Self-care is especially critical in this time.  How, might you ask, can you care for your well-being when you are isolated at home, can’t do the things you normally do, or are worried about how you will pay bills or what the future might bring?

Here are ideas that take little time and can help you reduce stress and anxiety, and bring calm and ease into your daily life.  Please breathe out and read on!

Awareness of Wellbeing

Ever notice how your body relaxes when you breathe deeply?  Your parasympathetic system triggers your body to slow, to let go, your body and mind respond. We breathe all the time, unconsciously and consciously. This means you have in your control the ability to work with your breath, you can regulate your system.

You also have the ability to focus your mind.  Maybe you don’t actively do that as much as you’d like (scattered thinking or habitual patterns), but we all have that ability.  Humans have the ability to think, and to be aware of our thinking.

Given this, when you notice your mind is around something not beneficial, negative or not conducive to your well-being, you can re-orient, re-focus, put your mind onto something more empowering, or on what you actually want to think about.

We can redirect our thinking at will.  Really.  It just takes practice, and will. But usually we let the mind go wherever, a bit out of control sometimes (or a lot for some of us!).  But we do have the power to rein it in, to redirect.  How might you practice this?

Try this- think about something that is stressful, like this virus or something else that you don’t like.  Now, think about something that you love, time with a loved one/pet, or something you enjoy.

Take a moment to notice the different experiences in your body.  Breathe.  Now, notice that you notice this, without judgement, that you are just observing. How might you redirect your thoughts now?

Tips to increase ease in tough (and not so tough) times

  • Get present– First and foremost, bring your mind to the present moment. You can do this through mindfulness practice and being aware of your body, thoughts and sensations right now.  Just notice, don’t judge.  Allow acceptance and acknowledgement.
  • Focus on your breath– We are breathing in the present moment, so this is an excellent way to focus on the present. Often our minds take us out of the present with worry of the past or future, we get lost in what if’s and could be’s.  Just come back to the breath.
  • Look around you– Take in everything like it is new. Look at the pictures, the objects and people in your home, look outside at nature, see movement, colors, forms like this is the first time.
  • Feel around you– Feel sensations in your body.  What do you hear? What do you smell, taste? Notice the feelings in and on your body.
  • Appreciate– What can you be grateful for now?  Your health, family, good times, memories, talents, experiences and skills.  Appreciation helps you remember the good and wonderful in life.
  • Enjoy now– Everything is now, the past is a memory, the future a dream, now is the present.  What do we want to make of this precious present? How can we enjoy the family, or this time, now?
  • Be creative– Allow your mind to explore new ways to see this situation. Staying open and willing, the creative part of your mind can find new solutions that the thinking mind might not come to.
  • Redirect your attention– Use your conscious mind to think about what you want to think about, refocus on what is useful or good.
  • Release what you can not control– We might not have control over the virus itself, or many other people and external situations, but we do have control over how we respond. Step back and consider what you need to let go of, and how you’d like to respond.

“The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Awareness and Choice

This is all within your power, but it takes will, desire, and want to do something different than what you have done, or are comfortable with.

Willpower and choice.  You have that in you.

This is how we grow, this is how we will get through this situation.  We grow, we evolve, we learn and we become even greater still.

I am happy to be on this journey with you.  If you would like support in developing a mindfulness practice, or help with stress reduction, I am happy to guide your way.  Breathe, think, and make your next move.

To your health and happiness,