Masks we wear: Protecting bodies and minds:

The Island Now

The Latin root word for spirit is breath. So, isn’t it sad and funny that all of the issues that we face as a society center around mask mandates, breathing, and the proximity of individuals that we might otherwise share space, laughter, and time with friends, family, and others in our society?

We need to stay mindful and diligent in how we protect ourselves, not just our physical health but also our mental well-being. We can’t allow fear to keep us from living our lives fully. But we do need to be smart about how we go about doing that.

One way to take care of ourselves is to make sure that we continue to do the things that bring us joy. Whether reading, writing, spending time outside in nature, listening to music, or dancing, find what makes you happy and do more of it.

We also need to be aware of the masks we wear. Not just the literal masks that we put on to protect ourselves from germs, viruses, and other potential dangers, but the masks that we wear to hide who we are.

The mask of apathy or boredom – feeling like you don’t matter, so why should you care? Or perhaps you are feeling uninspired by your work or community and have decided to resign from society?

When you stop putting on those masks, it opens a whole new world of possibilities.
You can start to see the world and your life differently. For example, you might find that you are more engaged in your work or that you want to get involved in your community.

Start by paying attention to the masks you wear and then start peeling them back one at a time. What do you find? How does it feel? And most importantly, what do you want to do with that information?

Being mindful of our health and wellness is both an inside job and an outside job. Yes, we need to clean our environments and protect ourselves from germs, viruses, and other potential dangers. But we also need to protect our minds from the viruses of apathy, other-ism, anger, rage, trauma, etc. We can’t do it alone. We need to be in a community with others, sharing our thoughts, feelings, and experiences with each other.

We are all in this together. So, let’s take care of ourselves and each other.

About the Author: Keith W Fiveson is a Mindfulness-based coach, counselor, and consultant, engaged with individuals and organizations to improve resilience and performance. He lives in Port Washington.

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The Island Now

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