Guest Post by Dr. Cynthia Lindenmeyer
University Chaplain, American Public University System
You are not alone – we need one another to remind each other that it’s OK to feel anxious, afraid and helpless. We are human and wired that way to respond to a threat, even when it is invisible.
Feeling out of control is only natural. But we do have control over our inner self-narrative.
When you are aware your inner dialogue increases stress, just stop. Breathe. Exhale. Breathing exercises engage the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system; that helps us deal with our anxiety and feel in control.
As the university’s chaplain, I know we are all collectively experiencing unchartered emotional territory. For many people who already have mental health challenges, this crisis has exacerbated their illness.
Please schedule time in your day for meditation. I recommend Insight Timer to help you find calm. I also encourage taking a break from the news cycle.
And while we are under voluntary self-arrest and social distancing, remember that memories transcend quarantines. Recall the times you were with loved ones, and may that memory overcome the invasion of fear.
These are the basics of conversations I am having with our students—each of us is wired to handle any threat that comes our way. Have faith in your mind, body and soul to survive this new reality.
We are in this together and we come together to help, and I am here as a resource for students.