Create A Unique Tool Kit For Giving And Receiving Healthy And Intentional Comfort During (And After!) The Pandemic…


Create A Unique Tool Kit For Giving And Receiving Healthy And Intentional Comfort During (And After!) The Pandemic



Humans both need and want comfort. When we are sick or feeling stressed, we may seek comfort to provide us ease and relief. Some of us strive for all the “creature comforts” that our modern world has to offer and use the acquisition of said comforts as a marker of success. But what does comfort really mean? Is comfort really necessary or is it just a nonessential human desire? Is comfort our enemy as we have been made to believe when we think about the term “comfort zone” for example? Now that we are approaching the one year mark of the worldwide pandemic, we are likely finding ourselves both seeking comfort and giving comfort to those we love and care for as a new world order is emerging. This is not an easy time for anyone and we are all experiencing the effects of the pandemic in different ways. Now more than ever, we as a collective need to provide healthy and intentional forms of comfort to ourselves and others.

Humans need to both receive and provide comfort to contribute to personal well-being and to the well-being of the collective. As a noun, the dictionary defines comfort as “a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.” As an action, the dictionary defines comfort as “the easing or alleviation of a person’s feelings of grief or distress.” We can break this down even further, and consider the need for giving and receiving comfort to each of our bodies: the physical body, mental body, emotional body, and the spiritual body. As we humans are unique, so are our needs for giving and receiving comfort. What we need one day likely will not be what we need the next day and that’s ok! It’s important to take time to pause and listen so that you can understand what comfort is needed in that moment. Developing a tool box so that you have things at the ready to help you is also essential. By taking the time to stop and listen to yourself or another, you can provide intentional, healthy comfort to meet whatever need is arising in the moment.

1. Comforting the physical body

Once we stop and listen, we may find that we are in need of comforting the physical body. Maybe the physical body is experiencing pain or illness. Here are some ideas for healthy comforting of the physical body:

+Providing thermal comfort: is the physical body too hot or too cold? Take a warm bath, a cool shower, change clothing, and/or adjust the temperature in the physical environment if possible

+Cuddling with someone you care about (or hugging yourself or a pillow can help too!)

+Massage (this includes self-massage!)

+Masturbation can provide pleasure to the physical body as well as a sense of relief

+Resting (not the same as sleeping!)

+Deep breathing (there’s a lot of free resources online for pranayama exercises!)

+Sharing space with someone you care about (not necessarily touching or talking if you just need quiet presence)

+A guided meditation for relaxation of the body (you can find lots of free guided meditations online!)

+Stretching, yoga, Qigong, swimming…any physical activity that you enjoy and are able to do without pain can be a comfort to your physical body

+Receiving reiki energy

2. Comforting the mental body

Deep listening to yourself or another may help you to determine that your mental body is in need of comforting. Try some of these:

+Practice mindfulness by becoming aware of your thoughts and choosing to give energy only to the thoughts that serve your highest good

+Meditation: walking, sitting, working. Anything you do can become a meditation when you do that task mindfully and fully in the present moment

+Reconnect with nature (this can actually be comforting to all four of our bodies!). If you are in quarantine and can’t go outside, watching a nature documentary may help or even sitting by an open window (if that’s an option) to feel the fresh air

+Reading a book

+Journaling

+Watching a favorite show or movie (be mindful that too much of this is actually not healthy! Moderation is key)

+Be intentional with your consumption of the news and social media. Maybe you need to take a break completely or maybe you are in need of some structure around this (for example, consider identifying a time during the day that you will check these things and let it go the rest of the day)

+Take a nap



+Visualization. This can take so many forms! Try visualizing a peaceful image, a favorite place…anything positive and uplifting will do

+Receiving reiki energy

3. Comforting the emotional body

Especially during this pandemic, we may find ourselves in need of giving and receiving emotional comfort. Consider these healthy ways to provide emotional comfort:

+Talking to someone you care about or a professional if needed

+Sharing space with someone you trust

+Journaling

+Crying if you feel like that’s what you need to do. Let it out!

+Allow your feelings to be present with no judgment. We often judge ourselves for our feelings and we may not even realize it. Letting go of the judgment and realizing that the emotion is not permanent may bring comfort during times of intense emotions (we are so much more than just our emotions yet we often let them carry us away!)

+Speak compassionately to yourself (just like you would to someone you love!)

+Compassionate listening. If you are providing emotional comfort to someone, consider trying compassionate listening. Holding space for that person to share with you and not waiting to respond or trying to fix anything. Just listen and hold the space

+Receiving reiki energy

4. Comforting the spiritual body

We may also find ourselves in need of comforting our spiritual body or giving comfort to another for their spiritual body. Here are some ideas to contemplate:

+Reading a spiritual text

+Chanting or singing spiritual songs

+Connecting with your spiritual community

+Doing a ritual (can be as simple as lighting a candle and setting an intention!)

+Prayer

+Meditation

+Grounding. Especially during this pandemic we may feel ungrounded in general. Going outside and putting your feet on the earth can be so helpful! You can also visualize roots coming out of your feet and connecting with the earth (you don’t even have to be outside to do this as a visualization)

+Receiving reiki energy

You likely noticed on the idea lists above that some of the considerations for providing comfort appear on more than one list. Reiki energy work, for example, can provide comfort to all of your bodies (please feel free to contact me directly if you’d like a session!). Journaling can comfort both your mental and emotional bodies. It’s important to determine what may work for you when you are feeling the need for comfort or the need to provide it to someone else. What other ways can you think of to provide healthy comfort to each of your bodies? Please share your thoughts in the comments so that we can all learn from each other and develop a rich tool box to support ourselves and those we love today and always (pandemic or not!)

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Deanna Thomas

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I am passionate about evolving to my best self and to helping others to do the same. I am a…

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