Life in the time of COVID-19

Change can lead to enlightenment, even if on occasion we move forward dragging, kicking, screaming.

I will often remind my patients that though it may feel what is happening around us is too big, too deep, too emotional, this moment in time is but a wave (albeit a big one) in the vast ocean
of one’s life.

So how do we retain positive inner feelings, when we may feel anxious, angry, frightened; when it feels like the world is falling apart?

Understanding Qi or “life force” can be especially helpful, when life appears confusing.
Qi is constantly moving through our bodies. It is the unseen life force that supplies us with the power to breathe, move, think, create, the power to be who we are… in our homes, and out in
the world,

Qi is the invisible power in nature; Qi force creates the wind, the rain, the sunshine, the rise and fall of the seas. When Qi becomes stuck in our bodies due to lack of movement, trauma, illness, general dis-ease, or when we become unable to move through illness, negative thoughts, feelings and overall uneasiness, Qi becomes stagnant or stuck. Stagnant Qi lead’s to anger,
disease, nervous disorders and all-around lack of wellness.

Movement and change is the way of nature.

The principles of Yin and Yang help us recognize that darkness is followed by light, just as hot turns to cold, day to night. Seasons change as life changes. Nothing stays the same. Yin and
Yang are in constant movement and represent change. Change often represents a force outside of us, we cannot control.

Anything we can do to mentally accept or embrace change helps to move our Qi.

This is the route to harmony and well-being with regard to our health, thoughts, actions and deeds. It comes down to doing our best, always, and then accepting what is in front of us.
Accepting that bad things happen, that good things happen all the time to everyone is not a weakness it is actually a strength.

Taking a step, even if it is wobbly, into the here and now is the way forward. Here are a few suggestions:

Do things differently today. No matter how imperfectly your experiment turns out, the goal is to allow yourself to be open, to learn, to grow, to experience something new. You might
actually have some fun playing in a new sandbox.

Most importantly, do everything you can to get enough restful sleep. Allow yourself to sleep in.
Enjoy the mornings. Boost your immune system. If you are unfamiliar with movement first thing in the morning, you might simply start by stretching for 10 minutes. There are many ways to stretch. Practice can be done online if you need tips. (until in-person classes are available.) It is important to establish a stretching routine and stick to it.

Eat healthy. Your body is your temple. The food you take in feeds you mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Consider food as powerful fuel for your mind, emotions and body.
Foods empower you to be your best self. Eat according to the seasons; buy fresh, and organic whenever possible. Create balance by choosing variety in your food choices. Aim to create a
rainbow of color on your plate, more vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, healthy oils, less empty carbs, saturated fats, sugars and animal protein. If you are “over-serving” yourself with
sugar, caffeine, recreational libations and the like, cut back. Make cooking and preparing meals fun and creative. Moderate your portions.

Decide to become mindful of your body’s needs and what it is that make’s you feel healthy.
Now is the time to increase your intake of Vitamin D foods or Vitamin D supplements.
Get out in nature as much as possible and make it a point to get outdoors every day; even better if you can get a bit of diffused sunshine. Focus on the wind in your face, the sensation of
fresh air. Take in the trees, the flowers, nature’s new growth, the beauty around you. Get your Qi moving while feeling a sense of relaxation.

Sleep with your windows open to circulate fresh air.

Try a Tai Chi or Qi Gong class online. You will discover specific sounds and gentle movements that correspond to the Yin/Yang organ functions in our body. These movements are meditative, interesting and healthy. They have also been shown to build up the immune system.

Dancing to music is fun and healthy at the same time. Take a brisk walk, run, lift weights, take a Yoga, Barre, Zumba, Pilates class or any number of the multiple offerings available on social
media. The purpose is to move your body, to move your Qi.
Make time to meditate every day, connect with your breath, feel your breath in your body as you breathe in and out. Explore watching your thoughts just float by, instead of thinking your
thoughts. Concentrate on your breath. Start with 10 minutes, increasing meditation time as you become more and more comfortable in the space of your breath and stillness.
Give yourself a massage and/or if you are in partnership take time to massage one another.
Locate the places your body feels tender, or sore, and gently rub them. Explore where touch feels good on your body and touch yourself there. Take your time, slowly feel your skin, your
body. Create your own erotica.

Try dry brushing every day in the direction of your heart to enhance cellular regeneration.
Skin the largest organ on our body reflects the health inside and outside our bodies. Dry brush before bathing.

Chinese Medicine saying; “If you want to change your life, clean your house “Do you take pride in your home? This is the space you sleep in, bathe in, relax in, create love in.
This is your castle, a place you can claim as your private sanctuary. Create this space in the vision of your own reflection of who you see yourself to be.

Arrange closets, drawers, the kitchen, the garage. Donate and recycle what you no longer need or use. Organize your valued possessions.

If bored, lonely or feeling restless, try a new hobby that can be done easily within your home.
Any project that involves art is good not only for your mind, it is also good for your immune system. Studies show that any healthy activity that relaxes the mind also relaxes the body,
decreasing cortisol levels.

When your body is in a state of relaxation, Qi moves more easily throughout the blood vessels and organs. One does not need to be especially good at painting, drawing, ceramics, collaging,
woodworking, cooking, sewing, quilting, crocheting or knitting to enjoy it. Teach yourself how to play cards or a new board game. There is something for everyone to explore.

Music, Music, Music - throughout time, music has been shown to promote feel good hormones in our limbic system. This is an opportune time to rediscover familiar music from your past,
discover today’s new sounds, or even pick up an instrument.

While physical distancing from others to keep ourselves and others safe, we still have creative options to socially interact with family members and friends near and far.

Reach out to someone if you need emotional support, there is no need to struggle alone.
Physical avoidance does not cut off communication, sharing of ideas, conversations, hopes and dreams. On the contrary, technology provides us with several platforms for face-to-face

In addition to self-care remember “other-care”. Check the welfare of others, ask if your neighbor needs any assistance (e.g. grocery shopping). Little acts of kindness, and empathy
tend to reduce negativity and enhance positivity in all of us.

Feeling dissatisfied, angry, bored? Try planting something. Get your hands in the earth.
Planting and growing your own indoor or outdoor garden is another fulfilling way to add to creative satisfaction while enhancing the environment. Gardens, green plants, fruits, vegetables
and flowers oxygenate the air, while adding beauty to your surroundings.

Learning to grow and care for something else allows one to concentrate on lighter thoughts and minimize unproductive thoughts.

Pick up that book you have been waiting to read, or start a Journal, write something about your inner experience, your insights about the day, positive or negative. Get your inner thoughts out and onto paper. Enjoy poetry, reading magazines, the art’s and travel section of the paper. Shift your view of the horizon.

Pay particular attention to the positive moments in each day. it is easy to “awfulize” the news with all the social media we are exposed to. Take control of your own narrative, create your
own idea of a happy story filled with uplifting moments; remember those moments and share them. Allow yourself to really relax.

EnerQI is a term I coined that means the “vibration we carry with us as we go about our lives. It is a Qi force field that surrounds all of us, (and all living things.) This force field comes from
within us and is an invisible vibrating electromagnetic field.

In humans EnerQi is enhanced by the food we eat, the thoughts we think, the air we breathe, the way we care for ourselves, the sleep and exercise we get, the way we communicate and the
way we respond to others in our life.

Remember, while we may be powerless to restrain the seas of change around us, we can call on our own personal power to steady the ship in the choppy swells of change.

If not now when?

Sheri Laine L.Ac, Diplomate of Ac.
Author of The EnerQi Connection, and Living the EnerQi Connection.

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