The Spirituality Community Amidst The Pandemic
Cami Akers 12.8.2020
Ever since the pandemic began, we’ve all created new ways to cope with it. All around the world, people are turning to spirituality to endure this illness. Different religions and worldviews throughout the population can help people cope with things like loss and why things happen the way they do, so now, more than ever, spiritual health is important.
According to Daily Pioneer, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel of Chhattisgarh, India stated that many people have entered a depression due to COVID-19, regarding the effect of the virus itself as well as quarantine. He suggests that these people should consider turning to spirituality for “treatment” for their depression. He said, “It is necessary to make meditation, yoga and exercise a part of daily life to keep away mental illness.”
Baghel also stated that putting importance in spirituality during this time can help protect you from the virus. Taking the necessary precautions and putting value in your life can keep you safe from COVID, like making sure to wear your mask or viewing keeping your spaces clean as important. It’s also a great time to incorporate spirituality in organizing your life, that way when quarantine is officially over, we can all be a little more structured and in tune with ourselves.
Raidió Teilifís Éireann, Ireland’s National Television and Radio Broadcaster, also states that spiritual care helps keep you safe from COVID. Taking value in your spiritual health can make your life better and give you comfort during dark times like this one. American spiritual care specialists have begun to address to the public the urgency of their non-physical health. COVID has caused a spiritual misery like no other.
South African scientific researchers have stated amidst the pandemic, “...during this transition from the physical clinical setting to the virtual one, the importance of spiritual care should not be lost or forgotten because it forms part of the holistic approach to deal with the body–mind–spirit aspect of the population.”
Learning to cope with change is part of the human experience, and now, more than ever, do we need to do so. COVID has caused a disruption in everyone’s lives where we never know what’s coming next. Spirituality asks those who practice it to look inwardly at themselves and at those around them and try to make sense of it all; to reach a peace. This is why now is a great time to use it to cope.
There are many different ways to use spirituality regarding all religions and communities. Chaplains can give others advice regarding their spiritual journey through counseling and therapy like support. You can find chaplains for any group you lean toward and during the pandemic you can connect with them through virtual services. Personal prayer, journaling and meditation are more examples of safe ways to practice spirituality.
There are many opportunities to speak with your community online about your own respective religions and spiritual experiences. Getting other’s views is a part of the journey. There’s also many ways during the pandemic to serve your community in case volunteering is a part of your moral expedition.
I interviewed a member of our own community and how their spiritual life has changed since COVID began. My friend, Ali Hamm, is a sophomore at Grandview Heights and a spiritual person.
She expressed how her life has changed since the pandemic hit. She said, “As I’ve grown up, I haven’t really given myself time to think about my own spirituality. I just went with the flow and what my parents believed, so I finally explored my options and figured out what works for me.”
She described how she’s used spirituality to cope with COVID. Many of the techniques she’s mentioned are some that are encouraged by professionals: “I think I have. I started meditating a lot more, which I think is good for anyone even outside of spirituality. It helped me with my anxiety and intrusive thoughts and it was something that was fun to learn about, so it helped distract me from everything bad going on. It alone is fun to learn about and helps you believe there is something better; the way that I feel when I’m manifesting or mediating or focusing on my chakras gives me hope for the future.”
“What I’d recommend to people that want to start a spiritual journey is to explore your options and find it for yourself; don’t just go with what your friends are saying or what your parents have always taught you. I think spirituality is individualistic- it’s different for each person. I would recommend using it to cope, and if that’s your direction I would start with meditation,” she said to those who would start their journey during this time.
Her favorite part of the journey so far has been finding something that she can always go back to no matter how difficult life is: “It’s really nice to have something that is a part of me that I can go back to when I’m feeling overwhelmed.”
We all cope with heavy life events in different ways. COVID was sprung on all of us and we have to learn to deal with it and keep ourselves and our lives afloat; and one of the best ways to do that is to trust in yourself and in the world. That both you and the world around you will improve for the better.