It was the middle of the pandemic and nothing was helping me out of my rut. It was difficult to think positively when the threat of COVID meant we were forced into isolation. But who was I to complain? I had a job, my health, and the news of progress toward a vaccine was a positive thing. So why did I feel so drained?
“I hate being alone” was a thought I tended to avoid, but could hear it often in moments of pause. I realized I would not let myself be alone with my thoughts, or my feelings, and there was a constant need to keep myself busy. Before the pandemic, my days were packed with museum visits, culinary tasting pursuits, and most importantly, interactions with others. Now, I just didn’t want to be with myself and my worries.
I realized that no one was going to come into my life and create a change. I needed to do that for myself. Reluctantly, I started to look for exercise videos on YouTube and stumbled on a page called Yoga with Adriene. I looked at her vast list of videos and playlist, finding practices that ranged from 10 minutes to an hour, and titles such as “Yoga for When You’re Angry” to “Yoga for Anxiety.”
Eventually, I decided on “Meditation for Self-Love.” I was greeted by Adrienne and her adorable dog Benji. “I want you to feel comfortable” Adriene said while encouraging me to either take a seat or lay down, and I started to have a moment to myself, possibly the first in months. She said “Inhale lots of love in, exhale lots of love out,” and I felt the power of my own breath for the first time. I was hooked. The video reminded me of the importance of checking in with myself and gave me the tools I needed to allow myself to simply be.
So, I encourage you to put on comfy clothes, get in a comfortable seat or lie down, inhale lots of love in, and exhale lots of love out. Recognize your thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Let go of judgment and allow yourself to experience whatever you are experiencing. Explore what is happening and reflect on your needs. And, most importantly, create an environment of self-compassion. Allow yourself to be, because you are enough, and you deserve to spend some time with yourself.