Embracing the ‘Pause’ and Coming Back to Yourself

For some of us, the heavy “pause” mandated by quarantine is the first time we’ve had down time in ages. What if this forced down time is a gift? What if it’s an opportunity to get the rest and clarity we so desperately long for and need?

What can we learn from disruptions like this? How can we transform a shocking event into an opportunity for self examination and care?  

It’s an odd time, to be sure. We find ourselves forced into unexpected isolation. But there is a difference between being lonely and being alone. I wonder what healing we would find if we shifted our perspective and saw this as a gift of solitude and retreat, a unique opportunity for withdrawal from the daily hustle that demands our attention and strains our focus?

The way I see it, this is a sort of “spiritual time-out”, an opportunity to distance ourselves from the things that we would normally allow to control us in order to become grounded. We can use this integrated distance from daily over-saturation and hurry and substance abuse (be it overspending or technology or the need for affirmation from others) to practice being present, to really listen to what your body and emotions are telling you, to nourish them, and to learn yourself at a deeper level.

It is a gift to put space between the things that usually dictate your time, to cleanse your body and mind, and to tend to the needs of your body and soul. 

But where do we even begin in tending to those needs?

Honor Your Feelings 

Honor your feelings in this moment. What name would you give them? Are you restless? Anxious? Afraid? 

I’ve been feeling “off” since quarantine began. After wrestling with my emotions, I discovered that what I

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SMall Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE): It’s what’s new in laser vision correction – Harvard Health Blog

The goal of laser vision correction (LVC) is to eliminate or reduce the need for glasses and contact lenses. LVC treats three basic refractive errors: myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism (blurring of vision due to non-spherical shape of the eye), and hyperopia (farsightedness).

During an LVC procedure, the cornea — the clear dome on the surface of the eye — is reshaped in order to correct the refractive error. The different techniques to perform LVC are laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), phototherapeutic refractive keratectomy (PRK), and small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE).

LASIK and PRK

LASIK, the most commonly performed laser vision correction procedure in the US and the most famous of the techniques, was approved by the FDA in 1998. It is well known for its quick recovery. LASIK combines the application of excimer laser and a hinged corneal flap. The excimer laser is a computer-controlled laser that allows precise control over the amounts of tissue that are removed from the cornea. The corneal flap is a layer of the cornea that is folded back to provide access to a deeper layer of the cornea that is reshaped by the excimer laser during the procedure.

LASIK has a much quicker and more comfortable recovery compared to PRK. After LASIK, patients typically experience a scratching and burning sensation that significantly improves within one day. Most patients have excellent vision the day after LASIK. In the first week especially, patients need to be mindful of the corneal flap, which has a small chance of moving or dislocating with rubbing or hard blinking. Even months after the procedure, there is a small risk of flap dislocation with significant trauma.

The most common side effect or risk of LVC is dry eye. Typically, the dryness goes away within a week or two, but in other

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