Being Grounded for the Holiday and how to stay resilient during these unprecedented times

By Jeannie Salomon

You might have heard many times that we are living in an “unprecedented times.” I can’t agree more! While we could easily dismiss this cliche saying and go on with our lives, we shouldn’t forget it. As cliche as the saying is, it’s true; no one alive has real experience dealing with a global pandemic. Therefore, these unprecedented times call for us to not only need to adjust the way we live, but also adjust our expectations of ourselves and those close to us.

Obviously, we can’t go on to live the way we did before; that piece of cloth covering our face when we step outside of our homes reminds us that we are not living the way we used to.  But in our sub-consciousness, we might have forgotten the impact this pandemic has had on us and still hold ourselves to our previous expectations from before this pandemic.  For instance, if you were a salesperson and your sales aren’t increasing with the holiday, you might blame yourself for not working as hard.  It is important to remember the great impact this pandemic has had on our lives, including adverse changes to our whereabouts, how freely we can travel, the amount of disposable income we have for shopping, the number of hours that businesses can be open, etc.   We might subconsciously shift to blame ourselves for not working hard and not meeting our own expectation of us. Please take heart and be easy on yourself if you are one of those people who blame yourself for falling short on your expectations during these challenging times. 

First of all, if you still have a job, be thankful!  Millions of people are applying for unemployment benefits or have given up the job search during the pandemic. 

For those people whose jobs have been lost or cut during the pandemic, I want to let you know that you have my sympathy. I know how devastating it is to have lost your job.  

I would like to offer you some tools to be resilient whether you have lost your job or feel stuck at where you are.  This is the time that we can turn inward and build our own reserve.  

  1. You have to modify your expectations of yourself. It begins with the very way we see ourselves. Often, we cannot change what is external of us, but we can change our internal view of ourselves.
  2. Be grateful – Maintain a spirit of thankfulness from Thanksgiving Day.   See what you have instead of what you don’t have.   Practice the “the glass is half full” way of looking at things instead of seeing “the glass is half empty” way. 
  3. Feel hopeful.   The vaccine is already here!   You will get yours and everyone will eventually get theirs so we will achieve “herd immunity” and say goodbye to this Coronavirus forever!  
  4. Be patient.   It is hard to see results if you are just standing there to watch the water boil but if you keep yourself doing something meaningful, the results will come and will take you by surprise.  
  5. Find something that is meaningful to you.  Volunteer for a cause you believe in. 
  6. Remember the golden rule:  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. “
  7. Here are some questions for you to ponder as you quiet your mind and turn your attention inward to yourself: What aspects of pre-COVID life would I want back? What aspect of pre-COVID life do I want to change going forward in the post-pandemic life? 

Just in case if you haven’t noticed, Cultural Society has a new initiative called Asian American Connection initiative.    Check it out and see if this is the cause you believe in.  See how you can help.   You can sign up to be a mentor or find someone who needs to be a mentee.   Then give them our weblink and have that person sign up.  

Please allow yourself to ponder if you don’t have immediate answers to the above questions and let yourself enjoy the little moments, practice your meditation, and observe your breath. 

Last but not least,  I have made some short yoga videos and put them on our Youtube channel.  These are just samples of what we do in yoga classes.   In our Small Group Yoga, our class is more extensive and catered to the individual needs of each student.  I am often inspired to see my students keep coming to class despite the pandemic lasting longer than we initially expected.  I am especially encouraged by those students who persisted after we took an almost 3-month summer vacation and came back in September. While these videos are basic poses and meant for people who have little or no experience in doing yoga, they can be used and practiced every day. They are short and easy to do. Doing regular short yoga sessions is better than doing one long yoga session once in a while. Of course, any yoga practice is better than no yoga practice. We do more in our small group and my style of teaching varies from day to day depending on the needs of the students in front of me.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or comments.

Some articles you may be interested to read: These article are more than about yoga. They delve deeper into your emotional and spiritual self too. Give them a try:

7 Tips for Surviving the Holidays

3 Innovative Ways to Improve Your Balance With Yoga

How do I know if I am Practicing Yoga Properly

Listening to My Body: An Adaptive Yoga Journey

Please come back to check out our blogs and website for more new development in the coming new year.  

Namaste!   ? Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!