Updated: Jul 19
Many people are experiencing emotional upheaval due to the restrictions (e.g., lockdown, movement control order, and quarantine) to safeguard us from the COVID-19. Below is the Mindful-RAIN* practice to help us cope better with the pandemic.
R - Recognize the stressful thoughts & feelings. A - Accept the unpleasant experience with self-compassion. I - Identify our needs & resources to cope with the challenges. N - New opportunities, discoveries & ways of living.
* adapted from RAIN by Vipassana teacher Michele Mcdonald.
R - Recognize the stressful thoughts & feelings.
Be mindful (remember) that you're not alone in your struggles, and this shall also pass. Try to relate to the unpleasant experience with kindness. Let's be gentle and make peace with the mind and body.
Would you like to know your level of emotional distress? If yes, here's an online test for measuring your stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms for the past week. Awareness is the first step in healing and...
Awareness in itself is healing - Frederick Salomon Perls.
A - Accept the unpleasant experience with self-compassion.
Acceptance doesn't mean we do nothing about a situation. It means we acknowledge the problem and try to be kind to ourselves. We let go of what it's not within our control and focus on what we can do. In these ways, we reduce the suffering arising from a problem.
3 mindfulness & self-compassion exercises to be kind to ourselves:
Mindful Body Stretching. - This is good for relaxing muscular tension & body aches. Slow, Deep & Mindful Breathing. - This is good for calming the mind. Butterfly Hug & Kindful Breathing. - This is good for soothing fear, worries, and anxiety.
I - Identify our needs & resources to cope with the challenges.
After relaxing the body and calming the mind through the above kindfulness-based exercises, try to focus on what we can do. This approach is more helpful than ruminating, complaining, or feeling helpless. Let's AAM - Accept, Adjust & Move On.
Pay attention to our needs. What do you need now? Here are some examples of needs during the Movement Control Order (MCO):
How to minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19?
How to explain the coronavirus to children?
How to work from home productively?
How to overcome boredom, loneliness & fear?
How to arrange for groceries delivery & make payment online?
How to prevent domestic conflict?
How to behave well during the MCO?
Ask for help and allow others to support us. We help one another and together, we build a better world.
N - New opportunities, discoveries & ways of living.
It's easy to focus on the faults in life, especially during a crisis. Let's try to focus on the blessings and opportunities available, right here, right now.
After the lockdown, we might not have much time:
To be with your family or play with the kids.
To listen to your favorite music or watch TV series.
To read inspirational books or listen to motivational talks.
To meditate & reflect on the meaning of life.
To write an article or compose a song.
To rest, sleep & do nothing.
Let's appreciate whatever little good enough experience amid the unpleasant situation, and remember...
Mindful-RAIN doesn't miraculously solve all our problems. But it helps us to cope better, minimize suffering, and stay hopeful - RAINBOW.
Everything's gonna be alright, everything's gonna be fine...
Singing in the rain...
Acknowledgement: images from Sketches in Stillness https://www.sketchesinstillness.com/