The Coronavirus pandemic has been a major event, possibly one of the biggest things that will happen in all of our lives. Such a surreal time and it’s impacting on the whole world. There’s understandably a lot of fear, anxiety, sadness and worry.
One thing that I’ve really noticed though is the fundamental kindness and connection that we have as human beings. Remember back to when the impacts were beginning here in the UK (mid March) there was an outpour of kind acts – the National Trust opening venues for free, cafes and takeaways offering free drinks and meals for NHS and key workers etc. Then as lockdown began we saw evidence of people looking out for neighbours and friends, the weekly clapping for NHS workers, supermarkets opening at certain times for vulnerable people, local communities putting rainbows and teddy bears in windows etc.
I have found it helpful to read about these kind acts especially as an antidote to the news which is obviously very negative. When I hear the kindness stories I tend to feel it in my heart. Bringing attention into my body helps me “feel” the kindness. This months guided practice is helpful in cultivating physical feelings of kindness through memories.
These examples of kindness to others can be found in lots of places at the moment. We equally need to try and cultivate kindness towards ourselves. There are lots of articles going round about making use of this lockdown period to learn a new hobby, sort out the house, study for a qualification etc. But I think the most important thing is to be kind to ourselves and not judging ourselves too harshly. So what if we spend the occasional day watching Netflix or eat a bit more chocolate than usual! And so what if children play on iPads and phones for periods in the day. We should be kind to ourselves by not putting too much pressure on ourselves to “achieve”. And, of course, being kind to ourselves will hopefully involve doing some mindfulness practice to let go of those judgmental thoughts!