1. Wash your hands with soap and water (or alcohol sanitizer), wash your brain with deep breathing and wash your spirit with a breath prayer.
Breath prayers are short phrases that you can repeat that will help your being to rest. Hooking a Spiritual Practice to the physical practice of hand washing weaves a bite-sized practice for spiritual wellness into our day over and over (and over and over) again.
You might try, “I am loved by you,” “When I am afraid, I will trust in you,” or “Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.”
Cough or sneeze into the Bend of your Elbow
2. Cough/sneeze into the bend of your elbow and turn it into a microritual of letting go of anxiety. The forcefulness of a cough or a sneeze (well contained by the bend of your elbow), can become a call to let go of that which no longer serves us.
Today, as I think of it, anxiety seems like a thing I want to let go of. It’s not serving me in good ways. It’s possible that you will have something else that you want to let go of. Sneeze it out. Cough it away.
“Thank you Divine,” seems like an appropriate response to a cough or a sneeze. Perhaps even more so than “Pardon me,” or “Gesundheit!” Saying “Thank you Divine” over and over and over will have some very profound impacts.
Don’t touch your face
3. Don’t touch your face but do find ways of offering positive physical touch to your body.
Many of the natural calming techniques that we have developed over our lifetimes involve touching our faces. Think of the forehead hold, the ear lobe rub, the cheek caress.
Because of the easy access for viruses to our beings through the mucous membranes of our eyes, noses and mouths, we are encouraged to stay away from touch our faces.
Explore a little bit with what else might be a calming touch for you. Gently pat or rub the back of your hand, your forearm, your knee. Rub your own feet.
The part of your brain that receives the signal that gentle touch is offered and then releases the hormones of relaxation, is generous with its sharing. Wherever you are, whether you have a companion or are retreating alone, touching your skin compassionately can help to bring calm to your body.
Is it possible for you to share this gentle touch with yourself and receive it as the Divine Family’s comfort for you?
Stay home if you can
4. Choose a compassionate physical retreat while staying connected in ways that work for you.
The language we use matters. When we talk in terms of social distancing, self-isolation and quarantine, we might be tempted to focus on negative.
What we are seeing around us is a glorious expression of community care. We have lived in cultures largely focused on independence and we’ve made a grand pivot, if only for a time, to choosing to act in solidarity with one another, with the weakest among us, with those who get to provide support in health care.
We are moving into an intentional space of retreat for the good of the community. Watch your words and your thought processes in this time and choose wisely! And reach out for the connection and support that you need. Let us be part of that if you wish by scheduling an appointment for a Discernment Call.
5. Nourish your spirit, your body, and your mind.
We have space to do some things right now that we might not regularly think that we can do. With a little practice, we might discover that we love them so much that we’ll find the way to keep them in our lives.
What would be most nourishing for your spirit today?
What makes you feel most alive, most free?
How can you weave that into your day in ways that help you to be a welcoming host to the treasure that is in you?
Maybe it’s going for a walk, or creating art, or reading a book or talking to a friend.
Maybe you finally have space to practice praying in five minute bursts through the day.
One of my favorite ways to nourish my spirit is to steep myself in Scripture.
I like to write out verses and add my situation into them. We read Psalms out loud every day. They have become part of the process of acknowledging our thoughts and feelings, while listening for the voice of the Divine Family and their invitations to us day by day.
We’ve got a whole stack of Faith at Home podcast recordings that could be part of your own Psalm listening. These conversations between Reade and Jennifer are genuine experiences of listening together for what the Divine Family speaks as we read through the Psalms.
The Faith at Home podcast can be found here on our website or by connecting to your favorite podcast app through GooglePlay, Spotify or Apple.