The Coronavirus Collection: Things That Have Been Helping Me Through All This

For the most part, MS hasn’t really been on my mind. I see this as a global problem that I, nor anyone else can escape from. The enormity of it has been quite consuming so far. But yes, there are some nights I wake up panicking because on an individual level I am immune compromised, more prone to upper respiratory infection and would have a harder time fighting it off. I push that fear aside and move on. More appropriately, though, I should be recognizing it. Feeling the fear, dealing with it and then moving on as so beautifully put in the article below.

I have to say, this one is so on point for me! Now and other times, I do that all the time where I feel like I question my feelings. Sometimes I’m scared they’ll overwhelm me if I let them in. I need to let go of that resistance to feelings. I’ve been saying for a while now to feel the feelings for a prescribed amount of time and then move on, and I like how he says this:

I often come back to the book the Power of Now. About how the acceptance of the now, doesn’t mean inaction. It means letting go of resistance to be able to make decisions from a place of clarity and for the highest good. I can’t emphasize that enough.

The Book of Joy has taught me many things, but something that particularly resonated with me was that helping others is one of the best ways to defeat depression and feel a sense of purpose. It’s why I thoroughly enjoy being part of Rotary so much and encourage service to others if you are feeling helpless, sad, a loss of hope. Service can mean a lot of things and can be as simple as a phone call these days. Believe me, there are plenty of people who could use some help right now and always, and it doesn’t take much to let them know you care. That can go a long way.

DAILY Yoga has been immensely powerful. It makes my feel better body and mind and spirit. Even 10 minutes a morning makes a huge difference on my outlook for the day. A lot of studios, like my local favorites Meta and Bhava are offering online classes for free and you can find a ton of classes on YouTube. I have tried a few teachers on YouTube and have landed on a favorite, Yoga with Kassandra who just started a free month long morning yoga movement. If you need some accountability, doing one of these challenges is a great way to get started. And they are 10 minutes, not a huge commitment. The ROI is phenomenal.

As my morning yoga practice has grown, so hasn’t the time I’ve been carving out for affirmations, gratitudes and meditation. I’m about to embark on a journey to finding and cultivating more abundance through a meditation group. Hope is quite powerful and goes much deeper than optimism as book of joy also talks about. Most people could benefit from a little more of these things. If you are looking for other ways to explore meditation, the headspace app is a nice, general, anti-anxiety fix. And the insight timer app has just about any theme or length of time you cold want. I love that I can sit down and say, “hey, I’ve got 5 minutes and I need to slow down and recenter.” Or, “That was a long day, I need to settle my brain down and could use some help relaxing and getting to sleep.”

Follow your inner guidance. I like to be inspired by oracle cards. Just about daily I will draw a card. Sometimes I do more detailed spreads if I’m trying to figure out what to release or attract. They often coincide with what the moon is up to at the time. I realize this might be a bit much for some people, but it’s a framework I enjoy. I don’t look to the cards to answer my “yes” or “no” questions, I put something out there and whatever card I draw makes me do a little soul searching. Ultimately I am making the decisions and it’s fun to see what pops up. It has been helping me trust myself, my intuition and not constantly look for re-assurances before doing everything.

As I often speak about, a connection to nature is quite comforting. It’s vital really. Get outside.

I have found renewed strength in my connections with others during all this. My husband and I have enjoyed the time at home together, the hikes and dog walks that have slowed us down and have led us to some really deep and meaningful conversations. I value the virtual meetings and happy hours. Whether we are talking about the impacts this virus has had on our lives, or just distracting ourselves from it for a moment. I’ve discovered a deeper connection to others and they’ve shared articles or books or activities that are helping them. I feel needed and purposeful when I pass on the value of what I’m learning.

Or, not talking about it sometimes is what I need. Taking a break – no news, no Facebook, no computer time one day a week. I’m still plugged in for work of course, I’ll scan my emails for time sensitive ones and will answer phone calls, but I’m not spending hours at my computer where every email, every article or facebook post, every interaction with another person is a conversation about coronavirus. That one day, I don’t want to call anyone either. I am acknowledging my situation, I am in no way denying it. I am just choosing to not spend time on it constantly. Brené brown has a fantastic podcast on this called comparative suffering and it’s only about 20 minutes. Perfect to pop on while you’re taking a shower or folding some laundry. That way I’m feeling more refreshed to get back at it for the rest of the week.

My dogs are a constant – they don’t care about viruses. They just want walks and hugs and love. And dinner – definitely don’t forget dinner 😉

Blogging – it’s cathartic for me. I enjoy the connections I am making and hope that it is a service to others. But maybe you enjoy painting or just personal journaling. Find time and space for creation and self expression.

One thing I do want to make more space for is creation. Get out those beads and make a bracelet or work on some watercolor paintings. It’s a huge part of alignment/balance and self care. About connecting with your core being and not just what is happening in my body on a physical plane (like my MS) or externally (global pandemics and all).

It’s hard to be healthy mentally if your body is struggling. Do the basics. Wash your hands, eat well, and get plenty of sleep. And always, always, drink enough water.

On the flip side. Self care means mental health, too. Not only is your reality a projection of your mind, but the body will for sure manifest stress and other intangible thoughts and feelings into physical illnesses.

Despite hitting pause on everything, there are external pressures on us right now to pay the bills, our rent and get food on the table. Know that there are local and federal government support systems in place or in the works in the form of small business loans, leniency on evictions, feeding communities, and lenders doing loan forgiveness programs. There are also emotional support systems like Building Hope here in Summit County that I bet your community offers as well. You just have to look for it 💛

And so many times, it comes back to control the controllable. You have more power than you think.

Lastly, I have you all to thank for all this advice. My friends, family and coworkers have all shared much of this with me and I only hope to pass it along so that it may also help someone else. I feel like a lot of this is relevant no matter who you are. And, if you are looking for more during this outbreak on MS related issues, check out the Rocky Mountain MS Center’s COVID-19 resource page, including a really helpful webinar with a Q&A session that just might answer some of your questions.

There is so, so much more I am probably forgetting and I welcome you to share what has been helping you cope. With coronavirus, or life in general.

Til next time, loves. May you be healthy and well – mind, body, and spirit.


Published by Aimee Straw

Diagnosed with MS at 29, my journey toward higher heart and soul really began to unfold and flourish a few years later when I started to accept, and embrace, who I really am. There are many lessons to learn along the way and I am excited to share my story in the hopes that I can connect with and inspire others.

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Living life with a chronic illness is definitely not easy. But I do my best to push through all the barriers this illness puts in front of me! In my heart and mind, I believe maintaining a positive outlook on all situations in life will carry us through to much better times! I hope you find the information that I provide both helpful and inspirational!

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