Hello friends. I know these are uncertain times, and trust me, I’m feeling it all along with you. But if I’m being honest, social distancing in the midst of a health crisis AND as a natural introvert (who can certainly enjoy extrovert moments) is kind of my sweet spot. So I’ve reflected on my own “Woo-Woo To Do” I crafted in the early days of my cancer diagnosis and modified it to hopefully provide some super tangible ways to support ourselves and others in the midst of this uncertainty.
You will see 9 tips below, but I first wanted to just share how I approach the uncertainty. While the primary message is to stay calm, I’m a believer that instead of suppressing what’s going on with a forced feeling of calm, rather meeting the fear and discomfort head on. For me, it starts by acknowledging I’m scared and taking pause to feel it in my body. It usually shows up as a pit in my stomach or throat and is kind of hot. Then I take some moments of deep breathing, and visualizing healing light infusing those areas. Often times, tears will begin to flow which I’ve embraced as a sign of purification and connecting to that deeper connection within myself. Slowly the energy begins to move and transmute and I can feel some spaciousness. This is what I like to call my neutral where I feel more grounded in my body and available to take action on the things that are in my control, which is what I hope the following provides.
As you read through, just see if one or two of these things resonate. A bit of a disclaimer, this is for those of us that aren’t in the acute nature of the virus. Obviously if you are noticing symptoms, please follow the guidelines of your healthcare provider and the CDC. This isn’t about creating spiritual busy work or discounting the very serious nature of the state we are all in whether impacted by the virus directly or emotionally, but feeling as empowered as we can within this new normal we are all navigating together.
1. Sleep – This is the number one way our bodies recover from stress and an excellent way to get to know your natural sleep cycle. If you are able to wake up naturally without an alarm, that is ideal. But realizing many of us are still working remotely, have kids, pets, and partners we need to take care of, just try to prioritize your sleep as much as possible. And don’t be afraid of naps. Again, these are heightened times, so if your body is calling for a nap and you have the availability, it isn’t lazy, it is responsible.
2. Meditate – I always say there is never a good time to start meditating, but I recant. This is it. These are the moments we meditate for. And let’s be honest, we all likely have some extra time on our hands and could use a break from blaming/ruminating how we got here and/or the anxiety of what is ahead. Meditation naturally soothes our nervous system so we can be more responsive versus reactive in high-demand situations. Some of my favorite teachers are offering some free programs including Tracee Stanley ,Panache Desai, and Light Watkins who offers daily doses of mindful perspective. I’ll also be offering my online program for free – Gateway to Presence, that you can access here. And of course, don’t forget about all the awesome apps. Some of my go-tos include: Calm, Headspace, Insight Timer, and Unplug. And I’ve just posted a video including some perspectives on stress and a guided meditation here.
3. Connect – This is probably the most important (note to self). It will feel very easy to isolate totally, but we need each other now. Set-up some zoom calls with your family, organize some group texts with friends and co-workers, and check in on people who you think may be isolated. It’s also a great time to see where you can support some of your favorite non-profits, specifically the food banks or buying gift cards to Target, Amazon, etc. that you can donate. There are also some wonderful people and organizations providing tangible grassroots support to specific family and individuals including Together Rising, Still Kickin, and be sure and check out Simone Gordon’s work on Instagram. Also, consider supporting local businesses and buy some gift cards that you ultimately can gift to people at another time.
4. Laughter and enJOY – I know it seems counterintuitive, but laughter and embracing the joyful moments truly is a great immune booster. Watching comedy specials, your favorite sitcoms, playing games with your family or virtually, reading books, cooking, baking, gardening, etc. Reach out to friends and family and ask what they recommend in terms of favorite Netflix/Amazon shows and books. And don’t underestimate the power llama videos – it’s a thing, really. Google it.
5. Exercise and drink water (and take your vitamins) – Again, our immune systems are working tirelessly on our behalf, so we need to nourish and take extra care. There are some awesome ways to virtually exercise. I like Obe and Melody Dancefit. And yes, imagining me doing Melody DanceFit can count as your laughter:-). If you workout with a smaller studio, reach out and see how you can continue to support their small business. Also, drinking water so we stay hydrated and supporting the body in flushing out the foreign entities is key. In addition to the CDC and WHO, Parsley Health is my go-to for reliable, integrative health-care guidance (and they have some good insights on vitamins to take). And the studio I work out at (and also teach meditation), Align Fitness Collective is starting live classes including live meditation with me on Thursdays at noon cst.
6. Budget – Many of us are naturally concerned over our financial well-being, so instead of denying it and crossing our fingers as we are waiting for something to change (which ultimately it will:-), create or review your budget. Be honest as to where you can re-allocate and any immediate changes you can make to give yourself some relief.
7. Start a project – Perhaps its finally time to KonMari with Mary Kondo your closets, cleaning up your emails or texts, or perhaps starting to explore a business idea or online training you’ve had or wanted to pursue. Again, I know it feels counterintuitive, but I believe this is a time where innovation ultimately can thrive (at least that is what I keep telling myself:-)
8. Practice gratitude and kindness – I know it can feel so contrived in times like this, so it is best to keep it to basic needs. Grateful for a bed to sleep in, grateful for feeling healthy and strong in this moment, grateful my family is safe, grateful for my body’s intelligence to transmute foreign entities in my body, grateful for soap and water, grateful for the health care workers on the front line. Also, check in with how you are speaking to yourself and choosing mindful language. This is a great time to adopt an affirmation that resonates that you can repeat when you feel yourself traveling down that rabbit hole of rumination (ie: I am safe, All is well, This is a blip in time, I am here – I am now). Check out one of my favorite teachers/writers, Liz Gilbert on the topic of mindful language.
9. Pray – I was reluctant to include this, but I’m coming clean. I pray. Everyday, often many times a day, but always after my morning and afternoon meditation. I would say I’ve been unofficially praying my entire life, but a few years ago in a session with my therapist when all the uncertainty, challenge, and health crises just seemed to much to bear, she taught me how to give it to G-d, source, light, love, universe or whatever you wish to call it. Because however you connect with that bigger picture/energy/guidance, it certainly has a divine plan more than any of us could imagine for ourselves or our loved ones. While it always varies and you should make it your own, mine roughly goes a little something like this.
Angels, spirits, guides, G-d, loved ones, universe – I ask that you come to me now. Thank you for making your presence known around and within me and guiding my actions with your divine grace, ease, and love. Thank you for making your presence known amongst my family, friends, everyone impacted by the virus, and all the health care workers. I release them all to you in the highest good for all involved. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I love you. Drink water. Wash your hands. Stay connected. And be kind to yourself, so kind.
Photo: Headspace Instagram