I discovered this article in the news. The punchline: “We can safely say that in modern seismology, we’ve never seen such a long period of human quiet,” says Raphael De Plaen at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Querétaro, one of the paper’s 76 authors.
How will school work? What if my parents get sick? What if my kids get sick? What if I get sick? What if I have to wear a mask? What if somebody sick isn't wearing a mask? Do masks even work? What if I can't go back to work? What if we go back into lock down? What if protesters come to my town? What if...? There is a time and a place to address and answer questions like these, but when you are overwhelmed by them to the point that you are paralyzed (or worse, give up), it's time to stop. When you are stressed and worried, as many have been and still are, you need a space to quiet your mind and make it as silent as the world has been for the past few months.
I recall a few weeks ago hearing a plane fly overhead and realizing I hadn't heard that for a long time. Until very recently, traffic has been so light that I haven't worried about getting stuck and being late in a long time. I realize these are not normal circumstances, but what an opportunity we have had to walk outside, breathe in fresh air, and enjoy the beauty of... nothing. Silence.
Temporarily misplace everything that connects to the internet or beeps. Sit in a comfortable place, and focus your mind to stop the barrage of thoughts and worries flying through your brain. If your mind wanders, acknowledge the thought, and let it pass through your brain without worrying about finding the answer. Sometimes it helps to keep the mind clear by focusing on a simple object or maintaining a steady rhythm of breathing. Start by doing this for just a minute or two at the beginning or end of your day. Build up to 10-15 minutes. End by finding and acknowledging something positive for which you are thankful.
Sitting quietly can be tough at first, especially in the midst of our 100 mph world, but don't give up. Take advantage of this time you have to establish the habit so that it will be easy when the world resumes full speed ahead. Find that quiet space now so that when we're back to being noisy humans, you will know where to find peace. I think you will find this to be one of your favorite parts of the day.