It is more than overwhelming what is happening in the World right now and it is all we can do to not get swept up in negative mindsets of hysteria & panic. Certainly it is a serious situation, not merely because of the virus, but equally the widespread reaction it has caused, effecting every single one of us.
I am writing this from a cafe in Ubud in Bali, where I live and run the business from for part of the year. I am lucky and grateful that I can still sit in a cafe, but I know this may change any day. Many of my friends are already well into lockdown in Tarifa, Spain (another of my homes) and each day I hear from friends in Sydney and family in the UK of the worsening situations, my heart reaching out to every one of them..
Here they have cancelled the Bali Spirit Festival, closed the Yoga Barn and all the schools. The streets are becoming eerily quiet and social distancing is definitely in full flow. As of today the airport is closed for 1 month. Lockdown here seems inevitible too...
One of the main concerns for myself and loved ones is the effect this will have on mental health.. to not have human contact, human connection, human touch. Something I have come to value more and more. I found myself this weekend much more “touchy-feely” with my friends, without even thinking about it. As humans we crave this.. we NEED this..
I shall not make this a long article, but I wanted to offer those either currently in, or facing social distancing or lockdown some humble advice that I will personally be doing if and when the lockdown occurs:
1. Remember everything is temporary.
We have been through worse as human kind and probably will again. Even though it might seem there is no end in sight, it WILL end and we will be stronger in many ways because of it.
2. Accept & Surrender.
When we stop fighting and accept whatever situation we find ourselves in, we can find a new flow. No matter how small or restricted that may seem.
3. Be Grateful
For what you do have and what you can do. (providing you are not sick of course) Breathe. Do Yoga. Meditate. Move. Eat. Drink. Dance. Sing... and of course we all have the Internet! This alone makes this whole experience so much more manageable.
4. Take a different perspective
My personal perspective is that the Universe has it's plan for us all. The Earth needs to heal, and we need to get on board with the process. Ever realised that when you keep pushing yourself, without giving yourself a rest day, the universe picks a day for you? Well maybe this is what's happening now with the Earth. We are being forced to stop, planes are not flying, factories not operating, the world is slowing down and allowing time to heal.
5. Listen to Music & Dance!
This is a personal one for me but I believe it's the best cure for the soul – more than yoga even! Nothing gets the endorphins flowing and heart opening in quite the same way, and if you are lucky enough to be at home with others, dance with them too.
6. Try Vipassana
10 days of meditation, & living in silence for some deep introspection. If you've been thinking about this, it could be the perfect time. Look online for some guidance and support before you start.
7. Learn or improve skills
I've been learning the guitar on and off for years, plus improving my Spanish. See this as the perfect opportunity for some intense learning, without the usual distractions.
8. Try not to watch the news.
I know this is a big ask for most. You want to keep up to date with what's happening but there is so much misinformation and sensaltionalism out there, it instills so much fear in all of us. Try to limit to just 5 minutes per day, to update yourself on the essential information, and instead try to do more positive & soul filling activities. If you really miss you screen time watch David Attenborough! - (See point 9 below!)
9. Surround yourself with nature as much as possible
if you have a garden, go and lay in it.. if you have a balcony, go out on it, if you don't have any outside space at all, open the windows and look up at the clouds or the stars.
Failing that, one of my favourite indulgences is watching David Attenborough's Planet Earth or Blue Planet – this makes us appreciate the beautiful world we live in and that regardless of our current situation, there is a beautiful big wide world out there, and soon enough we will get to enjoy it again, but with fresher eyes and a greater appreciation.
10. Community & Love
When we feel connected to one another, our minds and bodies feel intrinsically safe and protected, this is particularly important and challenging in times of isolation. We all have Facetime/Zoom/Whatsapp - Use this time to re-connect with friends and family across the globe, send messages of love and support even to those you may not have been in touch with for a long time. This is the PERFECT time to re-connect, to mend old feuds, and spread the positivity of connection across the globe. Afterall, in the end, LOVE is what makes the world go round and even the COVID-19 virus is not strong enough to beat that!
Sending love and light to you all!
P.S. As we ship from the UK and Australia, we are still continuing to run the business and ship orders as long as the postal services are running. We are taking all necessary precautions and advice from both the UK and Australian governements. Stay tuned to our Instagram & Facebook page for recent updates.