The Most Important Self-Care Ritual for Combatting Pandemic Fatigue “Meditation”
Are you ready for COVID-19 to become a thing of the past? It’s been a long, trying year with at least several more months to go until the pandemic is no longer a major health threat. By this point, you are probably experiencing at least some symptoms of what is now referred to as “pandemic fatigue.” In addition to feeling stressed and worn out, Self points out many of us are feeling:
- Tiredness or lethargy
- “Brain-fog” (lack of focus)
- Apathy, no motivation
- Anxiety or depression
- Anger or frustration
If any of those symptoms seem all-too-familiar, you may wonder if there’s anything you can do to feel more like yourself while you’re waiting for life to get back to normal. The answer is a resounding yes! Meditation might be the most important weapon to include in your arsenal to combat stress. Mahakala Center wants to help you thrive, pandemic or no, so check out the following tips:
Understanding Meditation and Mindfulness
Meditation and mindfulness mean slightly different things, but they pair together very well. Meditation helps you develop an awareness of your thoughts and feelings from a more neutral, objective perspective, while mindfulness helps you to be fully present and engaged in the here-and-now. Practicing them together as a discipline calms the mind, body, and spirit, bringing peace and balance as each part tunes in to the other.
Embracing the Benefits of Meditation
A meditation ritual not only helps you feel calm while you’re engaged in it, but Forbes notes it can also have some amazing, long-term health benefits. Recently, brain researchers have discovered that people who meditated regularly for 20 years or more actually preserved more gray matter than their same-age counterparts.
In the short-term, meditating can help with focus and concentration, reduce anxiety, and even be an effective coping strategy for addictions. Incorporating this practice into your life every day can melt away the stress and tension you’ve accumulated throughout the pandemic.
If you toss yoga into the mix, you can see even more benefits, such as less pain and inflammation. You can boost your strength and flexibility, and might even sleep better as a result.
Developing Your Routine
Most people benefit from a guided meditation routine, at least in the beginning. Research a few different types online or get some recommendations from trusted friends. It’s important that your ritual fits your personality, style, and belief system so you can feel as comfortable as possible right from the get-go. YouTube videos, podcasts, and apps are extremely easy to access and use, and the options are endless.
Once you’ve chosen one, you’ll need to decide when is the best time of day to meditate and how often you want to practice it. To receive the greatest benefit, you should set aside a time when you will not be interrupted or distracted by noise. And Psychology Today recommends avoiding meditation too close to bedtime in the event your body starts to associate deep relaxation with going to sleep.
Creating Your Sacred Space
One of the most important parts of establishing a meditation routine is creating a space that feels safe, comfortable, and peaceful. Having your meditation space (and the rest of your home) clean, organized, and clutter-free promotes a sense of peace, positivity, and focus. When everything is in its place, that’s one less distraction you’ll have to battle as you’re settling into your new ritual.
Open a window to let in some clean, fresh air and breathe deeply. Light a candle or diffuse an essential oil such as lavender, peppermint, or citrus to relax and bring your mind into focus. Your environment can significantly impact your experience and provide a much-needed respite and retreat from the outside world, so make sure it’s a place you can’t wait to go to!
In these complex, challenging times when so much is out of your control, it’s good to know there are some things you can do to bring back a sense of order and balance to your life. In fact, there’s no better time than right now to develop a regular practice of meditation.
Connect with Mahakala Center for more advice and information that is good for your mind, body and soul