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COVID-19 & Mindfulness — 3 things I learnt

by Selena Fonseka 22 days ago in advice
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Mindfulness can really take a hit during times of turmoil, here’s what I’ve learnt!

Photo by Heike Trautmann on Unsplash

I came into close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 this past week and soon tested positive myself. There is a lot of fear instilled when it comes to COVID-19 and I found myself panic; I have to continue my studies for the summer semester, I have a job I need to continue doing well, I need to find time to help around the house and if I am sick then how will I be able to handle everything.

Mindfulness is being aware of the state we are in. Not letting our panic, thoughts, feelings make us lose touch of reality. When this obstacle occurred, that is exactly what happened to me. I wasn’t rushing to get to a doctor or get any medicine, I was pacing back and forth just panicking and I was just filled with fear. What if I get so sick that I have to end up going to the emergency? Who will drive me? What if I get my parents sick, what will happen to them? So many questions.

Panic and racing thoughts are like flying arrows that pierce the fabric of mindfulness so aggressively, it might seem like there is no way out. It is easy to let these thoughts take control and I saw myself progressively letting go of all the habits and discipline I’ve built over time. Being sick is a strong excuse because your body is not in its normal state and it is okay to take time to recover. But when I started feeling better, I feel as if I had gone back to what I was before.

Stress and sickness have a strong link to each other. The more stress you collect, research suggests that your immune system gets weaker. It is important to work on mindfulness in order to strengthen your body and heal faster.

I’ve learnt a lot of things about mindfulness during this period. I am going to list them down below incase anyone of you might also be going through trials or conflicts and find yourself letting go of the very things you are trying to build.

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Don’t Count

Photo by Kevin Ku on Unsplash

The best lesson I learnt is to never count. I counted every single negative unfortunate thing that was happening over the days, I counted the hours I overslept, I counted the days I wasn’t feeling it and I counted the days that were wasted — I kept counting everything. And it was happening subconsciously almost.

Our brains are wired to make patterns. We seek and find ways to connect everything we think and do. When our brain starts to realize all the little events happening in our life and threads them together, especially bad things, it can spark a sudden wave of negativity.

These negative things are sometimes out of our control, and when we start counting them — it weighs us down. We don’t deserve to live everyday with a count in our heads reminding us how much we haven’t accomplished and how much we have left to do etc. That is toxic pressure, that is like adding salt to coffee instead of sugar.

Never count. Like the infamous Tame Impala song — Let it happen. Let anything happen. Once you start counting things, you carry that thread of negativity with you everywhere and you are bound to trip on it whenever you start a new task, sneaking over your shoulder and reminding you of all the things that went wrong before.

Counting bad things will disrupt your mindfulness and make you less aware of what situation you are actually going through. It can unnecessarily add weight on your shoulders and really pull down your spirits.

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Don’t Pretend

Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

Pretending that you are fine does not take you far at all. The term — Fake it till you make it — is not a sustainable mindset and isn’t always applicable in all cases. Really take the time to relish in your emotions and take the time to heal. It is easier said and done, not everyone has the time for this.

So find ways to take breaks within the tight schedules and try to do things that bring some joy into your day. Whatever you do, pretending that you are okay might only fix things temporarily and when that dopamine high starts dipping, where will you go? That is a crucial mistake I did, pretending I was feeling better when I was completely not. This throws mindfulness out the door!

If you pretend, you won’t be able to assess yourself properly, give yourself the awareness to calm down and act smartly when a situation happens. Mindfulness starts to diminish when you pretend, it’s a false demeanor you are putting up.

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Don’t Overestimate

Photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash

Overestimation is again a type of toxic pressure, inflating your personal abilities can give you false hopes and when you use that hope to carry yourself throughout the day, it can start to weigh you down because you are expecting unrealistic results.

I have a terrible habit of overestimating my abilities and then I end up overworking myself and not accomplishing the tasks I could have easily completed had I just not overestimated myself.

Always consider your strengths and weaknesses in the moment, what you can and can’t do. Don’t give yourself any crap if you aren’t able to do something at the time, just don’t place expectations and overestimated abilities on yourself and then just wreak more havoc in your life.

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Achieving mindfulness is a journey. It takes time and sometimes these unfortunate incidents can really be strong lessons for us. I hope this helped bring light to the many ways we can achieve mindfulness and better ourselves everyday to improve our quality of life!

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A little bit about me as a writer: Being a Creative Strategist at LockandStock, a mobile app that promotes digital wellness, really inspires many of the things I write about. I am passionate about many subjects and writing has become my main outlet to express my thoughts. In my spare time, you’ll find me buried in either fantasy novels or books like Atomic Habits or Sapiens, where I gain a lot of the knowledge I share. I hope you enjoy my content! Follow for more!

Disclaimer: The original version of this story was published on another platform. Link to original version: https://medium.com/readership-club/covid-19-mindfulness-3-things-i-learnt-fd71b972921b

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About the author

Selena Fonseka

Creative Strategist at LockandStock | Part-time Blogger | Passionate about finding ways to curate a more fulfilling lifestyle so that’s what I write about!

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Comments (4)

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  • Sissi Smith19 days ago

    I really like the part you included about not overestimating. It isn't talked about nearly enough in relation to mindfulness. I have struggled my WHOLE life to meet societal expectations of what I SHOULD be capable of and began to see myself as nothing but a failure... until I found out I was a missed childhood diagnosis statistic. It's still something I struggle to unlearn while I implement strategies that work well for me, and reading your words on being realistic felt very validating. Thank you for that.

  • Just Daniel21 days ago

    Thank you for writing this and sharing this with the community. It is a really good time to remind ourselves that Covid is still here, still out there, and it is still scary when faced with it or come into contact with someone who has Covid. There is also the fear and panic in people's faces when you tell them you have been in contact with a positive individual, yet employers offer no sick leave, pay, or any other benefit. In fact, if you are feeling fine, you are expected to clock in to work the following day. Basically, the pandemic is in the way of the economy and as far as the U.S.A., the economy comes first. I digress though. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story, your experience, and how you are teaching us of how to overcome the obstacles that you faced. Also, of how to look on the positive side! I really liked how you spaced your writing out with the Unsplash images, it made the writing stand out and they really complemented each other well!!

  • Govardhan Pinni22 days ago

    Also, have an open mind. A driving force. :)

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