Written by 2017 Padua Alumna Becky Romanies
What a crazy time to be alive. I didn’t want to dwell on the virus, but for me this global crisis has been really the only thing on my mind. Throughout this quarantine, working at CVS pharmacy full time and being a part-time student, I have never been more busy in my life. After a long shift, what I have been doing to keep myself sane is meditate. The great thing about meditation is that you can do it anywhere. For me that means in the car on breaks from CVS. I find that turning the radio all the way down and just sitting with my thoughts helps me decompress.
Sometimes my mind wanders during my meditation, due to different customers I interact with or the major crisis that is hitting the world right now, but bringing myself back to the present, and clearing my mind helps me pinpoint all the stressors I have going on. Throughout this pandemic, I have felt pretty helpless and vulnerable. It’s hard not to feel like it’s the end of the world, which is such a scary thought. Pinpointing the stressors helps me focus on what I can do to be the change I wish to see. I feel that doing my part as someone who is “essential” to society, is to stay positive and healthy. That is easier said than done, but telling a little joke through my N95 mask brightens people’s day. To help my state of mind I deleted all the social media apps off my phone because I couldn’t keep refreshing my feed about COVID 60 times a day.
At first I thought meditation was difficult. I could not sit in silence and push everything out of my mind without thinking of all the things on my to do list. But I kept practicing and it became easier. I find meditation helps me reflect on where I am as a person and where I want to be. I find that having a few minutes to myself and clearing my mind to think about absolutely nothing, helps me put everything else in perspective.
Throughout my experience at university I tried to meditate more often. I spent most of my time in my dorm room or at the library which were both quiet enough where I could fit in a session of mediation. I believe that mediation has helped me be a better student and overall a better human being. When I was stressed out with homework or kept myself up at all hours of the night studying, I found that if I could clear my mind completely, even for just a few minutes, I could find some peace. Not only would I feel so much less stressed about my upcoming exam but when I would meditate before, I always did better. Meditation has helped me focus, relax and be a better more productive person.
My favorite place to meditate is outside and lately I have been bringing my dog with me because my good boy loves the sun. Here is a photo of Romeo Romanies after a meditation session, enjoying the moment.