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Social Distancing Doesn’t Have to Be Lonely

I’m an ambivert – fairly evenly introverted and extraverted. I need A LOT of alone time to recharge and also love my fellow humans.

I’m noticing that even the most introverted souls are struggling with ‘minimising social exposure’ where we’re fine and ‘self isolation’ where particularly vulnerable or if experiencing any symptoms.

It’s very different staying home when we want to v when we need to.

I hope these self care coaching ideas will help you connect (virtually) with others and also with your Self.

At time of writing, we (in Ireland) are being advised to minimise social contact (keep two meters away as well as the thorough handwashing) in an effort to stop the spread of the corona virus (aka Covid 19).

For those of us with healthy immune systems, while avoiding large and small gatherings where possible, we can also reach out to ensure the more vulnerable souls have what they need.

We can support businesses that might already be struggling by eating out at off peak times or simply getting takeaways.

The Westport Family Resource Centre have shared a beautiful Facebook post with numbers and other resources to help people support others and those who need it, to access the support.

Wherever you are based, there are likely to be online groups doing similar – and if not, you can potentially connect with others (isn’t the internet wonderful?) and help set something up.

I’ve just set my alarm for 9pm to join the global healing meditation.

I imagine this will be repeated most nights and apart from maximising the power of our combined intention, we’ll all feel more connected knowing that others are meditating or praying for the benefit of the whole world.

As well as group meditations, it might be an ideal time to create or reignite your own meditation practice.

This simple 3 minute Relaxation Response triggering video might help.

You can access other meditations I’ve recorded on my site and I’ll be sharing some specific corona virus meditations for these challenging times in the coming days and weeks (and, if need be, months).

I’m used to self employment and working from home but if you’re used to being surrounded by colleagues in an office or other environment, there’ll be certain elements you can take online or do remotely.

But what about the little conversations you have come to depend on? Talking to friendly colleagues about daily lives?

It’s not the same thing at all but imagine all of this without the online communities that social media offers! (It’s especially important for us to check on people who don’t have internet access either due to wifi signal or not using the technology. They might be feeling it even more strongly.)

I’ve had a bit more practice than many in terms of having moved alone (well, with Rainbow MagnifiCat) to a new (to me) place almost a year ago.

That first ten days in my beautiful but very rural studio rental without internet and phone was a challenge. Since getting back online, I’ve been staying in touch with loved ones in the UK using WhatsApp and other social media.

We may not see each other very often (and I’ve postponed my next trip back to London and Essex obviously) but sharing pics of silly projects helps us keep those connections going.

I’m going to (possibly regret this) share some pics of some overdue HOME projects that I imagine this extra time will help me finish the unpacking from my last move.

My parents were staying with me from October until two weeks ago. I’m turning the room they were in into a guest room / dining room.

At the moment, though, I’m only going in there to use the clothes horse because it’s a bit overwhelming with all the boxes I need to recycle and even (horror of horrors) unpack.

Sharing here will motivate me to crack on with it:

Ditto my living room ‘office’ (where I have my everyday paperwork more easily accessible):

My hallway shelf unit:

and even my little newspaper and magazine basket which I’ve been adding other bits to:

All small jobs which I haven’t done for a variety of reasons.

Sorting them will release any energy stagnating around the clutter and also reduce my still very long list of jobs to do around the house and garden.

Am saving the fence repairs from Storm Ciara for a day where I need to get a lot of anger out (hammering nails is quite therapeutic!)

Ditto clipping back overgrown brambles.

Think of your mood and energy levels but it’s likely that you’ll have MORE energy being at home when not ill so tackling these tolerations can be a massive energy boost.

If you’re on social media, feel free to tag me in your pics of the little niggles you’ll use this time to sort.

I love before and after pics 🙂

You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, youtube and LinkedIn.

And, of course, our social media experiences, like our real life expereinces, depend on who we surround ourselves with to a large extent.

We all have a responsibility to check sources and facts before sharing anything that might be alarming for others.

Fake news exists but we don’t have to give it airtime.

We, as individuals, can take responsibility for our own part in avoiding panic by sharing what’s factual and helpful.

We’ve been conditioned to actually CRAVE the dramatic news stories. Many headlines are written with being ‘clickbait’ in mind.

This does nothing to help the more evolved parts of our brain stay resourceful so we can be mindful of the kinds of links we’re choosing.

I’ve already noticed online groups celebrating the concept of extra time at home so you might want to check some of those out, too.

At the time of writing, Ireland is shutting schools for two weeks.

This is a far more manageable idea than the more extreme lock downs and longer time frames other countries are dealing with.

And it still feels like a lot.

As Leo Varadkar, our Taoiseach said, ‘Covid 19 knows no nationalities and no borders so we have to work together.’

Childcare is a huge issue for many. And you’ve been asked to minimise contact with other children, too.

This alone (especially for parents used to relying on grandparent care) seems to be a potentially massive shake up for society.

In my meditations, I keep asking myself what might be coming up for healing here.

It’s POSSIBLE that childcare might become better valued when Covid is a distant memory and that parents and other caregivers have more community and societal support for this important role.

I know people are kindly offering to post things for older neighbours, get groceries etc etc.

Childcare is different. Child safety is paramount and I don’t know what the answers are BUT you may have adults without children in your circle who you know and trust.

Some of us could potentially babysit to give y’all a break.

Working with the heart chakra, remembering we’re all connected and having as much compassion for ourselves and others, is another way to feel the love even when home alone.

Heart opening yoga poses and Metta meditations can help with this, too.

Aim to keep this connection in mind when next in a supermarket. There are sad images of elderly people faced with empty shelves doing the rounds.

One of the tenets in yoga philosophy is around ‘non-stealing’ – this isn’t just about not actively stealing but also, not depriving others of things like loo roll.

We can all make an effort to buy what we need instead of getting sucked into stockpiling.

This could then create actual self-indulced problems with the supply chain as well as adding stress to people who don’t have the space or money to have more than everyday essentials.

We can all do better.

If there’s an urge to buy more than we need, perhaps we can donate some of it.

Also, get out as much as we can.

Again, I know my living arrangements here are exceedingly different to my studio and other flats in Cardiff, London and Essex.

I can go for a two mile walk and easily keep two meters away from anyone I pass on the country lanes.

It’s almost more likely that I won’t even SEE anyone the whole walk.

But wherever you are, get out for a walk (where safe and healthy to do so) and connect with the great outdoors (coast, countryside, suburb or city).

We’re all part of the same ecosystem. Taking time to connect with the earth’s nourishing energy can be very healing.

Do as much of what feels good and is healthy as possible.

Some of my other blog posts have additional ideas, too.

And in Monday’s blog, I’ll be translating some more Cat Coaching ideas from Rainbow MagnifiCat (I imagine myself translating her feline wisdom) to help you make yourself as comfortable as possible.

If you have specific questions, you’re welcome to email me – eve@selfcarecoaching.net

Stay / get well.

With love,

Eve Menezes Cunningham self care coach therapist supervisor

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