Hello my dear friends,
In this week’s blog, I hope to help you to feel less alone and realize that whatever you’re feeling during this time is completely normal. I’ll share some tools to help you cultivate a sense of mental resilience and strength from within, so you feel like you can manage anything that happens externally.
First, I believe that it’s incredibly important that we all let ourselves off the hook of getting through this pandemic perfectly. Perfect doesn’t exist in regular life, and it certainly does not exist in the messy world of coronavirus. Let yourself off the hook right now. You do not have to have it all together, but be happy, whole, and safe.
There is no right way to maneuver through a global pandemic that none of us have ever experienced. We are all going through these motions and circumstances through our very unique lenses. Release the need to compare yourself to someone else, and don’t feel like you have to be overly productive or perfect.
None of that exists and none of that matters. Remember, a global pandemic is a universal trauma, so our minds, bodies, and spirits are in a constant fight or flight mode. We are in a trauma response, so I want to remind everyone of this. This is a big deal!
Today, I will walk you through practices that will bring you into the present moment, and how we can start to find peace, power, and a sense of control, even when life feels so chaotic and uncertain on the outside.
1. Have an aligned routine in place. I believe routine and aligned structure help to relieve anxiety. Choosing how we want to structure our day and our lives allows us a feeling of control. So ask yourself, “What are some practices of ‘normal’ life that make you feel good? Getting dressed? Making coffee? Going for a walk?” Do these things, even if they aren’t necessary or essential.
2. Create a peaceful space/environment. This might be a tough one, but if you’re working from home, try to set aside a dedicated space for your work. Make it feel professional, like you would in your regular office. Decluttering can greatly reduce your sense of anxiety.
3. Establish a self-care routine. Begin to cultivate habits that help you feel good, feel better, and feel more sane. Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness for at least 1-percent of your day can drastically change the other 99-percent. Notice where you can weave in small moment of mindfulness, of being fully present, of consciously breathing, of centering with yourself.
4. Becoming aware of what your mind is saying to you. Start to get really familiar with your mind, its patterns, and the thoughts you repeatedly think. You can ask yourself:
- What am I thinking moment to moment?
- What am I saying to myself on a daily basis?
- Am I quick to react in a situation, or do I pause to skillfully respond?
5. Name your feelings when you’re feeling anxious. Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor says that it takes us 90 seconds for a feeling to fully move through your body and mind. How long it stays with you after that, is up to you, and how you choose to engage with it. It’s important to be cognizant and aware of feelings that arise, and trust that with all things, all feelings will pass and are never final.
6. Check in with yourself regularly. Often times we do a great job at checking in on our loved ones, but seldom do we turn inward to check in with ourselves. Start a dialogue with yourself where you ask yourself important questions about your feelings, mental state, and mood. Think of this as creating a barometer for yourself. With this data, you can pivot and adjust accordingly to help yourself in any given day.
7. Know your trusted inner circle. It’s a huge sigh of relief when you clearly know the people that you can wholeheartedly rely on and trust (and remember that this is usually maybe one or two people). I often find that when I share too much vulnerable information with too many people who aren’t necessarily trustworthy, my anxiety spikes. Know and honor the trustworthy ones, and lean on them when you need additional support.
8. Remember you are not alone. While isolation and separation can make us feel alone, know that no matter the distance, we are all connected. Our journeys may look different and feel different, but find comfort in knowing that each of us are here on this earth at this time for a reason and for a purpose, and you’re never alone.
Sending all my love to you as we venture into this new week!
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org