How to Cope with the Loneliness of Coronavirus
One of the unique features of the Age of Coronavirus is the degree to which we have become necessarily isolated from each other.
At first, the government recommendations were for no gatherings larger than 50 people.
Then, don’t meet in groups of more than 10.
Then don’t go to the gym, your church, your mosque or synagogue, bar, restaurant, movie theater or bowling alley.
I felt really bad yesterday speaking on the phone with my 83-year-old mother who has been in isolation for nearly a month.
“Now we aren’t supposed to go to the grocery store,” I informed her yesterday.
“Who said that?” she asked.
I had been concerned about her going to the grocery down in Savannah, but my brother, a medical doctor, had made sure she has plastic gloves and now face masks. It was her one big outing – to fetch herself food.
“The White House,” I responded, reading the headlines from the latest news reports.
Although I had been cutting back on activities outside my home for weeks on end, the loneliness really hit me on my 61st birthday.
I was supposed to have dinner with my boyfriend and his grandson.
About 4 p.m. my boyfriend texted me to let me know that – let’s just say this as vaguely as possible – a friend of a friend of his grandson – had tested positive for coronavirus.
“I love you. I want you to be safe,” my boyfriend said.
And so began 10 days of unusual isolation.
According to Johns Hopkins, more than 20% of Americans reported that they often or always feel lonely in a 2018 Kaiser Family Foundation study. Loneliness has been linked to a 26% increased risk for premature death, noted a 2015 Perspectives on Psychological Science article.
I am forever indebted to the friend who would meet up with me to walk in nature. We would meet outside and I would walk my dog Dixie while maintaining at least 6 feet of social distancing.
I was constantly reminded of another friend who had only recently managed to find housing after a prolonged period of homelessness.
Better to suffer in safety than to be homeless, riding a city bus to find temporary work.
Better to be in Atlanta than in Dharavi, the largest slum in Asia, where more than 650,000 people live in 50 acres of space.
One of my yoga students sent this beautiful prayer that her minister had shared:
“Prayer for a Pandemic
May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips remember those that have no place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home remember those who have no home.
During this time when we can’t physically wrap our arms around each other, let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.
Queen Elizabeth gave us encouragement on Sunday in her inimitable fashion. “We will meet again,” she encouraged.
Although I prayed and meditated for hours every day, I found my days of isolation more than a little challenging and was thankful I could finally resume our three person quarantine group.
I learned that although I had thought of myself as an extrovert I need people more than I had ever previously acknowledged!
Aside from the usual prompts to reach out by phone, FaceTime and Zoom video conference, here are a few tools from natural healing that may help you at this time.
Listen to the Messages of Nature.
Four days into my self isolation, a barred owl appeared in a tree in my garden.
I absolutely adore owls and am constantly looking for them whenever I’m out walking my dog Dixie.
I feel blessed beyond measure if I can get a glimpse of a raptor far off at the top of a tree.
So when this 24 hour inch tall barred owl swooped into my garden to stare at me straight into my eyes for a prolonged period of time I felt blessed beyond measure.
I managed to snap 16 photographs of him before he flew off into a thicker grove of trees in my garden and continued to watch me carefully.
William Wordsworth said it best:
“The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!”
Despite how often we neglect the trees, the flowers and the birds, the entire natural world is constantly supporting us.
How can we do a better job of listening to nature’s many messages?
The last time I had stared at an owl in my neighborhood for a full five minutes was in August 2009.
I knew at the time he brought me a message of great change.
Shortly afterwards, I was invited to a castle in Scotland to study flower essences made from orchids with a group of five other healers from around the world. The gentleman who invited me told me when I met him his power is an owl.
So when I saw this owl appearing to me in my garden I knew he signaled another great change.
I asked two highly intuitive friends for their opinions.
“You are safe,” one interpreted.
“New beginnings,” another elucidated.
As someone who has worked closely with power animals for decades, working with my main power animal snow leopard, then also over time hummingbird, hawk and more recently dragonfly, I knew owl medicine had come into my life.
In some traditions, owl is considered the harbinger of death and indeed here in the U.S. alone we have already lost more Americans to coronavirus than who died in Pearl Harbor and 9/11 combined.
But owl medicine also brings the strength to face the shadows, to find wisdom in silence and the ability to see the truth beyond facades.
What kind of natural medicine can you find in nature right now?
Even in the most crowded environments you always have the sky.
What do the clouds say to you? Can you listen to the trees and the flowers?
This is a great time to read the amazing book Behaving As If the God In All Life Mattered by Machaelle Small Wright.
Machaelle Wright learned to speak with flowers and trees.
You might think she could be a little batty until you hear that she was abandoned by her mother and father as a young girl.
It was only by communicating with nature that she got through years of severe isolation.
The book is so powerful I’ve read it not once but twice. When there literally aren’t any other humans you can reach out to, learn to communicate with the natural world to find solace.
Use Tall Yellow Top Flower Essence.
Tall Yellow Top. This Australian Flower Essence is a natural healing remedy for loneliness. Sometimes people ask me what I feel are the most powerful natural healing remedies. Without question, my answer is flower essences. For the past 27 years I have studied and recommended flower essences from around the world.
When you feel achingly lonely, who would even believe that a few drops of a flower essence would make any difference at all?
I feel that a lot of what is diagnosed as depression is actually loneliness.
This is what the official Australian Flower Essence website has to say about Tall Yellow Top:
“This Essence is for alienation. There is no feeling of connection or sense of belonging to family, workplace, country, self, etc. Often as a consequence of this alienation the head, or intellect, takes over from the heart. As many people have been in this state for a long time, Tall Yellow Top will often need to be used for longer periods, sometimes for up to 6-8 weeks without a break. It is important when in this state to reach out to others for support. Be patient with the results from this Essence if it appears to be a little slow in acting. The results are well worth waiting for.”
To use flower essences effectively, take two to four drops under your tongue directly five times per day or put two to four drops in your water bottle and drink frequently throughout your day.
Because flower essences are vibrational remedies, you need to take them frequently to go into resonance with their subtle messages. You may need to take this remedy for up to six months to allow the shift to take place.
You may have been lonely your entire life and be profoundly surprised at the difference you feel when you take Tall Yellow Top over a period of time.
Learn to Talk to your Angels.
Whether you realize it or not, you have been accompanied your entire life by spiritual guides. Some people call them your angels, some people call them your spiritual guides. Whatever you want to call them they are high frequency individuals who are here to support you in all your soul is meant to do in this lifetime.
Two of my Amazon Number 1 bestsellers, What Is Healing? Awaken Your Intuitive Power for Health and Happiness and Unlimited Intuition Now, discuss how to do this in greater detail.
You may have been feeling all alone in the world but the fact is nothing could be further from the truth.
Your angels are always guiding you, protecting you, uplifting you and supporting you.
Although there are many ways to talk to your angels, here is one simple way to do this.
- Step One. Clear your energy. Rub your hands together to gather chi. Then pass your hands over your head three times to clear your energy. As I do this, I say silently to myself, “I clear my energy in the name of God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Ghost.” You have to be in neutral to receive guidance from your angels.
- Step Two. Calibrate a yes or a no. Stand in the middle of a room. Say silently to yourself, “Angel spirit guides show me a yes.” Notice what happens. You may feel a subtle shift forward, or to the right or to the left. Then say, “Angel spirit guides show me a no.” Notice whether you subtly shift backward, or to one direction or the other. Get clear on the feeling you receive in your body.
- Step Three. Ask yes or no questions for your highest best interests. Because you are learning a simple method to start with, ask yes or no questions. Do not ask what I call stupid questions. If you ask, “Can I lie down in the middle of the road,” you may get a yes. If you ask, “Is it in my highest best interests to lie down in the middle of the road,” you will get an entirely different answer. When you ask questions for your highest good you all receive guidance about what will be in the highest good for all. Ask, “Angel spirit guides is it in my highest best interests to (fill in the blank).” Be sure to ask questions only about what you are here to do, be and have. Your angels are here to support you – not to mind your neighbor’s business.
Create a Spiritual Family.
Although you may be incredibly blessed in many aspects of your life, often you missed out on having the mother, father, brother, sister or other close family member that you long for.
For example, if you grew up the child of an abusive father, drug addicted mother, or you never had the brother or sister you wanted, realize that there is no such thing as a vacuum in this universe.
Say a prayer and ask God to send you a person in your life who can fulfill the role you deeply long for right now.
For example, you could say this prayer:
“Heavenly Father, Thank you for blessing me, loving me and guiding me all the days of my life. At this time, I am wanting and needing a spiritual father, a man older than myself who can guide me, protect me and show me what a healthy man looks like and acts like. Please bless me with a spiritual father. Allow me to be a spiritual (daughter/son) to this gentleman so that we may be a blessing to each other in this lifetime. I ask that this be done in the name of Jesus Christ. Thank you God, thank you God, thank you God. Amen.”
Realize that just as you may need someone to fill the role of being a healthy father/mother/brother/sister or even grandfather/grandmother/aunt/uncle to you, that you may also be a great blessing to a person who may need a spiritual daughter/son/sister/brother or even grandson/granddaughter/niece/nephew.
At this time when experts estimate that 3 billion people around the globe are on lockdown due to coronavirus, recognize that there are many other people who need your kindness, your voice, your encouragement, your humor and your support in the way that you and you alone can deliver.
Pay it forward by letting those people know how much you love them.
The more you share your love right now the more unconditional love and support will come back to you multiplied.
What is healing? Healing happens when you learn to cope with the loneliness of social distancing.
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Resources to Cope with the Coronavirus Pandemic