Q&A, Thursday morning, March 26, 2020

Q&A, Thursday morning, March 26, 2020

Q: I notice I feel anxious after I watch or read the news.  What can I do?

A: It can be helpful to choose to be intentional about when and how to watch or read the news.  That is, choose a time when you can be reflective and discerning about the news. Don’t be a passive recipient of what you read.  Before learning the news, do something wise and supportive.  This might be meditating or spending time outside.  Then sit down in a place and manner that you can track your inner response to learning the news.  You might read or watch a news item twice to notice what you missed the first time, what important questions or issues are not addressed, and what perspective of the news is presented. After engaging with the news, do something wise again that can give your system time to process what you have learned.


Q: I’m communicating more with family and friends and finding it challenging.

A: There are a few things you can do.  First, before those communications, you can reflect on what you want to bring to them, how you want to show up for yourself and for others.  Second, you can reflect on what purpose others may have for the conversations.  If you can understand where others are coming from, it might be easier to participate in those conversations in a way that supports everyone. If you reflect on the bigger contexts of your relationships with family and friends, you might have better clarity for how you want to participate in the communications. It is not just what you want or don’t want in the communication, it is also what supports the ongoing relationship.  Also, you might consider ways you can ask questions or make remarks that gently move the conversation to something you believe is supportive, connecting, and meaningful.


Q: In order to support myself I’m trying to spend some time outside, but I notice I feel fear whenever I see other people.

A: In this time of the coronavirus, it is common to have some fear, some anxiety. If the fear is not too strong, it can be our companion that accompanies us but which we don’t allow to dictate what we do. When fear is strong it might be useful to consider if the strength is in direct relationship to how helpless we feel.  Helplessness can magnify fear.  In this case, you might consider how you can go outside in a way in which you can care for yourself better.  One option is to go out early in the morning.  Few people are out at dawn.  If what you’re trying to do is get fresh air and go for a walk, then dawn is a lovely time to be outside. Wearing a face mask might help you feel less fearful. It might also help to not be in a hurry; this way you can step aside until people pass or move on.  The point is to be outside in such a way that you don’t feel helpless.