Over 50s Lifestyle

How are you nourishing your soul during COVID-19?

May 3, 2020
Nourishing my soul during COVID-19

When the isolation and social distancing guidelines were enforced I observed that many of us, and I include myself here, went to the extreme to fill our days with activities to beat boredom and hopefully reduce stress. We discovered the wonders of technology, joining countless new social media groups, attending regular Zoom calls with family, friends and other social groups.

We became very creative in how we maintained our relationships and connections with the outside world. Books clubs went online, Virtual birthday parties were conducted by Zoom. In fact, last week my 6 year old grandson, Ethan, had two Virtual Birthday parties one with his grandparents on his birthday and another with his school friends.

We have made daily schedules to take up every minute of the day and I know I even promoted that idea in the beginning of the period of ISO. We needed structure, we needed to feel that the days wouldn’t drag on and we needed to avoid feeling trapped.

We took up new hobbies and started new learning online.

We turned to baking, especially comfort food and for many, they discovered online fitness classes which became part of their daily routine. For me, I created a 7-day Eat Healthy for Life Challenge for the Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond Facebook Group, to ensure we maintained healthy eating pattern including immune boosting foods.

All wonderful ideas to help reduce stress and anxiety but in some cases this structure has also become mentally overwhelming.

I’m feeling a little exhausted just reading all that we have done! Then I happened upon this quote:

Allow yourself to be where you are
Allow yourself to be where you are

Nourishment for my Soul

Activity of some kind is great but we also need to take time out to nourish our Soul, our Spirit. Yes hobbies and being creative can fill your soul with joy but to me, nourishment for my soul also means just being in the moment and resting my mind and body.

Over the last week, I have felt mentally drained. I have been working furiously to finish my Fitness Certification which I will complete by the end of May. I created and put a huge amount of time and effort into my 7-day Eat Healthy for Life Challenge. I have been on mental overload and now feel life is more of an effort than it should be. I’ve been worrying about an issue which I have been procrastinating about and this is robbing me of peace of mind.

I felt my spirit, my soul wasn’t singing and I needed to do something to change that.

I needed to take action so this week, I decided to take some time out and only do what I really needed to do.

  • I didn’t blog last week because I just didn’t feel creative in my thought and the words would not flow.
  • I didn’t send a Newsletter to my readers because I had nothing of value to say.
  • I didn’t as much time on social media or reading my favourite blogs. I hope they understand.
  • I didn’t continue with several online courses I had signed for and have put them on the back burner.

I took the pressure off.

  • I took time to breathe. Really breathe. Concentrating on deep inhales and then cleansing exhales as I mentally let all of my stress and anxiety go.
  • I went for daily walks or runs by the ocean and just breathed in the fresh, crisp air. Autumn is definitely here and the mornings and evenings are crisp with the days sunny and clear! A perfect way to nourish my soul.
  • I took time to notice nature. During my walks there seems to be so many butterflies around this year.
  • I started 30 days of Yoga with Adriene with one of my Saturday Sisters. Yoga makes me stop and clear my mind even though it is also a physical workout, I find the practice brings mental peace.
  • I let my schedule go and just enjoyed inspirational flow days
  • I did some baking and made a delicious healthy version of ANZAC biscuits which I found on Wendy’s Way to Health

After a few days, I was feeling refreshed and although I’m still stumbling with my creative thinking, my mind is clear and my spirit feels stronger.

Have you been feeling a little overwhelmed with too much activity and not enough time out to ‘be where you are’?

How are you nourishing your Soul? What brings peace and calm to your Mind?

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46 Comments

  • Reply Jennifer Jones May 3, 2020 at 10:05

    Sue I think many are feeling the same. For us, it’s been the same. Our first few weeks in iso have been very productive. But during the past week we have come to a stop. Not beating ourselves up, just recognising that we need to be with however we feel on the day. For you Corona virus has come at a really busy time as you finish your course. Your body was probably screaming for time out. But I was pleased to see your pist today

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 3, 2020 at 11:10

      Thanks Jen. I have only 3 group sessions to go and I’m doing these online through Strong Healthy Women. Then I’ve finished! I think that many are starting to realise that we don’t need to be pushing 24/7 to fill our time and are getting into a steady rhythm of life. Have a lovely weekend and thanks for stopping by xx

  • Reply Toni Pike May 3, 2020 at 11:09

    Hi Sue, I’m so glad you took some time out as as I think we all need to be kind to ourselves – and you sound ferociously busy. You are amazing, because you still found time to help me! I’ve been busy with my writing in recent weeks, and have found the weeks in isolation have raced by. But I’ve also been working on a strained muscle/sciatica problem that I’ve had, and lots of meditation for my wellbeing. I blamed my health problem last year on pushing myself to the point of exhaustion, and now know I can’t do that anymore. I feel so much better for it. Take good care of yourself, Sue. Toni x

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 3, 2020 at 11:43

      Thanks Toni it has been hectic and taking time out is just what I needed. Always happy to help a friend and hope your book is a success. Your muscle/sciatica problem is not good though. How are you treating it? I’m glad you learned from your health scare and are taking good care of yourself. Have a lovely Sunday xx

  • Reply Erica/Erika May 3, 2020 at 14:03

    A great title, Sue! “Nourishing our soul.” I immediately took in a deep breath when I saw your heading photo. Your first paragraphs sum up well how many of us adapted and organized our initial days. It is interesting how you zeroed in on the “mentally overwhelming.” I agree with you. Aside from the structure of ‘doing’ there was and still is an undercurrent of stress and anxiety. Yes, “mentally drained.”

    This post really resonates with me, Sue. You likely have heard the saying “a human being” versus “a human doing.” We all just need to be “a human being” to reclaim our energy, our spirit and ourselves. A great reminder and a great post! Thank you. Take care and stay well. xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 4, 2020 at 08:24

      Hi Erica, we are kindred spirits I believe as we do think and feel the same about life. I love the saying ‘A human being’ versus ‘A human doing’. I’ve never heard that so thank you for mentioning it. Stay well and take care of you and your family and have a beautiful week. xx

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au May 3, 2020 at 14:25

    Hi Sue – I think I’ve done the opposite – I started off isolation feeling relieved to give up all the demands on my schedule and to just be home, kicking back, and being lazy. That worked for a few weeks but then I started to go a bit stir crazy and I feel the need to do something a little more productive lately. I guess our souls need balance – stimulation (but not too much) and rest (but not too much). I’ve also expected the govt to say it was all a bit of overkill and we can now go back to normal – that doesn’t look like the case at all and we could be doing this lockdown stuff for several more weeks/months – I’m really missing the “real” human connections and vibrancy of interactions and getting out and about. I guess we all need to be kind to ourselves, nourish our souls, and hold on tight til we’re allowed back out again!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 4, 2020 at 08:27

      Hi Leanne, I remember you feeling that at the beginning that isolation was a kind of freedom from schedules. As you have read mine was the opposite although I am enjoying the freedom I’ve also been putting a lot of pressure on to finish my course which led to other work that needed to be done. I’m now looking forward to taking some time out and although I really miss my family I just keep telling myself it won’t be forever. Take care and here if you need a chat xx

  • Reply Christine Aldred May 3, 2020 at 19:54

    It’s all about balance, and there are no rules. We should do what we need to do. I’ve been busy (I’m always busy in some way) but also been relaxed and have taken the time to do some catching up. In most ways my life feels pretty normal although I haven’t really been anywhere apart from outside or my daughter’s house (allowable). If this goes on for many more months (highly doubtful in Canberra as we’re doing really well), I might even take back up the act of reading which I used to do so much of at one time.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 4, 2020 at 08:29

      Hi Christine, I agree there are no rules and it is good to hear that you are finding that right balance of doing and being. Life has been hectic mainly because of my Fitness Course that I wanted to finish despite COVID-19. This has meant extra workload and some things just have to take a back seat. 3 group sessions in a Virtual Studio and I’m finished the whole Certificate! x

  • Reply Debbie Harris May 3, 2020 at 21:45

    Hi Sue, I can understand your feelings and know you have been pushing yourself a lot. You are so generous with all you do for others, I’m not surprised you are feeling a bit low. I’m glad you took some time and found your spark again. It’s a funny time, sometimes I forget the situation but then I remember and feel a bit lost. We are into unknown territory and none of us really know how to cope, so we are all a bit out of our comfort zone. I hope you are feeling a bit better now for your time out. I’ve been Ok but have the odd day when I’m just a bit over everything. Lovely hear from you and see you back blogging. Take care xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 4, 2020 at 08:31

      Hi Deb, I’m not sure Low is the word but definitely mentally fatigued and just needing some time out from thinking really. Mike has been feeling it more than me. He has been unsettled even though our life hasn’t dramatically changed, I think not being able to see his Mum is playing on his mind. At almost 94 he worries something will happen to her, which is quite understandable. Take care and we must be overdue for a chat. xx

      • Reply Debbie Harris May 6, 2020 at 20:02

        Yes Sue, I can see how Mike would be unsettled about his mother, we are much the same about Ruby, my MIL, who turned 89 last week, all alone. I have shared this post for #mlstl

  • Reply suzanne vosbikian May 4, 2020 at 00:39

    Sue, some days are better than others, but every day is mindful, and that takes energy. It was smart of you to avoid posting when you felt you had nothing to contribute. My last two posts are dreadful but reflective of my roller coaster emotions. I don’t mind showing that side of myself, but I am anxious to have a creative thought. Maintaining balance has become more difficult as time passes, and the constant adjustments are becoming tiresome. Energy is key, and feeding the soul is a good energy booster. Thanks for the reminder to not neglect that part of myself. I will have a few minutes of beach time this week, so that will do a world of good.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 4, 2020 at 08:33

      Hi Suzanne, I’m glad I didn’t post because it would have been trivial and I always like to write something that has meaning. It is good to show our vulnerable side and I don’t have a problem with that. I think it shows we are all human and here to support each other during good and bad times. Take care and stay well. I’m sure the beach will energise you as it does me. xx

  • Reply Savoring Sixty May 4, 2020 at 03:32

    It is so good to take time out to nourish and take care of ourselves and I am glad to read you did that very thing. This whole situation has brought so many different challenges to all of us in one way or another. There are moments through out some days where I just really miss the old routine. I try to keep busy and have accomplished some at-home goals. I miss the human contact of just being around others. For example, standing next to someone in the grocery aisle as we decide which brand of something we want to remove from the shelf, or making conversation with a clerk and seeing their smile now hidden behind a mask. In spite of it all this will pass and I pray we all come out of it with a deeper appreciation of that really matters.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 4, 2020 at 08:35

      I agree that we will come out of this experience with a new attitude – at least I hope we do. This has been a good time to reflect on what is important in our life and to maybe let go of what no longer serves us. I know I take the blog far too seriously and it is good to take a step back occasionally to just rest the mind without pushing to try and be creative. Take care and stay well. Have a beautiful week and thanks for stopping by xx

  • Reply Donna-Lynn Connolly May 4, 2020 at 05:57

    Hi, Sue – I’m so glad that you have taken time out for you. You are always nourishing others, time to take care of YOU.
    Thinking of you and sending VERY. BIG, HUGS, yourway!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 4, 2020 at 08:23

      Thanks Donna, April was huge for me and mentally fatiguing. I’m looking forward to our catch up this week via Zoom. Thank you for the VERY, BIG, HUGS and sending some straight back to you! xx

  • Reply Joanne T Feguosn May 4, 2020 at 12:57

    Thank you Sue for always being so upbeat and your smile and positivity shines through!
    These are the best of times, these are the worst of times, as was written many years ago! Thank you for being you and just wanted to know you are appreciated from a far!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 5, 2020 at 06:31

      Thank you so much Joanne for your kind words. You don’t know how much they mean to me. So lovely to have reconnected with you and that you are happy and healthy. Take care xx

  • Reply Corinne Rodrigues May 4, 2020 at 17:32

    I’m glad that you decided to take it easy. I think we all should do what’s best for us. In the initial days, I was quite lost and just went from day to day. Now I feel much more upbeat and am creating more. You’re always inspiring, Sue! ♥

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 5, 2020 at 06:47

      So glad to hear that you are feeling upbeat and creating more Corinne. It really was trial and error in the beginning wasn’t it? I like to have structure in my day, hence the schedule but I started to swing the pendulum too far to one side and forgot about taking time to just ‘be’. Have a lovely week, Corinne and appreciate your kind words. xx

      • Reply Corinne Rodrigues May 6, 2020 at 15:10

        Trial and error it is, Sue. We’ve just heard that the lockdown has been extended till the end of May in our State. We have to rework so many plans.

        • Reply Sue Loncaric May 10, 2020 at 17:47

          Oh no, Corinne we are now starting to have some restrictions eased so can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Fingers crossed. Take care and stay well x

  • Reply Michele Somerville May 5, 2020 at 00:06

    So much good advice here. In general, these days of quarantine are a perfect opportunity to do just that. BE, just be a human being not a human doing, as Erika/Erica said. Balance is important, so perhaps starting off scheduled and organized was a good way to keep time from slipping through your hands like water. But another expression has proven true. This has become a marathon, rather than the sprint that many hoped it would be. Caring for our own souls, imo, is an important way for us to be able to care for those for whom we are responsible and also aids our productivity. It is just not second nature to some of us. Blessings, Michele

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 5, 2020 at 06:28

      Hello Michele, I loved the point Erika made about human being and human doing. I had not heard that expression before but it really resonated with me. I am someone who likes and needs structure in my day. However, if that schedule becomes overloaded and not evenly balanced with rest and relaxation then that is when I find myself feeling overwhelmed and needing a break. Thanks for stopping by Michele and hope to see you on Wednesday at #MLSTL. Take care xx

  • Reply Natalie May 6, 2020 at 07:06

    Hi Sue, I’m glad you took time out for yourself, nourishing your soul while enjoying nature, especially with your vicinity to the beach. I walk outdoors 5-6X/ week by the lake and also do meditation and yoga so I feel relaxed. My home environment is calm. I haven’t increased my activities since the lockdown. With the extra time gained from staying at home, I learn to bake new recipes, once a month and that’s about it. Thinking of you and sending you warm hugs. #MLSTL

  • Reply Bree May 6, 2020 at 07:51

    The first 4 weeks of iso – we had just moved and I became sick – possible COVD19 – no one would test me as I didnt fit the criteria. So I learnt how to get shopping done on line, I spoke to my doctors via teleconference. I had zoom catch up with my daughter who is disabled and dosnt understand the whole isolation thing. I didnt write on my blog. I couldn’t I just felt so flat. So I cooked, watched shows on Netflix and foxtel. I did yoga and Tai Chi and days I felt well I did exercise classes via YouTube . Played darts every day to the point I think I have improved. Then I was able to get tested and two days I was told I was negative. My doctors still think I had it. I just managed to get well myself. I then went to the beach with my dogs, and the fresh air and sunshine was food for the soul. I think taking time out during all of this is very important. It can be so overwhelming. I hear you with the beauty of nature and the butterflies and the birds.

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee May 6, 2020 at 08:26

    Since we first went into lockdown, my main focus has been mental health for everyone as I knew cutting the kids off from their friends for any length of time would be a really hard ask. My middle teen is so excited to be going back to school next week! So for me, I’ve cut myself slack too. I’ve worked hard on keeping moods high and been more than ok to deal with the downs as needed. We’ve lost a lot. But it will come back. We’ve also had a lot of fun, and we’ll try to keep that going after. Like everything, it will just keep going…so being a day late (unless applying for JobKeeper!) won’t really matter. Just get it done eventually. #MLSTL

  • Reply Jo May 6, 2020 at 08:52

    I haven’t done anything very much different but am overwhelmed with what I already had on. I’ve been trying to put my finger on what’s making me so angsty and antsy and I suspect it’s because I haven’t been paying any attention to my creative soul – it’s all been about real stuff, practical stuff, day job, committee stuff and editing the book that I can’t seem to get finished. And walking…but that’s been keeping me sane.

  • Reply Christina Henry May 6, 2020 at 16:31

    Hi Sue, I think it’s important to succumb to the body’s urge for rest. We’ve all been challenged in so many ways and it’s not surprising we feel drained of energy and mentally overwhelmed. You did the right thing and I’m sure you’ll be better for a week off. I’ve followed Yoga with Adriene for about 5 years – she’s great

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 10, 2020 at 17:48

      I do feel better having taken some time out although I probably could have had longer. Perhaps short regular breaks are the answer. I think I have a ‘girl crush’ on Adriene LOL:)

  • Reply Christina Daggett May 6, 2020 at 16:50

    Hi sue, congratulations on the fitness certificate, that you’ll be completing in May. I’d love to get information on that course. I’m glad you’ve been able to de-stress, recently. I’ve also been stressed but it’s more about this apartment renovation that we’ve been doing in Chiatura, Georgia. We’ve been dealing with an unruly neighbor, and the situation is on-going. It helped to write about it in this new post, as writing often works as a good form of meditation.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 10, 2020 at 17:49

      Thanks Christina it is Certificate III in Fitness one level below a personal trainer which I’m hoping to move on to next. I read your post about your renos and it can be very stressful especially if neighbours are impacted or become involved. Good luck with everything x

  • Reply Enda Sheppard May 6, 2020 at 18:23

    So honest. I think it is easy to fall into the trap of being all busy and productive, and then feeling a burn when things maybe don’t come as easy on a particular day. It sounds like you did exactly what was required, a time out, and time to breathe, exhale, and move on when you are ready to. #MLSL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 10, 2020 at 17:50

      Hi Enda, it is easy to just keep pushing when your mind and body are telling you to stop. I’m thinking regular short breaks might be the answer for me.

  • Reply Jennifer May 6, 2020 at 23:43

    Somedays we do just need to nourish our souls. I didn’t feel as much pressure as everyone to fill my time. I was/am still working 5 to 6 days a week at my full-time job. I was actually jealous that others had the time to try to do things. But I was not jealous of the problems they were having trying to get unemployment, etc.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 10, 2020 at 17:54

      Hi Jennifer, I didn’t realise you still worked full time so I can understand you certainly didn’t need to look for ways to fill your time. With full time work and blogging there isn’t too much spare time left!

  • Reply Nancy Andres May 7, 2020 at 05:28

    What a thoughtful post Sue. Balancing work, play, and nourishment for my soul, body, and mind is a daily juggling act for me. Some days I do more of one than the other. What’ so great about self-care is we can review how we handle it one day at a time and make revisions when necessary. Thanks for hosting #MLSTL and stay safe and well.

  • Reply Denyse Whelan May 7, 2020 at 19:14

    What I loved about reading this post Sue was how you came to your own conclusion about the self-care and shifts you needed to make…and did.

    Taking care of the inner person can be, for some, confronting, and others may see it as time wasting..but as you have found it takes to back to who you are and want to be.

    Bravo!

    Denyse. #mlstl

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 10, 2020 at 17:56

      I usually come around to finding what is right for me Denyse although at times I tend to fight my inner voice. I’m thinking that short regular breaks without guilt is the answer for me.

  • Reply Pradeep May 8, 2020 at 22:06

    It’s perfectly fine to take a break like the one you took. It’s often refreshing!

  • Reply Kathleen May 12, 2020 at 10:12

    How good if we can recognize what we need to keep the joy and peace flowing. Congratulations on your post, our JULIE has chosen it to be featured on the next Blogger’s Pit Stop.
    Kind regards, Kathleen

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 18, 2020 at 10:34

      Hello Kathleen and thank you again for the honour. I’m not blogging as much lately but will definitely link up when I can. Have a lovely week and stay well. xx

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