How to manage overwhelm in a pandemic

Has this pandemic got you feeling overwhelmed, fatigued and generally “over it”? If so, I am right there with you!

I miss my family and friends abroad, my beloved PNG, I miss my Mum and Dad and wondering when will I get hugs from my parents again? I am doing my best to manage social distancing whilst staying socially connected (how do you do that?), I am wearing masks, washing the masks, researching vaccines, endeavoring to stay sane and cultivate a self-care practice, teaching yoga, working, practicing yoga, hitting the gym, studying and volunteering. My experience juggling is not unique as we collectively juggle life and wear many different hats. Is it any wonder that globally we are tired and googling “When will the pandemic end?”….BTW predictions range from early 2022 to mid-2023 to 5 years from now. The uncertainty is certain and I didn’t get the clear cut answer I was looking for. Perhaps we/I should just stop googling and looking for answers and simply be. It is SO easy to say and yet it is something else to actually do. Just be…because it’s so easy.


One thought that does bring me comfort is something my yoga teacher, Shiv Jyoti, shared with a yoga class I was attending in 2015.
Shiv Jyoti shared that sometimes when the mind is busy, like muddy water or rough seas, we cannot see where to go clearly or find answers. In Sewa Bay in Milne Bay, PNG (where I am from) my grand uncle regularly travels by canoe from village to village. He loves his independence in his 90s and is sharp as a tack and still incredibly strong! Yet, when the weather is bad, he simply stops in the next village and waits. What Shiv Jyoti said made sense to me. Sounds like common sense! Yet, we all know common sense does not always prevail in hectic times.

In the case of a busy and overwhelmed mind, allowing stillness in helps to settle the sediment. Sitting still helps me to see what I can control, my own actions. Sitting still also helps me to see what I can’t control, what other people say or do or what’s on the news cycle amongst other external factors.

There are days when I want to be super busy and productive and keep my brain and life “full” to be able to not feel overwhelmed or tired, even though part of me knows this is counter-productive. Today, as Brisbane goes into day one of another lockdown, I am reminded to simply still still and rest to allow the mind to settle and recalibrate and feel the feelings. I am reminded to turn off the news, turn off my phone, turn off my notifications, breathe slowly and find stillness to steady my heart. To steady my mind. And trust that we are where the world needs us to be. Truth be told, my mind does not always settle straight away, which is completely fine. I’m OK with that and I hope you are too.

Now more than ever is the time to take care of yourself. Not only physically with social distancing, mask wearing, vaccinations….now is the time to take care of your heart and your mind. Physical movement is so great for you to allow the blood to flow and move around the body. And sometimes self-support may involve doing nothing to allow your brain to process what’s happening in the world and within your own inner world. Sitting still for a moment and allow yourself to catch your breath to simply be.

With love at this time,

Roxy xo

5 thoughts on “How to manage overwhelm in a pandemic”

      1. We are doing ok here! The pandemic is loosening it’s iron grip. We are vaccinated! My wife is getting treated for cancer though. She’s had it off and on for a long time. Peace and wonderful blessings to you.

      2. Hey Nico, I am glad to hear you and your wife are vaccinated! Day by day process, hey. I am thinking of you and your wife as she gets treatment. Sending healing energy and love from this side. Take care, Roxy xx

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