As I write, rivers of rain pour down on the Puget Sound Basin and beyond, and piles of snow clog the mountain passes like never before. I’m seeing this as an invitation to stay home, to stay warm and cozy – hopefully curled up in a blanket or sitting in front of a warm fire.
What a time this has been. What a time this is. As we move into our third year of living with COVID-19 and its variants, we often feel angry, confused, sad, lonely, or frightened. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, 70% of people in the U.S. have reported such feelings during this pandemic. It’s hard to stay upbeat when our lives have changed so radically and uncertainty continues with seemingly no end in sight.
In such times as these, it’s important to reach into our spiritual tool bag and pull out some instruments that can help us feel better. Here are some ideas to try and to share with others.
1) Find peace and quiet
- Begin each day with 15-20 minutes of quiet meditation or prayer.
- Focus on breathing deeply and letting it out slowly. Inhale for six counts, hold for six, and exhale for six. Repeat several times.
- Find solace in the regeneration of nature. Walk outdoors using slow, measured steps. Find a place that you find beautiful. Consciously spend time focusing on what you notice, including subtle changes such as new buds or new shoots growing.
- Journal. Reflect on your dreams, your feelings, or your gratitude.
2) Connect with others
- Join a virtual book club.
- Take an online class that helps you deepen spiritually. You can find wonderful resources at Sage-ing International and Spirituality and Practice.
- Take leadership to invite people in your neighborhood or living center over for tea. Invite each person to contribute something to enrich the experience, such as an interesting tea, some cookies or small sandwiches, or the name of a book worth reading.
- Silently bless people you meet on walks or in the grocery store.
3) Wean yourself from things that upset you.
- Cut back on reading and watching the news.
- Avoid disturbing websites or media that upset or anger you.
- Insofar as possible, make peace with people who are difficult for you.
- Forgive others who have hurt you.
4) Reflect on your life
- Write a legacy letter to a beloved grandchild, niece, or nephew. Share core values you’d like them to carry on into a new generation.
- Write your spiritual autobiography.
For more information, please contact RSVP Coordinator Megan Wildhood at email@example.com or 206.694.6786.
About RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program)
- RSVP is an AmeriCorps Seniors program that engages people age 55 and older in a diverse range of volunteer activities. Sponsored locally by Solid Ground, we match RSVP volunteers with opportunities to meet community needs at approximately 40 partner organizations. To get involved, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org today!
- EIA (Experience in Action) is RSVP’s member newsletter, printed three times a year.
- This piece by EIA contributor Carol Scott-Kassner appears in WINTER/SPRING 2022: Staying warm and cozy. Carol is a spiritual director and a Certified Sage-ing Leader in Sage-ing International.
- Above images, from top to bottom, by Scott Smithson, Daniel Gasienica, and poppet with a camera via Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.