Relaxing with Rob

SPECIAL -- Calm in a Crisis

March 12, 2020 Rob Sepich Season 1
Relaxing with Rob
SPECIAL -- Calm in a Crisis
Chapters
Relaxing with Rob
SPECIAL -- Calm in a Crisis
Mar 12, 2020 Season 1
Rob Sepich

During a pandemic, calm rational action is far more effective than fear-based behavior. This Centers for Disease Control site is an excellent source of guidance. 

Show Notes Transcript

During a pandemic, calm rational action is far more effective than fear-based behavior. This Centers for Disease Control site is an excellent source of guidance. 

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Hi, this is Rob Sepich, with a special edition recorded and posted on March 12th, 2020. I rarely talk about current events in this podcast, but I'm making an exception today. Because of anxiety regarding the coronavirus, or COVID-19, I'd like to share a couple ideas to stay calm. Of the 40 or so episodes on this podcast, there's one that seems most applicable, so I'd like to repost that here. It's "Stay Grounded During Turmoil," from about five months ago.

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First, a few words of introduction. Since I'm not a medical provider, I'm only sharing my observations. I'm following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control to minimize my risk of becoming ill, like frequent hand washing with soap and water. And I'll place a link to the CDC site in my show notes. And in the event that I become infected, I'll continue to follow their recommendations to self-isolate and get medical advice remotely rather than in person.

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I'm so grateful for those in my area who were ill and responsibly isolated themselves and recovered. And I'm reassured that the latest evidence indicates that 75 to 80% of people with this virus have fairly mild symptoms and recover without any medical intervention. Those facts help, but panic does not. So I hope you can stay as mindful as possible and follow advice from public health experts.

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And my only update to the brief episode you're about to hear involves your own power to do something about the rising tide of this illness. Margaret Mead talked about "nesting in the gale," but with the coronavirus, we have the ability to take the wind out of the gale. If we follow public health recommendations, we can do more than weather the storm. We can actually help calm it. And people you'll never meet will be grateful to you.

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Hi, this is Rob Sepich, and welcome to Relaxing with Rob. Today, I'd like to share an idea about not getting too swept up by external circumstances. In what turned out to be just a few months before her death, cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead was doing some lectures around the country at different campuses, and she did one at my college. As a student, I was fascinated to hear about her research on sex roles around the world and how to a large extent, they're culturally determined. This was fairly pioneering at the time. So I had the privilege of attending this lecture on my campus and even getting to ask her a question at the end. She had made some reference to her daughter in her talk and that's what prompted my question of: what her greatest wish had been for her. And Mead said she would have liked to have wished smooth sailing, you know, a life without major problems or trauma, but she knew that wasn't possible, no matter how privileged or fortunate she was. Nobody's immune to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

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So instead, what she wished for her was to be able to "nest in the gale." I had not heard that expression before, and it left quite an impression. And it became something that I aimed for during the rest of my college career. And same with grad school. And I got to say, still today. In the midst of national and international political events that can easily leave me feeling panicked and powerless, I return to her words still today.

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So if this is something you're interested in experimenting with, here's what you might try. Think of a problem you're facing--a difficult relationship, a challenge at school or work. And this problem is just something you want to be done with. I know somebody who was always saying, "I need for this to be over." And whenever it was, and eventually it would be, it soon got replaced by something else and she would say, "I need for this to be over."

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Well, we want to be free from pain, and we want to have it just go away. Or we might be feeling like whatever's happening is not fair, and it's probably not. But what would it be like just to think, maybe just for today, "I'm going to try to find some way to nest in the gale?" Maybe to use a scientific fact, or a spiritual or philosophical belief, or a line from a song or a poem. Some kind of anchor to feel like you're stable enough to make it through, regardless of the circumstances. The perspective you experiment with about this situation is within your control. I firmly believe that. So if you care to join me while nesting in the gale, there's actually plenty of room. Thank you for listening, and we'll talk again soon.