There are multiple ways in which you can call on your resourcefulness, optimism and calm to ride out any storm in life. I’m offering a few options below to help you look after yourself and others in times of crisis. However, my intention is not to add more stuff on your “to-do” list. So please, don’t try them all at once! Forget about the right way, the best way to respond to your challenges. Tune in and find what suits you now. Maybe it’s just one simple thing, that could make a world of difference to how you feel.
- Box Breathing is one of my favourite ways to nip anxiety in the bud and calm the nervous system down. It’s a fast and easy technique that is simple to teach to kids as well.
- In her interview on the Low Tox Life Podcast, Dr Joan Rosenberg shares how to deal with negative emotions as they arise and diffuse anxiety in 90 seconds tops. Her book is a wonderful read too.
- “When you wish you could turn off the pain, tune into it instead”: This short video from Marie Forleo on how to turn negative vibes into positive fuel, is gold. In it, she describes a technique borrowed from Buddhist monks, called Tonglen, a quick and powerful way to soften our hearts in moments of crisis.
- Create more space in your heart for what you might be trying to resist: the mixed emotions, the unknown. Acknowledge your fears, anxiety, and frustration by writing them down or sharing them with a trusted confidant. They’re normal and valid and deserve to be accepted as such.
“It is not what happens that is important, it is the space we bring to what happens that truly matters.”Eckhart Tolle
Keep your body strong
- I highly recommend you download the free immune health plan eBook from Georgia Harding, an awesome Naturopath who has tons of easy and nutritious recipes on her website, to keep your body strong and healthy. Another great resource is this blog post from Alexx Stuart with the everyday antivirals you can add to your meals.
- Movement is another important foundation of a strong body. A lot of gyms and pilates/yoga studios are offering their classes online. The 4 minute workout by Zach Bush MD is excellent, short and can be done pretty much anywhere. It will get your heart race up and your muscles working efficiently. It’s also a great way to incorporate active breaks throughout your day. My favourite for a gentle home workout is Yoga with Adriene – you can even get the whole family involved or try Cosmic Kids Yoga for little ones.
Raise your vibration
- Connection is an essential way to renew our emotional energy and it may even serve to distract us from our gloominess for a moment. Whether they’re face-to-face or virtual, engaging in nourishing conversations with people we love helps keep our spirits strong.
- Another way to raise your vibration is to LAUGH! If you can add sprinkles of laughter throughout your day, your mood and your mindset will benefit greatly. There are tons of funny memes and videos constantly circulating the web, great comedies to watch on TV or you could read my friend’s awesome book: “Don’t be Sh*t, be Well: diaries from Healthtopia” in which she tells the epic and hilarious adventures of a girl who tries to emulate the life of an Instagram healthaholic.
- For a step-by-step method on raising your vibe, check out The Broad Place High Vibration Challenge an initiative launched by meditation teacher Jacqui Lewis. She created this program specially to help people deal with the current world crisis from a calm and centred place.
Nurture your mind
Meditation is an incredible way to lower your stress levels, experience more clarity and creativity and even build a stronger immune system. Who doesn’t need more of that? Some options to explore:
- the amazing 8 week mindfulness program online with Rod Francis, Head of Coaching Faculty at the Human Potential Institute. Rod has trained with Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program.
- Oprah and Deepak 21 day meditation challenge is a great way to get some momentum going when you start. It comes with daily guided meditations, lots of resources as well as journaling prompts for deep self-reflection.
- Belinda Davidson’s Guided Chakra Cleanse meditation will help you rebalance your energy centres while you meditate.
- Meditating to the sound of music is rather powerful and Sacred Acoustics is a great resource for that. Each recording includes different types of beats that gently draw your brain into a meditative state.
- And of course, there’s a plethora of apps out there, my top three: Headspace, Smiling Mind or Plum Village.
Support your children
Once you’ve put your oxygen mask on with the techniques above, you’ll be better equipped to bring presence and comfort to your loved ones.
- Mindfulness is a fantastic way to equip your children with tools they can use to manage their feelings and emotions ongoingly. With my daughter I use the Mindful Games activity cards with plenty of choice for all ages. A favourite one is the “5 senses” exercise, to ground in the present moment: take a moment to identify 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. The authors of these cards both have wonderful resources on their respective websites: Annaka Harris provides free guided meditations for children and Susan Kaiser Greenland has a whole section dedicated to mindfulness videos and audios for children. And if you prefer the convenience of an app, Smiling Mind has a kids’ section that is packed with amazing mindfulness exercises and meditations for children of all ages.
Consider taking a moment to reflect on these questions.
What do you and your family most need right now? How can you create more space in your heart for what is there? How can you reinvent a sense of community in your home, at work, in your neighbourhood? How can you use your situation as a catalyst for transformation?
I hope these suggestions will help you feel more equipped to deal with your unique situation. Challenging times present opportunities: to slow down and shift our focus, to find creative solutions, to become more compassionate and to look out for each other. In each of these elements lies an opportunity for growth and transformation. Remember, it’s not about figuring it all out, it’s about journeying through the crisis, one day at a time, with the intention to emerge on the other side with more tools in your toolbox to navigate the winds of life.
If you need support to navigate these changing times, you can contact me HERE.
Photo#1 by Sydney Rae on Unsplash / Photo#2 by Sammie Vasquez on Unsplash