CALMING THE MINDSET
“For Such A Time as This”
We are now in the second half of the year 2020 and boy, has it been an astonishing year thus far. I doubt that anyone denies having emotional effects given all that has happened and is still taking place. Many planned and prepared for this to be a year of triumph and victory on so many levels. I often heard many declaring the underlying theme “2020 Vision” for the new year. We stepped into this new decade with new goals and the desire to climb higher heights, with an anticipation of making this the best year ever. And almost immediately after it began, things began to shift for the entire world.
During the first month of the year, the world as a whole was shaken to its core with the unexpected and shocking news of the helicopter accident resulting in the tragic deaths of nine individuals that included the late NBA basketball great, Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna. As the news spread quickly across the nation and nearly stopped everyone dead in their tracks; an outpouring of hurt and mourning were felt as a result of this horrific and unimaginable tragedy. It felt surreal as everyone absorbed the reality of these families who were left to grieve the loss of their loved ones.
And as we were all coping and trying to process this huge loss, we slowly started hearing about the Coronavirus, known as COVID-19. By the time March hit, we were all thrusted into the reality of this virus that impacted not only this country, but the entire world. States began to implement stay-at-home orders and before we could hardly comprehend what was going on, our lives became heavily infiltrated with new terms such as social distancing, quarantine and others that will forever be embedded in our minds. This pandemic created a “new normal” for just about everyone and caused major adjustments in our everyday lives. As many businesses struggled to maintain normal operations and eventually had to shut down, their employees found themselves without a job and barely able to make ends meet. Other corporations transitioned to a telework posture to accommodate their workforce, many with school aged children, who were quickly introduced to distance learning as a result of school systems shutting down. Graduations and proms were canceled as parents had to become creative with hosting social distancing celebrations. The events of this year have repeatedly been described as “unprecedented” by the media. And if the events of the first five months of the year wasn’t enough, the unofficial start of summer was met with racial tensions as a result of two black males being murdered on camera in separate incidents. These social injustices sparked worldwide chaos as many became angry and outraged especially because one of them happened at the hands of law enforcement in Minneapolis. As a result, thousands of citizens from cities all over began protesting and slowly started letting their guards down by not practicing social distancing and wearing masks.
With so much going on, it feels surreal, causing the minds of many to wander into places unimaginable. Overall, people are hurting and grappling for answers. Indescribable pain, heartache, and depression are on the rise. Frustrations are rising, causing a state of anxiety far from calmness. But during these unprecedented times, individually, we must find effective ways to deal and heal. Many find themselves watching less news and fasting social media as alternatives to disconnect from societal ills, just to relax and sooth their aching hearts. As summer quickly winds down, family vacations had to be canceled and regularly scheduled gatherings and other events stopped. Summer camp organizers became creative and had to quickly develop virtual experiences for children…a huge difference from the usual expectation kids and parents look forward to at the end of the school year.
So, if you find yourself in need of respite. Here are some suggestions:
- Read a good book that inspires and motivates you; or start journaling as a way to relieve stress.
- Create a playlist of songs that uplift your spirit. One song that always puts me in a great mood is “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. There is just something about the beat along with the lyrics that just takes me to a happy place no matter how I’m feeling. Another selection that steers my mind to a good place is “Lovely Day” by the late Bill Withers. It’s amazing how songs, especially tranquil ones, help to escape from the world’s woes and calm your mind. It does a body good.
- If you find yourself needing to do something to stimulate your mind, as crazy as that may sound, try coloring. There are many inexpensive, stress relieving coloring books that will do the trick.
- Exercise and moving the body by walking or running is certainly a great way to relieve tension and anxiety. This is great way to shift our energy away from the heaviness that many are feeling now. Investing in good vitamins and supplements can also enhance your overall well-being.
Whatever you choose, just find ways to practice self-care to keep your mind in a calm and peaceful state as much as possible. We are still in the midst of COVID-19 and many are still succumbing to this virus leaving family and loved ones devastated. The pain and agony of not being able to be by their side while in the hospital, and in most cases, not being able to have the “normal” celebrations of life are taking their toll. As much as possible, let us not get so consumed with the heaviness of everything going on. Individually, we owe it to ourselves to make the most of each day during these difficult times. When our minds are in alignment with peace and harmony, we can be better for our families. If you’re fighting and protesting against racial injustices, do it peacefully. If you’re dealing with family members who have tested positive and are battling the Coronavirus; though it’s tough, try to be at peace for them as well as yourself. And if you feel your stress and anxiety are getting too overwhelming, please don’t hesitate to seek counseling. Therapy can be the greatest thing you ever do for yourself when you find that the cares of this world are suffocating your mind.
LET MINDS ARISE
Let minds arise to new heights and new places
Fill your heart with love and peaceful spaces
Beautiful sunsets, a symptom for seasonal change
Autumn leaves soon to brisk about
Crisp air all around
Cool winds prance the atmosphere
New occasions on the rise
Let minds arise, let minds arise!
Be ye ready
Conducive to adjust
Fuel the mind
Inspired with trust
Be of good courage
Be acceptable in God’s sight
Let your minds arise
As you walk with His light
When matters get tough
Know your access to Him
Change to fit God’s standard
And your light shall never dim
Let every mind arise
Walk upright and sing
Bless this new season
With all that it shall bring
AND YOU SHALL ARISE!
Aleka W. Melson
Thank you Aleka for the amazing article-so true and right on time. And the poem is so inspiring. Great work DOVE magazine!