In March of 2020, we all learned of a pandemic, COVID-19. We were informed we would likely be homebound for at least a few months. (A big ha-ha!) Being homebound wouldn’t be so bad, would it? I might get to clean closets, throw away extra stuff, rearrange my workspace, cook healthy meals and spend quality time with my husband. There would be less distractions and that would be beneficial for sure. Even Bill Gates said it might be a little longer than a month or two. He said the pandemic might last until July. So, I planned for the worst-case scenario – July.
Adjusting my mindset and goals
I reviewed and rewrote goals and affirmations for the year to see how I could keep myself busy. Noticing that many of the goals for the year would need to be revised or put off for another year, it occurred that it might be helpful to consider revising my vision for the entire year. Rewriting affirmations to more accurately reflect a prayer for the global impact of this pandemic and its impact seemed like a good thing to do. I did that with great thoughtfulness, or so I thought.
As we all know, it was just the beginning. It wasn’t long before the realization hit – our world as we have known it thus far will likely not be the world we will be reentering after the pandemic. We were growing in our understanding of when and how this pandemic began, but we had no idea of where we were headed and when it would end. To some extent, we still do not know.
To manage my wellness routine, I needed to make some changes. Zumba was out. Long hikes with groups of friends were out. Happy hour, nice meals either out to a nice restaurant or even inviting friends in was a thing of the past. Grateful for living in Arizona, spending time outside with physical distancing was an option for me. Even though it felt odd with friends being far away (6 feet or more), and not touching one another (even a pat on the back let alone the hugs we all were sued to exchanging), I was grateful. After all, we were outdoors, enjoying great weather while much of the country was enduring inclement weather hampering spending time together with family and friends.
The changes I made were not cutting it. I needed a formula and prayed for some guidelines that were wellness focused and might help. Noticing my own reactivity about not being able to connect with those I love, exercise as usual, or calm my racing mind, it was clear this wasn’t going to be simple.
The 3 M’s emerged
Getting ready for bed one evening, thinking about ways to create some structure and manage my growing angst, the three M’s popped in.
So, what are the three M’s?
In short they are mindfulness, meaningful connections, and movement.
Mindfulness helps me to stay present to what is. If I could avoid thinking about all that was missing about the past and experiencing regrets for what I did not do that I might have or speculating about what the future held or had in store for us, inner freedom and calm was possible. Being present to what is has a strong and clear benefit. Placing my attention on anything going on in the present moment whether it is my breathing, my actions, or my thoughts or emotions without any need other than to just notice, lowers reactivity.
Meaningful connections are huge. Being a fan of connecting with others, the need for physical distancing as a result of the pandemic was like placing a wet blanket on a great time. Zoom, Skype, FaceTime and other platforms helped some but there must be other options.
Movement and exercise help many manage overall health. Reading online comments about weight gain (quarantine 15) and typical exercise routines being walking from one’s computer to their kitchen for the fifth snack of the day at 10:00 AM had me motivated to find creative ways of moving my body.
This formula is a winner! The three M’s are highly adaptable for anyone. They can and will work for you if you spend the time examining how to incorporate them into your life. I look forward to sharing more about the three M’s with you in the coming months.