The outspread of coronavirus has proven how small the humankind is after all when faced with an epidemic like this. Day after day as more and more people get hospitalized, we start to realize, our future is not in our hands. As much as we would like to believe that the decisions we make and the actions we take for ourselves in our daily lives would let us be safe, the universe has just proven this wrong. And it is frustrating. So much that we go numb.
It is no longer only the virus that is creating anxiety and stress. It is the fear of millions of people around the globe losing their jobs, losing their dreams, faith and most devastatingly, losing their life. It is time to weigh our core values and what really matters.
I’ve been meditating for about a year now. The 10 minutes I use to meditate each day generally really are the only 10 minutes of my day in which I reflect my relationship to the world. Some days I see the world suffocating me, sometimes I feel like this all is just perfect. As I have meditated during the time of this pandemic, I have had controversial but mostly bright feelings. Why so? I feel like we’re finally letting our nature to take a break and breathe.
Weigh your values
We all have different kinds of values and beliefs. Some might argue that our daily lives have a deeper, spiritual meaning, some might not. My world view changed about two years ago at the time I started to see an osteopath, practice yoga and meditate. I learned that all of the actions I took had a bodily consequence. If I was angry or anxious, I felt a huge pressure on my chest. If I was sad, I needed to cry to let it all out. If I didn’t let myself cry, I felt pain in my diaphragm.
Looking years back, I never would’ve thought I was really going to say this out loud today: Each time I meditate, I feel cohesiveness to the world and to the people around me. We are all connected, one way or another. Before the crisis unfolded, I spent some time thinking about my values. Now while the crisis is with us, I try to spend more time thinking about what really matters to me.
Hence, our true core values come down to three simple things: social contacts, feeling of belonging to a community or a group and one’s own health. If there’s one thing we all owe to the world, it’s rethinking our values. Could we choose to alter the way we live and act? Could we choose to eat healthier? Could we choose to purchase smarter? Could we choose to put others first, instead of ourselves? Is it really necessary to go on a vacation in Greece or Bali just to get the perfect picture of you in a hammock to be posted on Instagram?
Time to heal
At times like these, being healthy is the most desired capital there is. And it is not only our personal health, but it’s also the health and wellbeing of our surroundings. When this pandemic is over and we’re back out there rebuilding what the crisis took down, we cannot blind ourselves anymore from the harm we have caused to our surroundings.
Since many countries closed their borders for the crisis, the aviation industry experienced a deep fall in their services. This is, of course, very drastic for the industry and the millions of people who lost their jobs. In contradiction, this is exactly what our nature has been asking us for some time now. China’s pollution levels plummeted when the coronavirus outbreak forced all Chinese people to close down big factories and stay home. Just look at the difference in those NASA satellite pictures. If this doesn’t give you the chills, then what does.
Quarantines seem to work and taking distance from the people around us is a necessity to stop the virus from spreading amongst us humans. While we care to ask each other how are we doing and is there anything we can do for each other, we have forgotten, that nature has been longing these questions for years now. The egoist, capitalist world has probably taken nature’s level of sickness into account but only now realizes how severely sick nature has really been.
Basic needs emphasized
We all have basic physiological needs that we need with us every day: food, water, warmth and rest. It is at times like these, the essential needs rise above all else. We have learned to give too much value to the luxuries we think are a necessity. And we have learned to give too much time for the unimportant things in life, like jobs, and too little time for the things that truly matter, like our family. Now we need to learn to do things differently. Grocery stores running out of toilet paper is an old joke by now but it is the best example of how we only can think of ourselves when a crisis hits us. Hoarding doesn’t get us very far, does it?
Plenty of fresh air and sunlight might help
Public gatherings are being discouraged by many countries and Finland is even looking into restricting one’s right to travel outside of the capital area. This is huge for a country like Finland since it is one of our basic rights as Finnish citizens to be able to enjoy the freedom of movement.
As a country with one of the cleanest air in the whole world, we are lucky. With all the restrictions around us, we still have fresh air to breathe. And if there’s anything we should learn from our history, it’s the approach the health officials took 100 years ago when influenza was spreading around the globe. History has it, fresh air works as a disinfectant, kills bacterias, and as new researches suggest, it can alter our inflammatory response to the flu virus.
You are in control
Do you know, is your locus of control internal or external? The term, locus of control, was developed by Julian B. Rotter in 1954 and it is the degree to which people believe that they have control over the outcome of events in their life. If you do not know the answer, you have all the tools to figure out on your own: find a comfortable and safe place, close your eyes and be with yourself for a while. If you do know the answer for yourself and it is e.g. internal, try to think of all the possible ways you can make yourself feel like you are on top of this situation, whether it is only washing your hands regularly or restraining from meeting anyone in person.
There is hope for us all. In addition to making sure we are taking care of our hygiene and keeping some distance to other people, I challenge you to meditate. Sam Harris is one of the best teachers for meditation and now you have a free chance to give it a try, click here to access Waking Up app, meditation free of charge for a full month.
Acknowledge how you feel and accept those feelings. And while you meditate, try to set your ego aside and promise yourself to revisit your values regularly and set them in the kind of order you think would benefit us all in the upcoming years. Something needs to change. This is not the way we are allowed to carry on any longer.
Do you feel like your values and priorities are going to change due to the virus? Feel free to share your thoughts below in the comments ⬇️