Categories: ColumnistsHomeOpinion

#UNTRENDING: Perfect time to practise compassion and mindfulness

By Vicki McLeod/Special to The News

There is a group I meet with, which gathers weekly to deepen our practice around compassion and mindfulness.

Often, we open sessions by going around the circle and stating one word that captures the essence of the preceding week.

My word for this week would be “tested.”

It is relatively easy to extol kindness, self-compassion, understanding, and common humanity as virtues, but it is much more difficult to put them into practice – even under normal circumstances. And recent circumstances are certainly not normal.

The rapid spread of COVID-19 and the attendant confusion it brings are difficult to navigate.

Worry, fear, and anxiety are natural responses to the current situation. These feelings can be overwhelming. Never has there been a better time to practise mindfulness, self-compassion, and loving-kindness.

Following the recent announcements by government health officials to restrict public gatherings and practise social distancing, I posted a blog offering 10 Ways to Cope Compassionately with COVID-19.

You can read the post for yourself. In it, I recommend a few simple and mindful activities to help us cope during troubling times.

It is challenging to limit our intake of news and resist the urge to compulsively check social media newsfeeds, but be wary of information overload.

The scope and scale of information (and misinformation) is mind numbing.

Scrolling social media feeds is distracting, but it is not a panacea for loneliness, nor does it replace genuine connection with other human beings – whether via digital means or in-person.

While we are limiting our social contact and maintaining physical distance, we must still make real emotional connections with each other.

This can be done the old-fashioned way, by simply picking up the telephone and calling someone, or by democratizing digital tools such as Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, and Messenger video.

We will find ourselves with unexpected time on our hands.

RECENT COLUMN – #UNTRENDING: Pressing pause to let feelings flow

Instead of agitatedly scrolling feeds, why not use the time to teach someone less savvy how to use these powerful communication tools purposefully?

This week my social circle created a digital birthday party for a friend who turned 60.

We weren’t all equally comfortable with using the video platform, but we helped each other, and made sure everyone got online.

I recently introduced my 80-year-old mama to Facetime. She’s in the high-risk category and as a family, we are naturally protective. Learning to use FaceTime enables her to see us face-to-face and is helping us cope with less physical contact.

Beyond being a salve for boredom or a form of escape, social media and the other digital tools at our disposal can be used to support others and extend our connections, as long as we practise inclusivity. There are many who see this crisis as an opportunity to reignite community offering help and support to friends and neighbours.

Others are resisting the circumstances, struggling to accept a new normal.

COVID-19 is definitely testing us as a human family.

We are being tested to choose calm and reason over panic, love over fear, and reflection over resistance.

In all cases we can offer compassionate awareness and kindness.

We are being tested, and we it’s one we can pass together.

– Vicki McLeod is an author, TEDx speaker, and award-winning entrepreneur. She is a business and personal coach and consultant. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or find her at www.vickimcleod.com.

.

• If there is more to this issue, please let us know about it. Email us at editor@mapleridgenews.com. We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Wire Service

Leave a Comment
Share
Published by
Wire Service
Tags: social media

Recent Posts

Pentagon on lockdown after shooting near Metro station

Multiple gunshots heard near the vicinity

1 hour ago

Dozens of flights in and out of Kelowna cancelled due to wildfire smoke

More than two dozen arriving and departing flights on Tuesday have been cancelled

1 hour ago

NYC will require COVID vaccination proof for indoor dining, gyms

This is the most aggressive step the city has taken yet to curb a surge…

1 hour ago

SHARE: Stunning sunrises and sunsets

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it…

2 hours ago

Canada shut out of medals again, but sprinters De Grasse, Brown provide hope

Country left without any hardware to celebrate for the second straight day

2 hours ago

Where will homelessness rise or fall? A federally funded AI has some predictions

Helpseeker says numbers should help policy-makers decide on where to put resources

2 hours ago