I am unable to keep discipline in sleeping or waking. The brain does not obey. I keep awake in bed for long and oversleep in the morning. Also, upon waking the body takes a long time to become active. I remain lethargic. In the afternoon a cloud of sleep descends on me and against my better sense, I fall asleep. Wish to overcome this. It is affecting all spheres of my life.
—A devotee, india
Given the widespread impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and given the problems you describe, the most immediate action is to seek medical help, particularly if this is a change from your previous pattern. I’d start with a Covid test and a general medical exam. This will include consideration of your diet, exercise, signs and symptoms, and family history, along with various examination techniques and blood tests.
When the symptoms are primarily physical and mental we look, then, primarily at the health of the body. You do, however, also mention the inability to concentrate and discipline the mind. From the standpoint of yoga practice some general recommendations will include:
- Practice hatha yoga daily or at least several times a week. Given the pandemic, it will likely be inadvisable or even impossible to go to a yoga studio or ashram in person. Online yoga may be a resource whether in real-time or prerecorded. (Even though time in India is some 12.5 hours ahead of Pacific time here in Seattle, it is interesting how well that can work out. Here’s our link for online yoga given in real-time: https://www.anandawashington.org/ananda-yoga/
- I cannot overstate the value of Yogananda’s Energization Exercises which can be readily found on YouTube.com by search on “Energization Exercises” (see also the Ananda Meditation app mentioned below)
- The same can be said for online meditations. www.AnandaIndia.org. I notice they have a special WhatsApp approach: https://chat.whatsapp.com/Eo2Ahf5O59jLRY6aErD5WU
- Prerecorded meditations can found on the Ananda Meditation app in your phone’s Play Store, or on our Seattle website at:
- Lastly, you can also find guided meditations on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl0ofzqd6UVjik9OO5ZRrHA
Because the pandemic strictly limits gatherings such as satsangs or classes, I cannot suggest those at this time. But one of the great aids is the association with others who are energetic, serviceful, idealistic, and God-attuned. If this cannot be done in person for the time being, then find “satsang” online! To have more energy, act with energy and enthusiasm: consider these the Superconscious Living Exercises with affirmations:
- “I am awake and ready!” (walk vigorously in place)
- “I am positive, energetic, and enthusiastic” (jump up high with arms outstretched above you)
- “Awake, rejoice my body cells!” (vigorously rub your open hands across bare skin like the arms, head, legs, etc)
Around the house, at school, or at work be keenly attentive to things that need to be done or people who could use some help. Thoughtfully, calmly and humbly step in to help and be of service to others. When you need to rest, set a time limit (use an alarm clock if necessary) and get up with a bounce when time is up!
Act enthusiastic and you will be enthusiastic! Be sure, however, to investigate any physical health issues that may need to be dealt with. Yogananda would counsel us to be a smile millionaire and shoot sadness in others with the “buckshot” of your smile.
Is your diet clean, fresh, and healthy? Do you exercise daily?
Meditate, pray and serve with joy and devotion and before you know it, the fog of subconsciousness will lift as if it never existed.
Joy and blessings to you,