Spiritual Practices for the Pandemic – Mathilda Navias

I’ve noticed two trends: most Friends are feeling anxious and stressed. We’re experiencing a collective, global trauma, made particularly difficult by its prolonged nature, the total uncertainty that lies before us, and forced changes in our lives. Some are dealing with very stressful work situations, others with looming financial disaster. And we’re responding with recognizable symptoms such as being unable to fully process a lot of what’s going on, or feeling kind of numb or fuzzy‐minded. I’m told that these are normal reactions. I assume that extroverts are having a particularly hard time because of physical distancing, and all of us are missing being with friends and family, especially when they are in the hospital or a nursing home. On the other hand, a few Friends are feeling buoyant, that this is the best thing that’s happened in a long time, happily tucked up in their own nests. They are relishing the solitude and free time. I assume they are introverts who don’t mind the isolation as much.

My heart goes out to Friends who are feeling the stress. It can help if we understand that we are reacting to a traumatic situation. It’s also helpful, given the circumstances, for us to give ourselves some slack. Be gentle with yourself. Don’t criticize yourself for not being up to your usual standards. Be merciful with yourself. And give others some slack, too.

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