Try these self-care strategies NOW!
Life has been crazy, hasn’t it? We are trying to adjust to anything but normal circumstances, but let’s be honest… In today’s world, is there ever such thing as “normal?”
We all go through difficult times in our lives. Every once in awhile, we even go through something that drastically changes everything we thought we knew.
When “Rona” got to town, we had to stop on a dime and change just about everything in our lives. The energy of fear and anxiety came over the country like one of those weighted blankets everyone seems to be buying right now.
For many of us, nothing feels safe or stable any more—simple activities, human interaction, our daily routines, even the air we breathe. People are getting very sick and dying. People are losing their jobs, businesses, and livelihoods.
Today I want to talk to you about some strategies you can use to navigate these uncertain waters.
Focus on what you CAN control.
I hate to break it to you, but you can’t control a lot of what’s going on around you, and I know that’s scary. We desperately want to know what’s going to happen in the future. (Preferably, that everything will be okay.) It can be really easy to spiral into a frenzy of uncertainty, panic, and/or frustration over stuff we have zero control over. Or double-down on our attempts to control harder.
By mainly focusing on those things that you can control, it can help you feel calmer and more capable of carrying on.
Here’s what this can look like:
“We have no control over the virus itself. And we can’t control what our governments or politicians are saying or what laws they’re mandating.
We might have some control over influencing others around us to practice proper hand washing or keeping a proper physical distance.
What do you have total control over?
- What foods you are going to buy
- Moving our bodies (exercise)
- Managing stress
- Washing your hands
- Your mindset and attitude, or the story you’re telling about what things mean
- Connecting with people you care about
- Helping those in need
- Keeping your physical distance
- Following public health directives
It’s important to bring our focus, mindset, and actions within the sphere of total control because this is where you’re going to be most impactful.”
Have a “clean slate policy.”
Let’s be honest: When the stuff hits the fan, so can a lot of your habits.
Maybe the ice cream and beer are disappearing from the freezer and fridge a little faster. Or perhaps you’re in the throes of a full-on, multi-day binge.
Seriously. It’s okay. I understand you more than you might realize.
(Uhhhh… don’t look in our recycling bins.)
You’ve still got this.
You’re not screwed up or broken. In fact, you’re working beautifully.
How are you breathing right now?
Short and fast, or long and slow?
Are you breathing from high up in your chest, or from deep in your belly?
When we get anxious and stressed, our breath tends to respond; your chest might feel constricted, and your breathing might become short and fast. You might even find yourself holding your breath, gasping for air, or even feeling like you’re on the verge of a panic attack.
The good news is that by simply paying attention to your breath, it can be a fantastic antidote to stress
Here’s a simple way to practice this:
- Blow up an imaginary balloon very slowly, trying to empty out your lungs.
- Then, relax your body and let the in-breath naturally occur.
- Blow up a balloon again.
- Relax and let the in-breath happen again.
- And so on.
Take a 5-minute action.
One of the most fundamental practices in my coaching program is the 5-minute action.
There’s nothing special about 5 minutes. It could be 10 seconds, or 1 minute, or 10 minutes.
The point is:
- It’s something that is very, very small.
- It’s an action—something you do.
- It’s something that feels easy and simple.
- It moves you in the direction you want to go.
- It can also be something that just clears your head and brings you back to center
If it seems too simple, I assure you, it’s not. Small actions over time, add up. Do what you can when you can. I promise you it’s enough.
You’ve got this.