Collective Consciousness

written by: Ljubomirka Bijelic

Amidst the most advanced and most discussed event of our lifetime, COVID-19 is progressing at a fast pace, unlike any pandemic the world has experienced before. Could it be because the technology and the news travel faster than ever before or is it because the bad news has always traveled fast? It’s likely both are accurate. One thing is for certain, the entire world is experiencing its impact while each individual is experiencing it differently on an emotional, and psychological level. We want to acknowledge that it is a difficult time and we want to help people get through this difficult time together. 

Some things to consider

The COVID-19 situation has taught me many lessons regarding the significance of relationships with ourselves – including how we practice mindfulness, self-compassion, and gratitude. What is our sleep hygiene like? Are we getting enough sleep? Are we eating nutritious meals? Are we moving our bodies through walks in nature, running, golfing, dancing in your living room alone, your kids, your dog, your cat? There are many options, you simply need to discover the ones that work for you.

What about our emotions and feelings? How we respond to others, our careers and daily activities we sometimes tended to take for granted until the last few weeks? All of those are equally important as staying informed about the COVID-19.

There are many exceptional matters we can perform, activities which will get us through this….. At moments before-mentioned, where numerous people are staying home, those who are humble and aspired to minimize the exposure to COVID-19 their family members and others in their communities. Those who are forced to stay home….There are so many of you who are feeling and thinking this is unfair and wrong, stop and pause for a minute, and create a way to Exist in the present moment not taking everything for granted…. Existing now…….in my evaluation, it is crucial to view all the emphatic views of this story unfolding in our lives momentarily. Now is the time to be mindful of our thoughts and actions more than ever if we want to succeed in the aforementioned struggle we are all enduring. 

Anxiety over things we have no control/toilet paper

I’m going to try to finish the book I started writing two years ago. It has always been on the back of my mind as something I want to do if only I had enough time. I also wanted to meditate more, if only I had enough time. All of those excuses about not having enough time no longer apply. How about always complaining about not getting enough sleep? The excuse of time is no longer available.

So what can you do? As for me, I’m too going to meditate, read, journal, be expressive about my thoughts and emotions, acknowledge the feelings and emotions I have about this whole situation and make this unique time exquisite, and unique to myself. I am going to still go to bed on time and have the same daily routine. With many other things, I will continue to exist in my life and do tasks such as running and practicing yoga, dance, create crafts, and make friendship bracelets for my students at school – all the things I felt I never had enough time for.

Now it’s your turn – give yourself credit for all you’ve done and explore the possibilities that are vibrating within just waiting for you to embrace them and make time for them. 

People out of work

The COVID-19 virus is not simply a crisis you need to endure alone. There are so many of us who are experiencing the same feelings and rollercoaster of emotions. A layoff can be frightening and unpredictable, which adds one more item to your plate to deal with. Understand there are resources to assist individuals and families that are provided by local, state, and federal governments. (See the resources section for more information.) 

Students’ experiences 

According to the U.S. Census, there are nearly 75 million students in the United States (Pre-K through college). It is important to acknowledge the hardship shift in their learning experience to online learning. Students learn in different ways and many don’t perform well with online materials. Thus it’s important for both teachers and professors and students of all ages to be patient and understanding of the challenges this new format has created on both sides. It is important to maintain a routine while taking online courses to make sure you get the most out of it. 

Concerning students with school-age children is more important due to possibly being distracted by attending children’s needs. Try asking for help from a partner, or a close friend to help while you study. Use their nap time to have time for yourself or do schoolwork. It is going to be different for everybody but the main thing is to find balance in the chaos.

Graduation

Graduation for many, if not the majority of students, is one of the most important events of their lives when their accomplishments and efforts are celebrated together with their fellow classmates, friends, family, and professors. Unfortunately, there are things we cannot control and COVID-19 is one of them. It is important, however, to acknowledge the feelings this situation brings out if you are upset, sad, happy, or joyful; there is no right way to feel right now what’s important is to understand those feelings and talk about them with people around you.  

Focusing on Hope

Center your attention on reducing mental stress and anxiety in your community instead of stocking up on toilet paper which is not going to acquire you a greater degree of control. While you live in anxiety and your next-door-neighbor lives in anxiety no one is supported. When in a situation of distress, despite what is happening in the world today- in our cities, towns, communities, in our homes, let’s pause and reflect on the wasted energy on hoarding unnecessary items and seek understanding. Social distancing is a must and it must not stop you from trying to reach out to your family, friends, neighbors; exchange a number, Snapchat, email, call each other via phone, zoom, skype so many great valuable technologies to be used, most are free, you know helping others you always help yourself the most.

“Being involved in the community helps to shape your thinking. The outreach in being a blessing to others is a resource for reflection and much gratitude.”― Germany Kent

–Ljubomirka Bijelic