Each day is a new normal. Over the last weeks as the Covid-19 uncertainty and chaos unfolded, the new normal was at the end of March. Then it moved to the first week in April. By Monday, it was clear it would stretch at least beyond Easter. As institutions of learning moved to on-line learning through the end of the semester and cancelled graduation, any new normal pushed ahead to mid May. This morning the new stories I read said shut-downs, slow-downs, and cancellations could continue for 18 months or until a vaccine is available. The practical wisdom shaped by the experience of this last week tells me that the new normal is the length of one day. Push the re-set button tomorrow. Sounds a lot like the familiar, sage advice of “One Day At A Time.”
This morning, my household held a strategy meeting to embrace the new-normal-for-now. We each shared how we would enhance or bring into each day: mindfulness, meditation, and movement. These Three M’s are considered foundations of mental hygenine. For those who also have the support of medication, add that as your Fourth M.
For mindfulness, we are slowing done. Now, at first this may sound like we are slowing down because we are forced to. However, we found ourselves making task lists just like we always do. Slowing down is stopping the task list and first taking in the big picture of the day. What will give comfort? What will will open a peaceful space? We will answer these questions each day.
For meditation, this practice will be new to some members of our household. To start, we will stop at 4 ish for quiet, maybe some tea, and then a centering prayer practice. As the practice becomes more familiar, the time can extend. Once a day is what we need to start.
For movement, walks, walks, and more walks. The dog will love us for a long meandering sniff. We can take a short stroll just to breath or at more energetic pace to get the heart rate up. We committed ourselves to be in touch with our bodies and with the earth. We are keeping it simply and expanding from there. Anyone in our household can do this. I will continue other regular pratices I have for movement – yoga and stretching. Each day.
Mindfulness, meditation, and movement (and medication) are actually spiritual practices that we all acknowledge. Put them all together in one day, and embrace the new-normal-for-now.