What I’ve found to be most important to me during the lockdown is to create some sort of routine. My work has been hugely affected by the lockdown and already I’m waking up with no idea what day of the week it is. I’ve been trying to get up at a reasonable time in the morning (about 8am) and starting my day as I always did, with stretching and Qi gong. I generally then work until lunchtime, working on my blog and website. After lunch I do some exercise, and then in the afternoon I read. It may be Groundhog Day but I’m still managing to be a bit productive and keep my sanity at the same time.
Going from 100mph to zero
At the start of the lockdown it was so easy to get caught up in the general panic. I found the first week of lockdown incredibly difficult. It felt like the brakes had been slammed on and my nose was squashed against the windscreen. What makes it all so much worse is that energetically we are entering the Spring, a period of new growth and expansion. It totally goes against the grain having to stay in when I just want to be outside enjoying the fine weather. What makes it worse is looking out the window and it seems like it’s just me, everyone else is carrying on as normal. I’m lucky enough to have a garden where I can stay grounded. This weekend I did some general tidying up; I started off my seeds for the green house and prepared the veg beds for sowing.
Looking after your mental health
It’s so easy to get caught up in it all: COVID19, 5G radiation, the loss of our right to freedom. Add to this the worry of not being able to earn enough to pay the bills and also the feeling of isolation, and you have the perfect recipe for anxiety and mental health issues. There have also been significant changes to the Mental Health Act, allowing people to be held for 3 times longer than previously (now up to 12 weeks) based on the recommendations of only one doctor instead of three.
Finding solace in Chinese Medicine
So, it’s at time like this that we can look to Chinese medicine for solace and sage advice. We must listen to that voice within us saying, slowdown, this is what you’ve been waiting for. Do some gardening. Meditate. And don’t feel guilty. Here is an opportunity to let go. But I don’t think that voice is saying stop what you are doing, but rather, tune in to yourself. Try to feel what you really need right now. We are so caught up in living at 100 mph that now we are numb to our true needs.
In this crazy world of more, more, more, we only see the yang aspect of the Wood/Springtime. Industry, finance and politics only ever speaks of growth, expansion and the ability to accumulate as much as possible. At the start of the pandemic, the thoughts of lots of people was to go and buy as much toilet roll and baked beans as possible! In Chinese Medicine we say that the Liver acts as the General. The panic buyers were simply responded to their Wood instinct to defend the borders of their empire.
Learning how to yield without snapping
I’m not being judgemental; these instincts are within all of us. But we have been programmed by ‘the System’ to react in this way. As I’ve mentioned many times in my earlier blogs, a healthy Wood element also needs to be flexible. So just being warrior-like isn’t the only characteristic needed to cope with change, you also need to be flexible. Sometimes retreating, stepping back and assessing the situation is necessary on the road to victory. Just imagine an army that can only go blindly forward. A healthy Wood element needs to be supple and flexible, able to bend and yield to the wind. Just like the trees, if we lack flexibility we are more likely to snap under pressure.
So let us take this opportunity to learn how to let go. Slow down and take a moment to tune in to how you feel and what you actually need. Now is not the time to be doing more, but less. Recover and recuperate, because we’ll all be back on the treadmill before long. Think of the yin aspects of the wood element. Without yin there can be no yang.