Note: More to Life with Faith and Lois is designed to be heard, not read. We hope you’ll listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that won’t be on this page. Our transcripts are generated with speech recognition software and may contain errors. 

 

Lois 

Welcome to the podcast More to Life with Faith and Lois.

 

Faith 

I’m Faith.

 

Lois 

And I’m Lois.

 

Faith 

Our podcast explores the things you face in life that inspire and daunt you.

 

Lois 

Happy Memorial Day weekend Faith.

 

Faith 

Same to you, Lois. It’s so hard to believe that we are actually here at Memorial Day and it feels like it and at the same time it doesn’t feel like it everything is kind of changed around us for this holiday.

 

Lois 

Yes, I mean, 10 weeks in and some of you are out and about some of you are staying in place. Some of you are inviting one or two people over some of you are hanging out over the fence with your neighbors. I mean, it’s I’m noticing more fluidity. I even saw a friend of mine who has been very much sequestered during this entire time out camping by herself no one else around. So I think you know what people are getting to this place where they’re saying, if I’m really practicing what I feel is safe for me, I can move about more than the cabin, I guess.

 

Faith 

I mean, everybody’s coming in with some really unique ideas, how to begin to enter into spending time with other people. And that’s a good thing. I mean, we’re starting this another phase of a transition, and we have to learn how to move through it.

 

Lois 

And as you know, on this podcast, mortal life with faith in Lois, we have decided in these last 10 weeks to really focus on how the Coronavirus era is impacting us. And it’s impacting all of us in different ways. And we’re trying to touch on some of these different points that are making a difference in your life. So if you’d like to hear any of the topics we have covered, please go to our website  www.moretolifewithfaithandlois.com or even on this platform that you’re listening to right now the podcast app that you’re on, you can go back and look at a myriad of our podcasts and if you don’t want to hear anything about COVID-19 Well, we have 100 plus other podcasts you can listen to, right Faith?

 

Faith 

We have done a lot. And there’s some really good things to catch up on if you haven’t listened to our podcast, because when people do kind of jump in and dive in and enjoy a lot of them, we always get the feedback that they’re really benefited by listening to them.

 

Lois 

So thank you for all of your comments. Please feel free to keep commenting, sharing wherever you see fit. And today we’re focusing on how to stay present through COVID-19. So we’re here and we can get stuck in stuff that’s in the past that bugs us or looking to the future we can anticipate and be filled with anxiety. And we can also be filled with anxiety in our present moment. But what we’d like to do is kind of call us to where we are right now with our feet on the ground where we’re sitting, and how do we process through this very challenging time that each of us is facing right now.

 

Faith 

I mean, this is this really, wow, it’s it has stretched us. We’ve used that word a lot over these last several weeks of where we’ve had to learn to do a new normal. And we are not all the way through that yet. We’re not back to a total normal, and we’re going to make new adjustments. So staying present into being aware of how we are reacting internally, how is our body responding? How our, our, our thoughts, what are we thinking about? I’m catching my thoughts, often by they kind of go off on a little tangent sometimes in the negative direction, and I am making myself aware of it. So I can reel it back in, weigh it and say, well, what’s the truth? So it’s learning to be aware, I think of our entire being, so that we can move through this in a way that we come out more balanced and more centered.

 

Lois 

So one of the first ways we can stay present is to do exactly what you just suggested faith, which is Ask questions. And we’re talking about ourselves here. By the way, of course, if you’re with a significant other or a family member, and you want to offer some of these ideas to them, please feel free. But we’re right now talking about what you can do for yourself to stay present. And when you ask questions, literally, when you get up in the morning, as you’re facing whatever you’re going to face for the day, to check in with yourself. How are you doing today?

 

Faith 

So important, right? I mean, that’s one of the first things I do is, as I’m still laying there, I look out the window as I’m still laying in bed, and I look at the day, and I’m going, Wow, it’s usually a beautiful sky. And I take that in, I take in the most, the first positive thing I see and and enjoy that and I’m thankful and I’m grateful for a new day. And I’m grateful and thankful that I’m not sick. And I’m thankful and grateful that whatever is going to unfold on the day is going to be okay. It’s going to be something I’m going to enter into so having a positive attitude. And my awakening kind of helps me set the stage for the rest of the day.

 

Lois 

Because as soon as we kind of release those early morning, beautiful thoughts, because nothing has happened yet, and we’re not even necessarily nervous because we’re kind of coming out of the sleep state, we then have thoughts begin to enter our mind, and what kinds of thoughts are they that are filling our our ideas and mind? And that’s what we also want to explore when you ask questions. What are those thoughts? And when you do get a negative thought, which we do, sometimes several times an hour, sometimes it feels like every minute, but when you get those negative thoughts, what do you do with them? Well, Faith just suggested something a moment ago by, you know, first asking if it’s true, but really looking at what this negative thought has to do. Is it right here in this moment? Or is it a past thing I’m ruminating about or a future thing that I’m afraid of? And so when we’re saying stay in the present, where you are right in this moment, what Are you able to do with that thought, and when you get to that place of being able to look at it to actually observe it, it takes away some of the the wrath that it can rely on us when we’re, we’re angry at ourselves or when we’re nervous or when we’re anxious. It can take away some of those blistering moments and we can sit there just with it and go, yeah, that’s, that’s not really pleasant, but it’s not good or bad. It just is what I have to face today. Like, I don’t know, doing my taxes. I don’t like doing it, but I’m going to be doing it. And so how do I get through? Even a negative thought that is hard for me?

 

Faith 

Oh, that is so good. Because it’s taking it and kind of dissecting that negative thought and and just saying, is it what is it evoking inside of me? What is it creating? And if it’s a tension and anxiety and fear, then it’s a really good place to start and say, wait a minute, what is really happening here and what do I Have the influence or the power to do to change it or to deal with it, you know, most of the time that we get anxious and we get worried about what’s happening or what will happen or what has happened. It’s all fear based. And that’s the thing you want to look at. Where is the fear, really, in the moment? It’s usually not there. And so, that’s where you can enter into the moment and go, I’m okay. I’m really okay. And I have the mind and the ability to make a plan. And I can do that if I so choose.

 

Lois 

Right. It’s facing that, isn’t it Faith? I mean, it’s almost like an uncomfortable shoe that, you know, you’re going to be able to take off and relax at the end of the day, but it’s something you’re going to need to face. It’s not going to cripple you. But you have to make it through this moment this time. And we are here to say yes, you can. And it’s not easy. It’s challenging. So I start working with whatever internet obstacles I’m facing, and what is it inside me? That is preventing me from going to the next step because it’s so easy when negative thoughts come in, at least it is for me to say, well, it’s this person’s fault. Or it’s because this happened over here, where what can I do about it? Just what you said, How can I deal with these inner Gremlins that I have and say, Okay, you know what I see you, you’re right here, I’m going to move you aside, because I have to deal with this. And then I can take off these uncomfortable shoes and feel a lot better at the end of this, whatever I’m feeling and going through,

 

Faith 

And then accepting the fact that we can’t change this. So when we can’t change something, we get frustrated, we can get even angry and afraid, because we want it to be different. And when we are powerless to make the circumstance different, then our anxiety can shoot shoot up, but if we can just embrace it, just you know, I can’t change this. This COVID-19 thing is here. It’s just not resolved until we have a vaccine, we don’t have an answer. So how do I move through this? And how do I accept it? And where am I at? And and how am I going to live out what feels most comfortable for me.

 

Lois 

So in our episode today, How to stay present through COVID-19, our first step that we encourage you to join us on is ask questions of yourself and do it first thing in the morning and do it all through the day, believe me, it starts to dissipate some of these anxiety ridden feelings that you might have, it won’t get away with them, it doesn’t mean that you will not feel these later or in another way. Faith is so right. But it gives you some tools in terms of dealing with it. Secondly, observe how you are affected. Now this does tie in to what we just spoke about, but really take an observation and saying, you know, Wow, I didn’t say something here. Look at yourself, Am I being honest with myself am I Really, what am I feeling? So observe it and say, this is how I’m feeling. Sometimes we brush off and say, Oh, I shouldn’t feel that way, someone else has it a lot worse, this really doesn’t mean that much. No problem. I mean, you know what I’m talking about. And so what happens is when we don’t look at ourselves and say, no, that really bugs me, or I’m really worried about this, then then it gets mushrooms and gets even bigger because we haven’t faced it. So we encourage you to observe how you are affected, and that’s a good thing.

 

Faith 

It’s so good. Because minimizing what you’re feeling or experiencing is only going to make matters worse, once you can own it. Then you see it and then you can actually do something about it. You can care for yourself and this is where the TLC towards yourself is so important. What am I feeling well, I will honor it, write about it, express it, or what am I physically feeling? or What am I thinking? You are a real element? In this whole equation of what we’re going through, and it matters, and we can minimize how important what we’re feeling and experiencing, and that, like I said, only makes it worse. So doing that presence is really good to say, Hey, I’m going to do that evaluation of the body, the mind, the soul in the spirit. And I’m going to see what’s really going on with me today.

 

Lois 

Because when you’re willing to look at your range of emotions, and the range of emotions of those around us, because sadly, they just all don’t agree with everything. So I mean, we, we have to accept that people are processing this very differently. So when I look at everybody’s range of emotions, if I give people the room to feel what they’re feeling, and I give myself and observe to feel what I’m feeling, that’s when I can respond with kindness. Our response doesn’t always have to agree with people, but it changes how we respond because we’ve gone through these steps We’re not ignoring that something is difficult for us. We’re, we’re listening where we need to be listening. And then we’re feeling our emotions. So that then for me, gives me the permission to say, Okay, now I’m ready to share what I think, to respond in a way that will be kind, but I can still speak my truth. And I think that that’s how I’ve come to the place of being able to share things. That may not be exactly what someone else is thinking or feeling. But it comes from a place where I’m not out to zing somebody or say, you’re wrong, I’m right. It’s here. Here’s what I’m thinking.

 

Faith 

This is changing your language into a language that’s more accepting from both sides, your side as well as another person’s and to honor both because you know, the reality is this other person and other people in your life are going through this too. So they’re going through the same kind of experiences you’re going through, just maybe for different reasons, but it’s a tough time.

 

Lois 

It is a tough time. So that’s Number two of how to stay present through COVID-19. Observe how you’re affected. Our third point we’d love to dive into is to be clear and consistent. And faith, I am finding that Nowhere is this more important than right now. Because things feel like quicksand. Oftentimes when I look at what’s going on, if I spend too much time observing what’s going on in the news media, or checking in one too many times, I feel like where can I get a footing? Where can I get a grounding, which is why it’s so important to know where you are, and to observe these things about yourself and then to be grounded in what you honor in yourself and what you believe. And that’s a really good thing, because while other people may not be clear, we are allowed to be and we may be clear, and that clarity is, by the way, oftentimes, what gets me back on my feet and saying, Okay, I know what I’m doing right now. And that’s all I have to know.

 

Faith 

Mm hmm. That’s so good. So, so good, because we can saturate ourselves in the things that are going on around us and in the negative and in the influencers. And we need to take responsibility and be our own influencer. Like, what are we learning? What are we discovering? What are we feeling within ourselves? What is this teaching me? Who am I becoming? As a result of going through this time this passage? I’ve been calling it the passage, we’re all going through a passage of an ordeal that we’ve never had to go through, and how are you going to come out the other side, a better person with more insight and more understanding about yourself and your future? So yes, it’s so important to take that responsibility into be a tune. There are certain days where I can I can listen to more TV or news or just something funny. And then other days I can’t watch one moment of TV. It has to be on Well, that’s being sensitive to where is my body? Where’s my nervous system? What can I handle? Instead of just doing it rote was what I do. This is automatic, don’t be automatic, listen and respond to it.

 

Lois 

Wow, that is so powerful Faith, because then you’re taking this whole body scan, you’re observing that and you’re saying, This is what I can handle today. And, you know, we’ve talked so much in these last few weeks about the importance of routine and having that and I and I’ve have another word that I’m using, along with routine that’s made a big difference in my life, and that is being prepared. And if for whatever reason, I’ve always thought of myself as someone who’s prepared you know, I actually was a Girl Scout in high school. So I’ve learned all these preparedness things and being a mom and then you know, an aunt and then a grandmother. There are things you have to prepare for, but more than ever, right now, because I feel so much else is slipping away from me, the more I can prepare, even if something gets canceled, that’s okay because then I’m going to be prepared for when Things get rescheduled. But when I’m prepared, I don’t have a fear going into a zoom meeting, or into even recording this podcast or into engaging with a client, or into a difficult conversation with a family member or friend. All of those things, if I take just a few minutes, and prepare, I find that, oh, I can breathe, because even though things will come out of left field, as they always do, I have something that I’ve thought about just a little bit. And it doesn’t mean we’re so programmed that nothing can go outside of a box. But it’s been more helpful to me than not to think about everything I’m doing during the day right now because things are so fluid and having as much preparation as I can for certain elements in my life. It’s kind of shaking things up for me and I’m really, I don’t know, I’m appreciating.

 

Faith 

You found you found your niche. Yeah, yes. It’s a preparedness. It’s finding what really works for you and Be fluid and flexible with the idea that it may very well change tomorrow, depending on how you wake up and how you feel.

 

Lois 

Yes, yeah. And then finally, take care of yourself. This is the fourth point in how to stay present through COVID-19. And I think, Wow, can we stress this enough how important it is to look at and faith you already, you know, alluded to it just even just moments ago, of knowing yourself, when you can handle this much information in this day when you are not going to take anything because you know what you can do? And so the way to do that is to be in touch with what’s going on and, and for me, it has to start every time no matter how nervous I’m getting with being able to breathe, and where do I come? Where do I settle in and I don’t have to go through an entire routine. I need to just breathe deeply a number of times and I find that just doing that slows me to the place where I can observe Okay, now what’s getting to me And then I can take care of myself.

 

Faith 

Hmm, step one of breathing is always the most important. Because if we don’t get that oxygen to the brain, we aren’t going to think very well to process the rest of what we need to do and to how to be more at peace with whatever is stirring within us and, and, and the meditating is a place of. And it’s not just sitting in total silence, you have to find unique ways of what works for you. And that may change on a given day. Maybe on one day, it might be a walking meditation, you might go out and just reflect and meditate and breathe on the beauty in the wonder around you. Other times that might be where you just sit and listen to some music, gentle music in the background or water flowing, whatever works for you, on that particular day. Just take those moments to stop, to reflect, to breathe in peace. And to go. I’m okay I’m in this moment. And I can move through it. And I can move through the next moment that’s in front of me makes a big difference. I oftentimes, and I’ve mentioned this before, for me, I meditate the best when I journal. And I know that sounds kind of strange, because I’m actually doing something. But while I’m on my computer typing, I’m My eyes are closed. I’m listening to some gentle music, and it just flows out my fingertips. And when I’m done, I’m in a better place.

 

Lois 

And when I hear you say that Faith because I so I’m aligned with you on this, I find myself smiling, just by virtue of having taken those breaths by pausing enough to meditate to journal to reflect on what’s happening. That’s when I can smile. And I think what if you just hear someone say, Oh, you know, smile, and you’ll feel better or laugh? If I if I have nothing that it comes from, then it feels phony, but when I do these things in order, it’s like naturally Oh, Because I’m relaxed, you know, you know how little babies before they even can smile when they’re sleeping. before they’re old enough to do this, they get a funny smile. It’s probably gasp but that’s okay. But it’s so cute to see. But they get they don’t it’s it’s a reflexive thing because they’re finally calm enough. And so I find when I’m calm enough, I can smile. And then that’s really taking care of myself because it’s hard to be pissed off when I’m smiling. I can deal with a lot more when I’m able to smile or laugh.

 

Faith 

Yes, exactly. And going back to watching something humorous. I can watch some old clips from some of the TV shows and they still cracked me up. I’ve seen him dozens of times, and I know what’s going to happen, but it strikes me and it just and I’m laughing and as soon as I laugh, I can feel that shift inside. It’s so good to do. We were made to smile. And but you’re right, it can’t be phony baloney, it has to be the real deal.

 

Lois 

And when you get to that smile, start engaging where you can, when you can, how you can during this time with people who support you. Now, this doesn’t mean we turn off everybody that you know isn’t isn’t exactly our friend cuz then then then we’re really fun if we only hang around with people that are just like us, but engage with people who can support you and can understand what you’re going through, share a few things like that. And it doesn’t have to be gloom and doom, but just being able to share some of that. That also brings me to a place where I’m taking more care of myself, because I realize how much I miss these wonderful people in my life, for whom I’ve had to restrict certain kinds of engagements over the last 10 weeks.

 

Faith 

I have a great friend Allison, and and no matter what we’re going through, or no matter what we’re talking about, and even if it’s heavy things shall always end oftentimes with this phrase, who has more fun than us? And it always makes me laugh a little. It’s like you’re right, who has more fun than us. So it doesn’t matter if it’s a positive or negative. There’s joy in it. There’s something that is unfolding. It’s not all negative. And we can find the joy and the pleasure and the light heartedness. And that oh my goodness, I can’t believe what we’re going through. How ridiculous is this? To be able to walk through it? So yes, we need to share this with people that we can trust.

 

Lois 

And and even just this end of this conversation for Faith in me and Faith just listening to you, I just get buoyed up, I get more excited about life. And this is when I can then do something for someone else. It just I flow that when I want to write a note to somebody that I miss, you know, just by you giving me that story of Allison. I mean, this is what we want to do, to engage to let someone know that we miss engaging with them or hanging out with them or doing whatever we used to do. with them. And so being able to share that, and you get to that place, it’s kind of all in stages. And so, but that’s how I know I’m taking care of myself when I feel positive enough that I can move away from the thoughts in my head to acting positively and kindly towards someone else. And that’s just a lot of fun to do.

 

Faith 

Huh, that is really, really good.

 

Lois 

And if you need to talk, by the way, yeah, know that Faith is a registered psychotherapist, and I’m a certified life coach. We are here and available. And thank you for those of you who are reaching out and continue to do so you can find us on our website and on any of our platforms.

 

Faith 

Staying present in these challenging times offers you the opportunity to reduce the anxiety that erupts when you focus on the past or on the future.

 

Lois 

When you choose to look, listen, feel and respond. You can move into a space of clarity and give that same gift to those around you.

 

Faith 

You are not alone. And we are here if you need to talk

 

Lois 

And join us next week when we explore another facet of how we are managing life in these challenging times.

 

Faith 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter on our website and subscribe to our podcast wherever you listen.

 

Lois 

No matter what you face in relationships, your body, spirituality or your craft.

 

Faith 

We are here to assure you, there is always more to life.

 

Lois 

We’ll be back next week.