I can’t take credit for that brilliant idea. It’s been put forth in the media by Michael Osterholm, PhD MPH, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
Why a fire, not a second Covid wave?
Osterholm likens the pandemic to a wildfire that hasn’t been totally extinguished. The embers are smoldering and could reignite, given the right combination of circumstances.
Sounds dreadful, I know, but stay with me a little longer because the fire model is actually empowering. In the wave model, we’re passively wearing our masks, washing hands, and fearing what might come next. That’s not a strong position to be in.
The wildfire model makes it clearer that we’re one of the circumstances determining whether the embers reignite. The choices we make help determine whether we are tinder, which catches fire quickly, or timber, which is much slower to ignite. Or maybe damp timber, even less likely to ignite.
Tinder or timber, how much can you do?
Do you have total control over whether you are tinder or wet timber?
Of course not.
Does that mean you don’t do anything?
Of course not.
Keep wearing your mask and washing your hands. And don’t stop there.
Second Covid wave or wildfire, your choices matter
What are you doing to be more like a wet log, so to speak, reducing your chances of catching the pandemic fire? Here are some very doable, common sense suggestions.
- Drink enough fluids to stay hydrated so your body can flush out wastes.
- Keep your bowels moving, especially if you’re doing any kind of detox. (Think about it, you want to draw the toxins out to eliminate them, not to let them sit there and be reabsorbed!)
- Eat fresh, easily digestible, well cooked food, especially if your area is heading into winter. Prepare most of your food yourself.
- Don’t eat too often — your body needs about 5 hours between meals for your hormones to signal that digestion is complete — and don’t eat too much at once. Allow space for digestion. Ayurveda suggests eating two handfuls of food.
- Stretch and move your body. Many times a day. Outdoors if possible.
- Get enough sleep. Go to bed before 11 PM.
- Connect with friends and communities.
- Help someone. Be kind.
- Practice daily self Reiki.
- Stay joyful or at least playful. Practicing self Reiki helps with that.
If you have more suggestions, please share them as a comment below.
Tending your state with practice and acceptance
If you want to beat back the second Covid wave, it’s not a matter of staying positive — you need to be real and honest about how you feel. And how you feel will change.
Nor is it as simple as doing everything right. If you’re obsessing, you’re acting out of fear. Not so healthy. You’re likely already taking a few of the actions listed above. YAY! Slowly add the next one that appeals to you, and when that’s a habit, add another. Don’t make it stressful to take care of yourself.
Timeless texts from many spiritual traditions assert that the state from which you take an action affects — and maybe determines — the outcome. That’s where daily self Reiki practice makes such a difference in keeping you balanced.
Yes, you want to take health-promoting actions, but it’s important not to overwhelm yourself trying to do too much. Prioritizing daily self Reiki practice makes sense because it helps keep your state steady. Then you can take your carefully chosen health-promoting actions in a balanced, confident, matter-of-fact way.
This is a tough time. Let’s acknowledge that. Accepting that life is especially challenging right now enables you to partner the times appropriately. That acceptance actually frees you to do what only you can do to improve your odds, your daily self care.
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