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Keeping sane these days

As we know, we are all going to be in this for a long period of time. I am hopeful that we as a society are taking this more seriously and are practicing social distancing at a new level than even just a few days ago. And I’m praying for all the healthcare workers that are putting their life on the line to save and protect.

There are many ways to try and positively respond to this crisis. I’m pretty convinced that the worst way to respond is to panic or to stay glued to the news cycle 24×7.

Joseph Goldstein, a famous mediation teacher, encourages the question we should ask ourselves when faced with stressful/intense moments: “Is this useful?”. In Dan Harris’ book, 10% Happier, the author shares this insight from Joseph:

“But when you find yourself running through your trip to the airport for the seventeenth time, perhaps ask yourself the following question: Is this useful?” -Joseph Goldstein

“Is this useful?” It’s okay to worry, plot, plan, he’s saying–but only until it’s not useful anymore.

I’ve been asking myself this question as I found myself doggedly trying to stay on top of every news story, every piece of horrible reality and optimistic medical answers that will save every one of us.

But it’s not useful and in fact it’s likely causing harm to yourself. Or last least I feel that way.

So here’s something I’ve been trying since yesterday and I’m going to continue to refine it in the upcoming days, weeks and months ahead.

1/ I’m not reading any news about COVID-19 before 9am

2/ I’m being more mindful of what and how I eat each day

3/ Get outside every day

4/  Exercise (light or intense, doesn’t matter)

5/ Daily mediation (even 5 minutes helps big time)

6/ Finding a way each day to help others

7/ I’m not reading any news about COVID-19 after 6pm.

8/ Journaling and writing down three things I’m grateful for each day.

I’ll end this post with a link to Jason Kottke’s latest gem about how each of us are all going through our own set of issues and shared concerns. It’s a beautiful post and I encourage you to read it. Another good reminder to be kind to each other.

We will get through this.