Today, sitting down for a cup of tea in the middle of the afternoon, we found ourselves filled with gratitude.
What, you may well wonder, do we have to be grateful for? It's almost too exhausting to say it again: We live in a different world now. By this time, we all personally know someone who has been infected with COVID19; many of us know someone who has passed on, either from the disease itself, or from the myriad fallout factors caused by it. We're separated from family and friends. We've missed weddings and funerals. We've lost income.
And yet, there's still much to be grateful for. The cup of tea, for one - the fact we are in good enough health to drink it, for another; and that we have a safe home to drink it in.
Little things, in short - but they add up, and we are grateful to everyone and everything that made our cup of tea possible.
The truth is, it wasn't easy getting that cup of tea.
It's no exaggeration to say that this pandemic has tested not only our physical health, but our overall well-being. How quickly can we adapt to circumstances? How much can we afford to spend or lose, in both time and money, to keep things going? Are we emotionally resilient enough to support ourselves as well as others? Are we courageous enough to ask for and accept help?
Can we be less hard on ourselves, and take a break now and then?
These days, we try to keep in mind our sense of holistic wellness - not just our physical health.
You might be wondering what that means exactly. The word 'holistic' is bandied about quite a bit these days, but it was initially coined to describe a new form of integrated treatment for medical conditions. Holistic medicine tries to treat the "whole person" rather than focusing too narrowly on single symptoms. It emphasizes the connections between the mind and the body, avoids the overuse of drugs, and has borrowed such practices from Eastern traditions as acupuncture and yoga.
It sounds strange to say that yoga might combat cancer, or eating fruit might minimise Alzheimer's - and that's just it. A holistic approach to life is not as simple as 'Do this and you get that result' - it's a combination of many factors, most of them lifestyle-based, that contribute to overall mental, physical, and emotional health.
Holistically speaking, the world's biggest killer isn't COVID19 - it's stress.
Stress accounts for so many things - heart attacks, cancer, poor judgement, bad temper, social isolation, poor mental health. A stressed out person is more likely to jeapordise relationships, compromise their physical health, and harm others and themselves.
So now, more than ever, it's essential to make time for ourselves - to remind ourselves to be grateful for small things, to take delight in a good book, to share a worry-free moment with a loved one, to chat with a friend about silly things.
Roll out your yoga mat - enjoy good art - light a scented candle - go for a sunset jog.And yes - pour yourself a cup of tea.
Need a break? Explore these options:
- Meditation & Mindfulness - Get started with one of Singapore's most popular instructors, Danielle van de Velde. Her live drop-in Monday Meditations are now available via Zoom. Each session is $30 with the fee going to charity. Free samples of Danielle's meditations are also available on Spotify.
2. Sound Healing - Sound healing refers to meditation with the use of therapeutic instruments such as crystal alchemy bowls and gongs. Explore an immersive, relaxing experience with Pamela Kaur at Akashakti.
3. Life Coaching and Personal Development - if you feel it's time for you to tackle a few personal issues, life coach Michelle Ayn Tessensohn offers courses in mindfulness, self-healing, and personal development.