK FOR OTHER PRINTS AND MESSAGES WRITTEN BY YOUR NEIGHBOUR'

Or on going, as the Chief Medical Officer of Alberta has said sunlight and fresh air is healing, and this is social distancing but encouraging.

Please be kind, do not social media shame businesses of any stripe open that are following AHS rules. They know that we are blessed with a good safety net in Canada, but EI does not replace a full salary–55% so these owners and employees know that it then becomes a survival issue and are trying to lessen the blow. For our community that rents, Landlords, be kind, and Premier–be as the rest of Canada’s provinces and bring forward aid. When out shopping, also do not hoard, buy what you need for 2 weeks as you normally would.

Hmmm…folks used to be able to live permanently in hotels-motels, historically even one of our PM’s did. Calgary when this is over, let’s keep this housing option on the table for people who want to grow a home there.

No photo description available.March 20:For 31 years we kept saying we would end child poverty–with public schools closed the hidden shame is how many kids only got their food at schools for breakfast/lunch and the weekend food hamper. Please be kind, and let’s be neigbourly, don’t hoard, there is enough for all, can we figure out how to ensure all are fed?

As the province braces for an increase in domestic violence, please to the abused don’t stay…to their family and friends even in social distancing have the safe sanctuary ready.

And yes, now we move onto the self-care portion. Why? Simple, as a monastic, alone time and silence was our stock and trade. Years ago I taught classes, and wrote a book called Pilgrimage to the Heart of the Sacred which opened with a list of Monk’s Bag of Tricks…this is a continuation during this time.

It is okay to treat the first week or two as one would a vacation, to aid in the decompression from the rising rampant stress and anxiety. As we moved forward however, here are some times from your friendly Monastic Doctor of Psychology in keeping up your mental and emotional health.

  1. You will be bombarded with a lot of information, not all of it useful. When it comes to the Covid-19 in your area, politicians it they work to keep calm may be useful, BUT only take the lead from your Chief Medical Officer as they share relevant information and details moving forward for the community’s safety.
  2. In regards to the day, create a daily schedule just like you would have not working from home, or in a lay off. Set a wake up time, a time to get dressed, a rhythm for coffee breaks, lunch and dinner. Set up blocks of time for doing certain things. Currently I am working on rationing my book reading with out public library closed. What does your day look like? Post the schedule? Time for outside time? It does help.
  3. This is also a time to catch up on at home clean up projects that have been put off, even with thrift shops closed many are still receiving donations. Finish up the fix ups if you can, as hey…it keeps creativity flowing, and sharing the outcomes online create healthy conversations as to how time is being used.
  4. Take time for reflection whether it is journaling, art, crafts, a way to shift into the creative you can aid in shifting your conscious, but also helping out.
  5. If you are in recovery of any stripe, there is online 12 step meetings in your area, seek them out as this is a social outreach.
  6. Use video conference platforms if you can–family, usual social gatherings, the virtual is better than nothing, and can create a connection. Same as using phone calls.
  7. Practice healthy social boundaries on social media. I have written about this before, but this is a time to bring a close to unhealthy relationships or those that just have continued beyond their best before date because of social media. Create the online community you need, and that like your face to face one is healthy for you.

These are the beginning, be kind to one another, do not hoard, only purchase what you would for a usual 2 weeks as we need to move through this together. This is a temporary new normal, and as we move throughout discover the world of compassion, kindness and interdependence that is needed for our world to renew and move forward together as a healthy society that places people first. For we are all neighbours, and it is through love, kindness, compassion and empathy that not only our neighbourhoods heal, creation begins to heal as we set different priorities, but also we heal. True reconciliation is letting our story be held sacred, and then together moving forward to the new.

This is a time for release, healing, renewal and reconnection…let us be.

 

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