Besides being a professional Reiki Provider and Teacher, I'm also still known in some circles as Mojo's Mom - even though Mojo is in his twenties - especially in Burlington. As both a Reiki Master and a mother, here's my practical wellness perspective on the coronavirus situation.
The good news is that many simple, helpful measures are already in our grasp! Now imagine your mom cheering you on, making the most of a teaching moment, and cleaning up a mess at the same time. That's where we are in this moment.
Yes, it's serious, it's a pandemic, and people are dying from COVID-19, that's true, and it is most certainly coming to your neighborhood, if it hasn’t already. However, fear-mongering and panic are not helpful, nor is ignoring it and hoping it will just go away. Both overreacting and under-reacting have tragic consequences that are already starting to unfold.
So far, it's been the under-reacting that's escalated the situation in the U.S. that will be catching up with us shortly, because it can feel like admitting the gravity of the situation will lead to hysteria, but that's just not necessary. Neither is emptying the grocery store shelves when buying one or two extras of most things and leaving some for others will do for now, or stressing and worrying our immune systems into total shutdown when information, proper hygiene and mindfulness are much more effective.
The unsexy, grownup truth is that common sense, kindness and simple natural health care are our best chances for limiting the spread of the disease, reducing the burden on hospitals and minimizing economic hardships in the long run. You may even feel like you've been grounded to your room, but you're not being punished - it really is for your own good.
And the sexy part, or at least the sensual pleasure lies, for example, in rediscovering the power and joy of healthy whole foods, slow-cooked and shared at home with family and a few friends or elderly neighbors instead of eating out at crowded chain restaurants, shoveling in fast food, settling for fake food substitutes or skipping meals. We can savor delicious daily tonics of hot herbal tea with raw honey in our favorite mugs. Trading some screen time for extra sleep, a hot bath, gentle yoga or meditation can feel so good to our tense bodies, busy minds and overstimulated nervous systems. Of course, these are just a tiny sample of the good life we can live by making a few simple choices about our priorities - and not just in times of crisis!
I can personally attest to the power of Reiki daily self-healing practice in reducing the frequency, severity and duration of even the common cold in my life. I have seen repeatedly that it helps prevent illness and accelerate healing for myself and others. At the very least, it's comforting and restful, but that’s saying quite a bit, especially now.
Yes, relaxing and enjoying life is good for your immunity, which can be your heroic contribution to a healthier world! If that feels like guilty indulgence, then some compassion and self-worth practices are in order. Mother loves you no matter what, and your self-love is actually crucial to your wellbeing, especially now.
The fact is that science doesn't have a solution for this one, at least not yet. There's no cure, no vaccine, no treatment unless you need a ventilator or other support for acute symptoms. Our high-tech medical system isn't going to swoop in and save us, and that's actually okay. It's down to hand-washing and deep cleaning, staying home instead of endlessly running around, checking in on family members and neighbors in need, and ultimately evaluating the resilience of our local communities, and our lifestyles, which is overall a good thing.
It's just simply not a fight, a battle, or a war this time. It's about nurturing, helping, slowing down. We have an inherently yin challenge on our hands - to remain calm, be kind, rest more, reduce stress, support our wellbeing with gentle remedies so we can resist whatever comes along, whether it's a cold or flu or cancer or depression or this new virus. The situation is not appropriate for the mindset of conquering, attacking, or dominating. Haven't we had enough of that?
Now we just all need more mothering, on a global scale. May it be so.