(I wrote this article for a witchy discord I moderate for, but I think it widely applies to all people...I hope that this will hope people cope with these uncertain times)
This era is a once in a century adversity that may not occur again in our lifetimes, but will likely drastically change all things that have been familiar going forward. A particular set of tools will be required to give birth to this transition. That tool set is called Resilience. Resilience is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.” In essence, this means that, though adversity is an ever present part of life, it is unnecessary to experience long term suffering with the building of magical, psychological, and social parachutes to help ease any and all hardships by acting in a nature of high personal efficacy. We can’t change what happens, but we can absolutely change what we do about it.
The following skills, if practiced consistently, can aid in the magical art of changing consciousness at will (roughly described as a mundane act by the American Psychological Association). Make no mistake. These charges are difficult, essential, and life building. They are not temporary fixes or bandaids to be used in times of great need. Skills are built over a lifetime of practice and commitment to stay the course. We have the responsibility to ourselves, to each other, and to the future to survive this pandemic as best as we are able so that we may emerge on the other side ready to move forward in grace.
Connections - Relationships are a garden you tend. An untended garden goes to weed. In this way, so does our willingness to connect to other people. Choked out by the weeds of our isolation. We are isolated together right now...the best option is not to personally isolate online as well. Though it's not safe to visit people right now due to the global pandemic, utilize any and all technologies at your fingertips (zoom, Kast, video games, skype, telephones, letters, emails, memes, youtube, snapchat, whatsapp). This connectivity makes it easy to be reminded that we’re not alone just lonely due to the isolation at hand.
Self-Care - The first and most important temple is yours. Do things that feed personal competence and build you up. Take good care of yourself: drink enough water, sleep, exercise, take medications as prescribed. Keep yourself clean and well kept. The ritual of getting dressed every day and going through the motions of leaving even if you are not, is important to our mental health as a collective. It’s a hope that things will return to some semblance of how we remember normal to be. Meditate. Find quiet moments for yourself to hear yourself think. Journal. This will help sort thoughts and give them form. Dance.
Find Purpose - Take a personal inventory and find out who you truly are. Volunteer online or teach a class to your peers on zoom. This too will help build a sense of competency and ability to ask for help yourself if you need it by understanding that needing help is human. Help is absent of shame. Address things in your life as they come up and they won’t pile up in the back of your head waiting for your attention. Keep on the lookout for opportunities to delve into learning about yourself by utilizing vulnerability as a sacred tool. Listening to other people can help you to get new perspectives about yourself.
Embrace Healthy Thoughts - Stay hopeful about the future. We don’t know what will come, but we do have the facts that thoughts can manifest form. Rumination and fatalism is absent of the faith in the Universe (or whatever Higher Power you relate best to) providing for and doing exactly what we need right now (even if it doesn’t feel like it at first). Learn from the past. Avoid repeating old mistakes or abusing drugs/alcohol. This only puts a damper on healthy thinking.
Acceptance - Change is part of life and though things are hard right now, they are in a constant state of ebb and flow. Control what you have control over and release the rest. If your dreams have outlived reality, use that personal inventory and reassess your goals based on your history and experience. Prayer.
Asking for help - The wildly resilient soul knows when to reach out to get help from a professional to help with anything you cannot handle on your own or if you need help building resilience. Do not be afraid. Needing help and asking for it is greatly vulnerable, but yields gems that help the entire planet heal through your ability to ask for it when you need it. Vulnerability is sacred and you’re never alone--even if you’re lonely.
We have the power to change the world and we will, by changing our own.
If you or a friend is in crisis, please reach out to a licensed professional.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (USA)