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  • Cheryl Sidwell

Self Care in a Crisis


Namaste Friends. In these uncertain times, I know many folks are feeling anxiety about when their lives are going to get back to normal. There may be anxiety about finances, job security, housing, and so many other things essential to our daily lives. Hopefully, all of us are practicing “social distancing” now - for the sake of our community’s health. However, if you are sequestered alone, this can also lead to depression. Remember during these times that you are NOT alone. That we are all in this thing together, and that, yes - as cliche as it may sound, “this too shall pass.” In China, where COVID-19 started, things are starting to go back to normal, 2 months later. So, yes, it might be several weeks, and yes, we are going to feel some effects for a long time afterwards, and yes, we may need to change the way we do things as we move forward as a society - and THAT may actually be a good thing.

Yoga teaches us that there are many things in life we have no control over. But we CAN control how we react to our circumstances.

While you are sequestered, take care of yourself. Practice self care. THIS is the time you always wish you had to do something you never have time for! Learn something new. If you have internet access, take some webinars online. If you have a library card, use your library’s online resources. Create art, write poetry, read books, play games if you have family around, call your friends (and check on them), go outside, listen to music, work on a home project, take a bubble bath. If you have financial means, order food from a local restaurant and pick it up (most places are offering carry-out only). I recently had a “date night” with myself and ordered carry out from my favorite Mediterranean restaurant so I didn’t have to cook. If you have the space and funds, apply to foster a dog or cat, or drop off some blankets, towels or food to your local animal shelter. Call your local food bank and see if they can use assistance. Many things you can do from your own home - like order pet food and have it shipped directly to your animal shelter.

Taking a walk outside and getting sunshine and fresh air can be a huge depression lift - Just make sure you keep distance from others. Some parks are “closing” - asking people not to use playgrounds, etc. for health reasons - but you can still go walk around and get a breath of fresh air. Connect with our plant brother and sisters. Take a plant guide or bird guide and learn more about your surroundings. Practice yoga. There are many online resources available for this. I have recorded a Grounding Restorative Practice for Anxiety which can be accessed here: https://youtu.be/364hUHrrmYc

On Sunday, March 22, I will be recording a live Restorative class on Facebook for Soul Yoga as well at 5:30pm that will remain on their Facebook page along with other classes. I will record a more active class next week, and will send out a link for that one as well.

If you are home alone, and using social media to connect with friends, just be careful not to get swept into a tide of depressing news and information. Be careful about spreading mis-information. Get accurate information about COVID-19 from sites like the Centers for Disease Control, and listen to your local county and state government for local closings and ordinances. Here’s a great blog post on getting accurate information on COVID-19 response:

https://programminglibrarian.org/articles/facts-fighting-fake-news-pandemic

If you live in Maryland and are worried about being uninsured, know that in response to coronavirus, Maryland Health Connection opened an emergency special enrollment period for uninsured Marylanders.

You can enroll in a health plan now through Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Coverage will begin April 1, 2020, regardless of when a health plan is selected during that time period.

Visit MarylandHealthConnection.gov. When enrolling, consumers should request or select “Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment Period.” The online application is available daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Free consumer assistance is available by calling 855-642-8572 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Additional mental health resources can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html

Immediate help in Maryland for someone experiencing a mental health crisis can be found at: https://www.mhamd.org/immediate-help/

If you are experiencing food shortage, or want to assist with helping others obtain food, check out: Maryland Food Bank: https://mdfoodbank.org

Wicomico County Humane Society also has a Petfood bank if you run out and need assistance. Call (410) 749-7603. Or offer to donate food if you have the funds.

If you are looking for something to do with your kids, check out these free activities, many of which you do not need a computer or internet access to enjoy:

https://www.marylandlibraries.org/Pages/Day-by-Day-Calendar.aspx?fbclid=IwAR2ZT0_fz8vKzKgh1A7yf4YwfL32tyX5euVUUlWTrtmO0T1WzTZ1a9Uak98

Stay safe. Be well. Minimize your contact with others, and stay a safe distance. Now is not a good time to travel. Don’t put yourself or others at risk. And remember, we will get through this. Sending you all virtual hugs.

Much Love and Peace,

Namaste

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