Let me say right up front–if lists of things you could do to feel better/differently in this crazy time are driving you nuts because it all sounds good but you just don’t have the energy and you can’t stop reading the lists even though they make you feel worse because of all the things you ‘should’ do but aren’t doing…it’s okay. Take a breath.
This is hard. It is exhausting. Getting through the day, the hour, the minute is enough.
The article, Why Am I So Tired? is one of the best answers to that question I’ve seen. Written with a solid understanding of neuroscience and deep compassion, it addresses its titular question beautifully. So read that. And stop right here if that feels right for you today.
What are some nature based resources to Covid-19 for my mind and spirit right now?
We’ve got you covered. Here’s a few I’ve found especially supportive these days…
Renewal in the Wilderness is a wonderful Maine based non-profit whose mission is to ‘guide encounters with wildness that strengthen and sustain cultures of compassion’. Typically, that guiding takes place in person, but they have adapted their offerings to physical distancing. Aram Mitchell, the executive director, is regularly posting short, thoughtful videos related to nature connection, resilience, and healing in response to the pandemic. I appreciate particularly that RITW makes space for both the incredible challenge and incredible possibility inherent in our current circumstances. RITW recently began a regular virtual gathering called ‘Trailhead’, a time for contemplation and community embedded in wild nature.
Emergence Magazine has posted several ecologically and spiritually grounded essays in response to the pandemic from a variety of gifted writers. They are also offering a host of free online opportunities, including book clubs, a nature writing course, talks with well known authors and filmmakers, and more. All are deeply connected to relationship with the natural world.
Orion Magazine is offering a series called ‘Together Apart’ in which nature writers exchange letters about their experiences of social distancing. There are also countless past articles to peruse online, all embedded in the idea that ‘humans are morally responsible for the world in which we live’.
How about nourishment for my mind and spirit in general? j
Tara Brach’s Pandemic Care Resources has proven helpful for guiding my own meditation practice these days. Tara is a psychotherapist, author and a long time meditation practitioner and teacher.
On Being, a radio show/podcast hosted by Krista Tippett, put together A Care Package for Uncertain Times. It includes podcasts, poetry, guided meditations, and readings of all sorts. I appreciate in particular that the explicit intention here was to offer a diversity of resources “for however you’re processing this moment”. All feelings are welcome, and all will have a place to land with this collection.
The Greater Good Science Center, out of UC Berkeley is a resource I’ve used and referred clients to many times. They compile and conduct research in the psychology, sociology and neuroscience of well being. Their online magazine has zillions of articles in general and several in particular related to pandemic response (how to cope without typical funerals, celebrations, etc., how to support homeschooling kids, your relationship, and lots more). Greater Good In Action is one component of the overall project that compiles science based practices that support emotional well-being. Each practice is clearly described and do-able on your own. Categories include practices that build connection, compassion, mindfulness, gratitude, and lots more.
Remember, if none of this appeals as you’re reading this, no worries! You are still a wonderful human. Maybe you could go for a walk or lean against a tree or search for a flower instead? Or just close your eyes and rest.