Well, many of us have sent our kids out into the crowded hallways of academia. It’s hard enough to let go whether we are sending our little ones off to their first kindergarten class or our budding adults off to college where for the first time they live under another roof. But to do it during a pandemic?! That’s another thing altogether. The anxiety of the unknown and the worry over our kids’ well-being is not atypical, right? It just seems all that more stressful right now. And guess what? It is! How do we weather this anxiety? How do we feel better? Good question.

As I was pondering how we can feel less anxious in this time of uncertainty and fear, I came across this reading for the day of September 9th in a book I have titled, A Year Without Fear, by Tama Kieves and it is remarkably on point. Here it is…

“Feeling anxiety? You are not in the present moment. Fear comes when we imagine a future that is not here or replay memories or upsets from the past. Slow your breathing down. Receive this moment as it is, not asking it to change. Receive its sustenance, surprises, companionship, and dimension. Spirit is here.”

So, try not to worry about what isn’t here. Focus on what is. Deal with what is here, not what might be. Breathe. Pray. Settle. Things are weird and different and we cannot change that but we can be with it as best we can. Be with what is, not what isn’t. Remember at the bottom of all this is love. Love for your kids and other family members, love for humanity, love for the teachers doing their best right now, for the students trying to get used to wearing masks all day and still learn, love for the college kids so eager to start their year off in a great way and facing something different than what they had dreamed of. We are all in this together. Let’s be in the moment in front of us with love and compassion for ourselves and everyone else doing their best each and every day.

Elder Lynn

Lynn O’Hara, MS, RD, LPC, Licensed Psychotherapist and Registered Dietitian