Written by Tami Boesiger, counselor at The CORE

It’s a strange and jolting realization every morning as I wake up, “Oh yeah . . . we’re in this weird coronavirus crisis.” As each day goes by, the news worsens. More cases, more closures, more weeks of isolation. Uncertainty stirs doubts about security. Stress rises. Fears creep in.

Will we recover financially? Are we being told everything? Are the kids going to miss important learning? Is my retirement plan toast now? How long will my employer be able to keep me on? Is it unsafe to visit my mother? Which is worse, risking possible exposure or the effects of extended isolation? And why are we hoarding toilet paper?!

So many questions. How do we stop worrying without knowing how or when this will end, when there’s no business as usual, when every hour brings a new level of discomfort? How do we stop the whir of our brains and wrangle the anxiety?

We live where we are, focusing on what we can do today, not on the “what ifs” of the future. We stay present. Noted psychiatrist Dr. Dan Siegel, who has studied the brain extensively, says science proves being present leads to happiness. Being where you are, soaking in the good of the moment, and not getting too far ahead of yourself, leads to happiness. This is a skill we call mindfulness. Staying mindful of the beauty, the sweetness, the safety of now calms our anxious brains.

Don’t know where to start? Begin with your five senses. What do you see, hear, smell, taste, touch right now? What do you notice about today, about this moment? What is enjoyable about forced time at home? Become a professional observer and hone those skills of awareness. Can you feel your feet touching the floor? What colors do you see in your kitchen counter top? Does the silence have a sound? What adjectives describe the way your dinner smells? What might the color purple taste like? Mindfulness forces us to be present, distracting us from what we can’t control. Mindfulness is a choice to revel in the good of today and be thankful.

So when your coronavirus worries start to get the best of you, friends, challenge yourself to stay present. You’ll do your brain and your mood a favor. We will get through this. One day at a time.

10 Comments

Amy

Thank you for providing these valuable resources. Very concise and easy to apply.

Reply
Charla Albritton

Philippians 4:6-7 New International Version (NIV)

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Love your encouragement!!!

Reply
Lori Eckert

Thank you Tami for your insight on this! You are a wise women. It makes me think that we should be mindfulness everyday even if this virus wasn’t going on. Thanks for the reminder! I sure do miss you guys!

Reply
Donita

Timing of me reading this was uncanny. Laying around waiting for Church to begin and just listening to daughter’s cat kneading right beside me while purring-he is happy and content in the moment, where he is…….unfortunately Brody (the cat) has now decided to clean himself and make us all jealous with his self toilet paper system. Thank you, Tami for the beautiful and calming words, truly a thing I have thought about the last several weeks and try to do every day. Again, thanks Alaskan Buddy. 😷😜

Reply
Judy

Very helpful…. Only way to deal with all uncertainty. I can handle it when it is looking at it one day at a time, not 15 or 30 days.

Reply
Angela Nordman

So glad to see your sage words still helping others! So blessed to have ever spent time with you…. thanks for this & other cherished memories!

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.