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This has been reviewed and updated as of May 7, 2020.

Meditation with Arthritis

When you live with chronic illness there is always the balancing act of “being prepared for the worst” — which often means running difficult scenarios in your mind — and staying in the present.

During the coronavirus pandemic, that balancing act is even more precarious. Everyone is running worst-case scenarios, and you know that those scenarios could be much more difficult for you as someone who may be at a higher risk for COVID-19 complications.

How to stay calm? How to keep your nervous system from going onto overdrive?

One practice I recommend is a meditative body scan. This is a well-researched method of quieting the mind and noticing where there is tension or pain in your body as you breathe slowly and release each area as you are able.

The benefit of doing a meditative body scan is that it keeps your mind in the present for the 10 minutes you are scanning. Even a few minutes of unplugging from all the worries racing through your mind is a refresher for your system.

Here is a brief YouTube video that you can use to get started.

It’s best to start with a brief meditation, and if it helps, work up to longer ones.

If you use an app for meditation, such as Insight Timer, you can find meditations by Vidyamala Burch, which are specifically created for those living with chronic pain and illness. She also has a body scan meditation.

Let me know how it goes as you explore this possibility for cultivating some calm in your body and mind.

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