The next installment of the Corona Care Kit - Play! Or at least not trying to “apply” ourselves, plenty of that going on – as I said in the first Corona Care newsletter, the key to sanity is having a regular schedule. Then what seems to happen, at first or after a while is – the need for self-discipline. My schedule seems to get looser as time goes on and I find myself lost in thought more. So this week’s Corona Care is an alternative spacing out, but serves the same purpose!
There is a lot of chalk action in my neighborhood these days, which is fun and reminded me of my time in India. The matriarch of a household would draw a chalk “yantra”, a kind of Hindu mandala, in front of their homes every morning to invite in good fortune. They would also do more free-form versions, usually based on traditional designs and in color instead of white chalk. This is a picture I took when it was almost finished (she was too shy to let me include her). Flower petals were going to be the final touch.
This is also a way to get outside and interact with your neighbors (silently, at a distance!). It’s just good to know you’re not alone some days – or maybe getting out with your chalk is a way to create some much-needed “alone time”.
Another similar respite, and one you can do indoors, is coloring books. Mandala coloring books were popular even before the pandemic – and recommended for stress relief! You can find many online to print out or order. Along the same line is zentangles – doodling with intention. It’s a great way to take a break and still be engaged. I asked my mother to draw Zentangle animals of all the Chinese astrological signs. Again, google it and be amazed.
All of these activities, indoors or outside, give your brain a time out. And unlike staring at the walls, or watching your thoughts in meditation, there are no ruminating thoughts to discourage you. No decisions beyond what color to use next!
Some kids did a hopscotch layout on the sidewalk a few days ago, and I tried my hand (or feet) at it, only to discover – I had forgotten what to do! And although I can still skip and hop with the best of them, I had to google “hopscotch” when I got home. What a resource the internet is, and how much we have come to depend on it. In this Corona time, and into whatever the “new normal” turns out to be, we are all appreciating technology more – while at the same time understanding its limitations.
And speaking of google, here’s a plug for Wikipedia – unlike google, they are non-profit and only exist to serve us. It is so helpful when I need to look up health conditions for my clients. Even $1 a month helps them in their mission: http://donate.wikimedia.org
Be well and take it slow (first there was slow eating, and now…)
PS. - I love your feedback - it keeps me inspired!