Finding Balance and Grounding in Uncertain Times
April 1, 2020
All of us have been affected in some way by the current global health crisis. Many of us are working from home. Parents are educating their own school-age kids – for some, multiple children at once. Extroverts are finding new ways to fulfill their need for social interaction. And we’re all hoping to maintain our yoga practice to stay healthy in body and mind.
My own life has turned upside-down: I’m juggling homeschooling my daughter, teaching live-streamed classes for the studio, and working my copywriting job from home in the remaining hours. I’ll admit that the first week of this balancing act was not pretty – I lost my cool trying to teach my daughter, shed tears over the loss of being present physically in the yoga community, and spent many nights up very late to meet work deadlines.
Through all of this, though, were opportunities to grow and adapt. I know each of us is faced with different challenges and that our lives, families, and days are unique, but there are a few things we can all focus on to help maintain balance and grounding when we need it most.
Create a Schedule
Set an alarm. Get out of bed around the same time every day, whether there is work to be done or not. This will keep your body in its natural circadian rhythm, give structure to your days and weeks, and allow you to nourish your body at appropriate and regular hours.
What’s also helped me is creating a schedule. I have a set time for homeschool, studio-related work, my personal practice, completing tasks for my writing job, and time to be present and connected with my daughter. Your daily needs and to-dos might look entirely different, but creating a predictable routine will help you stay grounded (and if there are other people in your home, it will keep them grounded, too).
Keep Up With Your Yoga Practice
The first week of the new normal was chaotic, and I made zero time for my personal practice. My body hurt from lack of movement. My anxiety was up and I wasn’t sleeping well.
Prioritizing my yoga practice was a big turning point for me mentally and emotionally. I committed to practicing three times a week. I began to sleep better than I had in days. I felt more calm. I was less easily triggered. My daughter reflected my energy back at me and our homeschooling began to go more smoothly.
Make your yoga practice a priority. If it’s not realistic for you to live stream a class with us every day, schedule specific times when you can roll out your mat and take an hour that is dedicated to your mental, physical, and spiritual health. There are already dozens of classes in our video library to choose from to help facilitate your self-care.
It is okay to not feel okay right now. But when you find yourself fixating too heavily or too long on the negative, redirect your attention to things that will lift you up. Notice the news stories about employers keeping their workers paid even as businesses have to close. Appreciate the extra time for the connection you have with the people or animals in your home. Remember that as citizens around the globe are asked to stay inside, pollution is clearing up in certain areas and our Earth has time to heal. For every moment of despair and worry, there is a bigger moment of gratitude to focus on. Every day, remind yourself – perhaps even in writing – what you’re grateful for.
We talk a lot in yoga about the idea of letting go. Aparigraha is the Sanskrit term most closely related to this idea, with its loose translation being “non-attachment.” We create our own anxiety by holding onto a desire to control the future, which is out of our control. Let go of your idea of what life is “supposed to” look like right now, and embrace what is. Setting this intention every day might give you some peace.
While it appears the new normal will be sticking around for a while, remember that it’s not permanent. I’ve cherished the dynamic that’s developed with my daughter at home and know that it will have a positive, long-term impact on our relationship. I’m grateful that despite the studio doors being closed, our yoga community is still alive and vibrant virtually and that I’m lucky enough to be able to continue to teach. Remember that your thoughts create your reality – allow yourself to feel, but focus your awareness where you’d like your energy to flow. Our virtual classes and your mat are always here for you. Make an effort to practice consistently, and we’ll all get through this together. “See” you on your mat, Uptown family.