By Chloe Bernstein
Albert Einstein said it best when he claimed that, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” During the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic where the near future of our country lies in uncertainty, it is fairly easy to overlook the good that has come during these challenging times due to excess stress and overwhelmedness. We are all victims of letting our negative energy and tension during crises make us oblivious to the opportunities we have. That being said, allotting time for meditation is critically important, especially during such strenuous times, as it is a potential way to help alleviate the excess stress that most of the world is experiencing.
Last year I was in Señor Young’s spanish class; there was such a large emphasis on self-care and self-reflection in his class that we would spend around ten minutes meditating during class each day. The time that I spent meditating last year helped me dramatically reduce my stress levels, which is why I continued to meditate throughout the pandemic. Ella Javorsky, a current sophomore, has reflected on her positive experience with meditating during the pandemic, which she also started doing because of her experience in Señor Young’s class. “During the pandemic I had so many questions about IF we would be back at school and WHEN we would be back, which of course increased my stress levels. Meditating helped me see the bigger picture and understand that everything was going to work itself out.”
Sophomore Aliza Hammond has many family members that meditate as a way of reducing stress, which is why she tried meditating a few days during the early days of the pandemic. According to Aliza, “I was very overwhelmed in the middle of March, as every single aspect of my life suddenly changed. The only thing that was able to help me reduce my stress about the uncertainty of the world was meditating.” Resorting to meditation is a reliable way for people to escape from the chaos of their daily lives and of the unpredictable world and be reminded of calm, peaceful, positive thoughts.
Although meditating can benefit all people, it has been proven to have noticeable effects on students. Even despite the pandemic, us students are under constant pressure to do our best at all times, which can be overwhelming. This basic level of stress in addition to COVID-19 stress can be unbearable at times, which is why meditation is more important in today’s environment than it has been ever before. Sophomore Remi Matza commented on this issue by saying, “There are so many moving pieces to our society today and so many aspects of life that can change in a minute’s notice. At any point in time our school can resort to one hundred percent online classes or one hundred percent in person. The key to remaining flexible and positive is meditating. Practicing mindfulness helps you see that these small changes are not significant on a larger spectrum.” Meditating helps people see the light in every dark situation, which is why it should be prioritized among all people, and especially students, more.