Keep calm, wash your hands and meditate


We’re way out of our comfort zone with the level of disruption and uncertainty that COVID-19 has delivered. No doubt, you already had a lot on your plate before coronavirus hit, and now you’re also juggling potential and actual disruption to work, school, uni, travel, health, finances, friends, relatives and more.


We’ve quickly got up to speed on the practical measures – handwashing, social/physical distancing, self-quarantine and so on. But no amount of hand washing can calm our racing thoughts or soothe our anxiety.

When it comes to our inner landscape, the most effective technique I know is meditation – think of it as hand sanitiser for your mind and emotions. Meditation lets you wipe off your churning thoughts and rollercoaster emotions and experience moments of sustained silence and peace. What’s amazing to discover is that beneath even the busiest of minds is an abiding stillness and steadiness that is an incredible comfort in times of uncertainty. And let’s face it, life is always uncertain, it’s just now it feels really unpredictable.  

The first time you meditate (or even the 17th time) you will more than likely not float away into a bliss-like state. Your mind and, more particularly, your thoughts, are like moody divas and are used to being centre stage; they don’t take kindly to being ushered into the wings. However, with kindness and patience, any mind can be trained. If you think your mind is way too busy to learn to meditate then you probably need it more than most!

It takes time to learn so you need to be consistent and tenacious. Find a good teacher in person or online, someone that you relate to and can guide you. I would say it took me about a month of consistent practice (twice a day) to really be sure that I was actually experiencing anything beneficial rather than just imagining good things were happening.

The beauty of meditation is, unlike toilet paper or hand sanitiser, there’s been no evidence of panic buying and in fact, once you get the hang of it, there is an endless supply of calm, peace and soothing silence.

With Wesley Smith, Director, Live Well Spa & Wellness Centre Manuka,

Editor’s note: Our rotating wellbeing and fitness columns provide advice that is general in nature. Please always refer to your preferred health professional for advice suited to your personal healthcare requirements.