Recently I wrote an article for Heartwood Center in Evanston, Il., where I teach Tai Chi. Here it is for you:
We’re all weary. Our past year didn’t go as we planned. Schools, businesses, religious services and vacations had to pivot to a new reality. Nothing seemed normal, whatever “normal” means. When I hear someone ask. “When will things return to normal?” I squirm. Things won’t return to normal. Our former life is gone; what was normal no longer exists. That might seem like a downer, but it could be exactly the opposite. We have the chance to create something new.
We want our children physically in the classroom, playing soccer, enjoying making music in the school band. We want to have a steady job, earn a living and pay our bills. And we want more, to visit with friends, go out to dinner, attend a baseball game, go to a concert.
Yet, with all that we want and wish for, fear lingers in our heads. Who do I feel safe with going out to dinner? When I return to work on-site how will I know it’s safe and who is vaccinated? How do I handle m family who disagrees with me about vaccinations and I don’t want a confrontation about what I should or should not do?
We need to move forward at some point, with fear and uncertainty surrounding us. How do we cope with that, mange anxiety and stress we feel?
First, we need to acknowledge what we’re feeling.
Second, we need to do something physical, take a walk, take time to look at the flowering trees and celebrate spring, ride a bicycle.
Third, limit time scrolling on our phones, listening to or watching the news. Get ourselves away from staring at a screen. Listen to our favorite music instead or read a written devotional or meditation.
This is a time to consider taking a class that promotes managing stress and creating stillness like Tai Chi or Yoga or Meditation. It’s a time to go for a professional massage or acupuncture to enhance our health, to talk with a psychologist or psychotherapist about our anxieties and how to move through them.
The key is to do something specific and positive. Take that step to get outside of ourselves and move forward to the new reality is unfolding ahead.
Most of you who regularly read my blog, are already “doing something.” However, this is a good reminder for each of us because it’s easy to tire of Zoom classes, drop out of a regular physical routine that has enhanced our health. We’re weary and maybe worn down. So it’s exactly the right time to renew and promise ourselves start a new class, or rejoin one that we decided to pass on when it went online. Wishing you renewed energy and do pass this on to others.