Updated: Apr 20
How do we maintain our optimum health in this time of global pandemic? Right now there is the obvious advice to avoid crowds, wash your hands thoroughly, don't touch your face, disinfect surfaces, etc. But there are dozens of other ways to improve your wellbeing and many of them actually operate from the inside, out.
It may be hard to believe, but feelings of joy, lightness and ease ARE possible during this time of upheaval and change. As our daily stressors have become magnified, now more than ever we need to live with greater mindfulness and intention.
Check out the list below for a myriad of ways to protect your mental health and emotional security amidst this collective trauma. When we feel good we raise our personal vibrational frequency and are serving our higher purpose for the highest good - for our selves, our families, and humanity.
Lean In. Wouldn't it be nice to rebrand the term social distancing to "soul prioritization" or “life simplification” or something that sounds cozier and more fulfilling? Perhaps this mandate isn't about going "without" (each other, public spaces) but instead about going "within" (ourselves, our homes). Solitude and deep introspection are a harsh reality to many but perhaps that discomfort is necessary so that we can collectively overcome and rise up to our full potential. Ask yourself: am I personally growing from this experience and if not, what can I do to start that process? How can I make the most of this challenge?
Create Connection. Isolation is not something we humans are really made for so it'll take some time to get used to this new normal. That being said, we also need each other for companionship, compassion and support more than ever before. There are an abundance of technological resources available for us to communicate and connect remotely. Each day make it a goal to personally check-in with at least 1 person outside of your home, whether it's the coworker down the street, the small business owner across town, the relative across the country or the friend around the world. The blessings of Wi-fi means that we don't ever have to feel lonely in our own homes.
Unplug. While most people are going online now more than before, cutting back screen time can actually be a benefit to your mental health in this time. Social media and the news are more toxic and energetically heavy than it's ever been, and as we know what we consume will eventually consume us. This situation has created a "disease of the soul" and is bringing out the worst in people. Heightened fear leads to inciting panic or imposing judgment or blame. Constantly comparing other's quarantine experience to your own is also dangerous. And any tension or aggression will only be exacerbated by watching violent or dark movies or shows. A media detox (full abstinence) or diet (using only the channels that uplift you) is an easy way to preserve your sacred energy and regain your inner calm.
Create Structure. We feel good when we feel in control. Getting organized through schedules, systems, routines and lists is one way to regulate your life regain a sense of power in this tumultuous time. This is especially important if you have children. Parents should aim to create stability and consistency as much as possible, both in the form of daily rhythms, and seasonal traditions.
Prioritize You First. It's ok to be selfish right now. That's what survival mode is. If you're feeling unsettled by these rapid changes, take some time to get your own footing and stability before focusing on your family, friends or strangers. You can still hold space for others while preserving your energy and sanity. If you're giving too many of your thoughts (your energy) to things outside of your bubble, then you may not have anything left to give later. You can't pour from an empty cup, so put yourself first!
Let Go of Guilt. Now is the time to let go of all of the unrealistic expectations society and culture has imposted on us to "be it all, and have it all". We can never be that perfect person, and ESPECIALLY not now. Remember, who you are in a global crisis is NOT who you are forever. Let go of guilt for being more wasteful, impulsive, sensitive, lazy or other undesirable trait that has resulted from these challenging circumstances. Let go of guilt for binging on technology, online retail therapy, or comfort food. Let go of the guilt in not being able to help those beyond your intimate circle. Let go of guilt in not feeling motivated, purposeful or productive.
Celebrate Your Blessings. On the other end of the spectrum - you also have permission to let go of the shame in feeling "too well". If you're blessed enough to feel strong and able in this time, speak your truth and spread that joy! You may fear that you will be judged and perceived as insensitive, privileged, or frivolous but in reality if someone has a problem with your wellness, it's their issue- not yours. We need the collective energy to rise up, not continue to spiral down, and that starts with one happy person at a time.
Be Present. It is easy to spiral into a lot of worry and grief for SO MANY things. We are all in uncharted waters, so it’s normal to be scared and feel helpless. In reality it's best to acknowledge those feelings and then let them pass. Each time you find yourself dwelling in the unknowns and the negatives, take a deep breath and bring your thoughts back to the present moment. When you really slow down into the now you'll start to see tiny details and opportunities hiding in the mundane motions of your life. Welcome in goodness simply by putting on your favorite pair of socks to pair with the PJs you've been wearing for days, or topping your regular breakfast omelet with fresh herbs that just came in from the garden. These small changes in shifts in vibration will snowball throughout the days, weeks, and months.
Lower Your Expectations. No one planned for this. No one was prepared for this. We're literally navigating through a global emergency so it's natural that everything will feel and look a bit chaotic right now. This is a time to really let go of toxic perfectionism and have the utmost patience, grace and forgiveness for everyone around you. Accept the mess and allow the pieces fall where they may. There is no use trying to force old standards or timelines into this new reality, as what you previously considered normal or "best" a few months ago no longer applies today. Retrain your brain- the "bare minimum" is still something to be proud of!
Flip The Narrative. All it takes is a simple mindset shift to see your situation from a more positive point of view. Examples: You are enduring a revolution (not suffering through an apocalypse). You are safe at home (not stuck at home). You are keeping well (not getting sick). You have everything you need right now (not running out of supplies quickly). The most important places are open (not everywhere is closed). You are staying in touch with the people who matter (not disconnected from everyone). Life is slowing coming together (not life is slowly falling apart). The universe is working to help me (not the world is working against me). It's impossible to know what's on the other side of this mess. It's probably not good, but maybe it’s not ALL bad either? Rather than dwelling and obsessing over all of the darkness and those unknown catastrophic possibilities, try to focus on the light.
Remember to Laugh. As dark and depressing as things feel right now, laughter is still medicine. Watch your favorite funny movies, look through old photos and videos to reminisce about happy memories, binge in a marathon of stand up comedy, or even play an innocent joke or prank, or get goofy with a board game. You don't need to be a kid to channel the magic of play. Make the most of this time by creating little moments of fun and joy.
Have Gratitude. No matter what your circumstance is you can prob think of something to be thankful for right now. Gratitude is a practice, so make it habit to count and celebrate your blessings every day, and even more frequently if you're feeling crumby (yes, it's counter-intuitive, but it works!) Can you look for the silver lining in the clouds? Can you find the smallest joys in the simplest moments? Can you see that each new day is a gift to be celebrated? Your mood, and vibration, will immediately begin to shift when you see the glass as half full instead of half empty.
See The Big Picture. The monthly or annual plans you set for yourself may be out the window, but who's to say that your larger goals and dreams are lost? Keep working towards that vision. Also know that your priorities and ideas of success will evolve from these challenges. Instead of working towards temporary pleasures like material possessions, you may start focus on what has the most longterm and permanent reward: inner peace, love and learning. This pandemic should be revealing deeper meaning in your life- epiphanies about your freedoms, values, truths, passions, and purpose. The light at the end of the tunnel that will guide you through is your intuition and higher calling. Pay attention.
Explore Healing. Beyond meditation and mindfulness, there are tons of other alternative measures and modalities that you can use to regulate your system and find peace and comfort, all on your own and in your own space. Simple and proven examples include Acupressure, Adult Coloring Books, CBD Oil, Tapping/EFT, Guided Breathwork, Ashwadanga or other Adaptogens, Laughter Yoga, Scalp Massage, Light Therapy, or Sound Healing. Experiment with new wellness techniques to find whatever works best for you to reach your optimum core vibration.
Find Your Outlet. We all have a lot to think about and say right now and its important to get it out in a productive or creative way rather than drown it out with unhealthy distractions. Creating art, music, journaling, exercise, connecting with a friend, talking to a professional via tele therapy, are all outlets that can provide a vital purge and release of emotion so that we can fully process the intensity of this time and move forward without trauma.
Ask for Help. Each person is struggling in their own way right now. Many of us are piecing things together to make it work while others are barely keeping their head above water. If you are so stress, overwhelmed or depressed that you feel incapable of carrying on, then it is imperative you reach out to your community, or your higher spirit, to ask for help. There will be someone to answer your call or your prayer and lift you to safety.