I’m seeing plenty of advice online to use meditation as a way to cope with the pandemic. This may or may not work for you. If it does – all power to you.
The fears caused by covid, the isolation of lockdown, the exhausting nature of ever-changing rules, the financial insecurities, the uncertainty – these all take a toll. These are things that take a lot of processing and that doesn’t leave a person with much concentration. You may be exhausted. You may be emotionally overwhelmed, or numb, and you may not be able to hold together a meditative practice.
Be gentle with yourself if this is the case. If you are using meditation, the whole point is to improve your quality of life, not to come up with another stick you can beat yourself with. Here are some things that might help.
Don’t worry about how long you meditate for – whatever your practice looked like before, let that go. Do what you can. If that’s just a few minutes, fine, and well done. If you can’t focus every day, that’s fine too.
Switch over to contemplation and use your meditation time for processing. Let your thoughts work themselves through and don’t try to shut down the ‘chatter’ in your mind because you may well need to give it more space, not less.
If being in your head isn’t working for you, pick meditation strategies that don’t rely entirely on personal mental discipline. Try moving meditations, contemplating cards, objects or other images. Use guided visualisation and pathworking material where you have someone else’s voice or written words providing the structure and keeping you on track.
If trying to meditate makes you feel miserable and frustrated right now, let it go. It’s not the tool for every situation. It’s not a magic cure-all. If it doesn’t work for you right now, invest your time in something else. It’s not a failing to need different tools.