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Meditations in an Emergency

How do we remain calm both inside ourselves and out, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Arsh Shah
Arsh Shah
1 min read
Meditations in an Emergency

Originally published by Frank O'Hara in 1957, Meditations in an Emergency is a book of poetry that shares its name with a Mad Men (favorite show!) episode. But, more importantly, I think this title serves a vital reminder in the trying times we face right now.

Across the globe, the coronavirus outbreak has disrupted everything from transport to grocery shopping. It's crucial that we remind ourselves to remain calm in the age of Zoom meetings and N-95 mask shortages. Our mental sanity should be of the utmost priority.

As a result, I wanted to share 3 small suggestions to remain calm in the midst of it all:

Breathe. When you feel pending stress and anxiety, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Realize that everything will be okay. Even though it may seem like the sky is filled with darkness, the sun will come up, we just have to persist.

Find a new habit. I've started to remain focused on my case readings for law school but I think reading non-fiction and leisure books has also proved eventful while teaching me a little bit more about the world! A lot of libraries have free resources due to the COVID-19 crisis, so be sure to take advantage of that! Here's a great free resource if you haven't seen it already: Project Gutenberg.

Internal isolation, external socialization. For me, transcendental meditation has proven the most useful option to quiet my mind. After taking a TM course in Sydney last year, it's become an invaluable resource to escape from the outside world for a little while. If you can take a course in your city or even online, I highly recommend it. Further, make sure to keep in touch with friends and family during this time. It's really easy to drown out everyone when the world seems empty, but a quick FaceTime or phone call can do wonders for your mental health and happiness.

Persist and endure.