How are you doing during this global health issue?
Life is definitely looking different than it was a few weeks ago that’s for sure!
These are some challenging times for all of us!
We are all experiencing daily challenges that perhaps none of us has experienced like this before and it can really trigger all our worries, fears and anxieties.
When life looks and feels uncertain, it can jolt us into our protective primitive part of our brain that simply wants to get away from danger.
This survival instinct puts us on “alert” for all that might possibly go wrong, keeping a vigilant eye out for “the enemy.”
So we tense up while keeping an eye out for more dangers that might be lurking about.
As a result, we stay encapsulated in fear, our blood pressure goes up, breathing is shallow, muscles are tensed up and our immune system doesn’t function optimally, as our bodily functions are geared up for fighting or fleeing the dangers.
This anxiety-fear-stress response is definitely an asset for our survival. The problem is when we are consumed by it, it overrides our cognitive abilities and we can be subject to staying frozen in this unhealthy state.
There are things we need to be diligent about right now for sure-we need to be following the recommended and mandated practices of social distancing, sanitizing our environments, hand washing protocols and keeping ourselves healthy so we are not so prone to be a target for the virus’ infectiousness.
And, along with all the practical ways to keep our heads above water during this global health pandemic, it’s also so vital to keep our mental and emotional self in as a resilient state as possible.
One of the ways to do this is to practice being mindful. Mindful of our thoughts, mindful of our behaviors and mindful of staying resilient!
I recently read about the “Apple Technique” and as it’s in alignment with what I am practicing and what I am passing on to my clients and now you-my Mind Matters community, I’m going to use this acronym to help you remember some of the various ways you can support yourself in being more resilient.
1- Acknowledge the uncertainties that come up for you. Don’t suppress them. When you acknowledge them, it lessens their hold on you and they can’t lurk in the background so easily. Shine the light on those fears and they lose much of their power!
2- Pause-one of my “tools” in my book is to STOP! Stop, Think, Observe, then proceed. Or simply stop and pause and BREATHE! When you take a moment to consciously breathe in deep into your belly, you stop the rampant borage of negative worrisome thoughts-even for just a few moments. This gives you some altitude and uplevels your thinking!
3- Pull back-in alignment with pausing/stopping. Tell yourself (after your pause and breathe time) that you don’t need to believe everything you think. It’s just the worry talking. It’s only a thought or feeling. Thoughts are not statements or facts most of the time-especially when they are focused on the doomsday scenarios. Questioning your thoughts helps to get “real” answers.
4- Let go-let go of the thoughts or feelings that are adding to your distress. Tell yourself “these thoughts will pass.” Imagine them floating away on a cloud or in a big bubble….away and away they go.
5- Explore-your present moment. Right now, right here in this very moment-all is well. Feel your feet on the ground. Notice how they touch the floor. Notice the sensations of your breathing…how your chest and belly rise on the inhale and sink back down on the exhale. Look around you and notice the colors you see in your environment. What do you see, hear, smell? What can you touch? Right now in this moment being aware of what is allows you to be present and not catastrophize.
Then shift your focus to something else. Perhaps on what you need to do right now or what you were doing before the anxiety and worry took hold. Be mindful with your full attention to the moment.
Here are some other ways to stop the anxiety and cultivate more resilience:
- Limit your time watching or reading the news.
- Read news from reliable resources. Stay away from any sensational type of news articles or programs.
- Connect with your family, friends and community often via phone, or some venue that allows you to see their faces.
- Write cards or letters to parents, grandparents or other family members.
- If there is a very negative doomsday person in your life, do your best to support them in feeling better, but don’t allow their negative energy to drain you. That doesn’t serve you or anyone else.
- Work outside in the garden, if you have one as weather and temperatures permit.
- Take a walk outside. If you can’t be out in Nature per se, walk around your neighborhood
- There’s nothing like getting out in the fresh air. While walking, be observant of the vegetation, the new growth perhaps beginning on some plants, the shape of trees and/or what birds you may see.
- If you have children living with you and are home from school, take them for a walk too and make a game out of what you see.
- Sit and think about what you are grateful for.
- Gratitude opens the heart. It fills us up with positive feelings. Who doesn’t need and want that?!
- i.e.: I’m grateful I have a warm home to live in right now. I’m grateful for my loving husband. I’m grateful I can cook. I’m grateful for my friends. I’m grateful for my family. I’m grateful for the community I live in.
- Get rid of things! Do a decluttering project! This might just be the perfect time to let go of things that you no longer use, want or need. Decluttering is freeing and allows us to feel lighter.
- I’m currently doing a Feng Shui process of decluttering 27 items (or more) per day for 9 days.
- I invite you to take the challenge of doing this for yourself!
- Give yourself permission to feel good.
- With everything that is going on and when we take actions to be proactive for the health of our well-being, there can be a tendency to feel “guilty” for feeling good and positive, when everyone else seems to be freaking out.
Your calm emotionally resilient self is needed in the world. The more we can all contribute to staying mentally, physically and emotionally healthy, the better we can support our communities, families, and friends in finding the best solutions to manage and overcome these challenging times.
The more we can all contribute to staying mentally, physically and emotionally healthy, the better we can support our communities, families, and friends in finding the best solutions to manage and overcome these challenging times.
I’m gifting you a short guided audio to tap into your brilliant inner resources for your health and well-being.
You are free to pass it on to anyone you know who could benefit from it.
And, if you need any additional support, I am seeing clients via the wonderful technology of Zoom. It allows us to see one another and is just as effective as doing one on one in person sessions.
It’s great for group sessions, too, which is how I’ll be doing my group HypnoBirthing classes for a while.
Finally, eat healthy foods to support your immune system, move your body to keep it flexible and fluid and do tend to your “inner” self and keep focused on positive solutions that our innovative resources of humanity are capable of finding!
Wishing you love and health,