Staying Strong During Difficult Times
There's a lot happening in the World at the moment. And whether you've experienced one of the natural disasters or acts of violence directly, or you've been witness to it via the news or social media, it can profoundly affect us - energetically, psychologically, spiritually and physically. There can be a plethora of emotions as a result; even a bit of 'charity fatigue' when so many places are needing support.
Below are a few tools to help assuage the stress or anxiety you might be feeling:
Breathe. This might seem obvious, yet often we tend to forget - focus on your breath. Take one moment to breathe deeply and experience calm in your body. Fill up your lungs, pause and exhale. Then do it again. And again. This simple exercise can be practiced anywhere at nearly anytime and releases endorphins (which leads to feelings of well being) lowers blood pressure, cleanses and detoxifies the body, delivers vital oxygen to all areas of the body and fills you with a sense of relaxation.
Take action. Many of us respond to disasters with a heartfelt "I'm sending you prayers and love!" and while prayers and positive energy can facilitate healing for others, there's a chance that our own emotions and thoughts can get stuck in our body and lead to feelings of helplessness or frustration. Taking action, either by volunteering or reaching out to those affected - or shopping for needed items - can give us a sense of doing something and will alleviate or lessen our anxiety.
Open up. Survivor's guilt - a guilty feeling that some of us experience after a difficult event - is very real. And, a sense of relief and appreciation for your survival can co-exist with your grief, which can be confusing. Find a trusted friend or counselor to talk to. Open up about what you're experiencing. Grabbing a journal and experimenting with 'stream of consciousness' writing is another way to connect to your emotions and help heal them.
Self care. Remember the saying "You can't get water from an empty well"? On one level, that means that you need to be well before you can take care of others. To that end, keep yourself well nourished, move your body with daily stretches or light movement, start or maintain a practice of gratitude, prayer or meditation. Connect with your community and spend time in nature. There are 100's of ways to practice self care; these are just a few. If you can do one or two of them a day that will help, yes?
Watch Your Thoughts. For those of you that have followed our previous blogs or read our free eBook Stop the Bullshit You've Been Telling Your Self, you know how much we believe in the power of thought.
If we're running around with "Oh, this is terrible. The world is coming to an end. The entire planet is suffering and there's nothing I can do..." Then guess what? What you focus on, expands. Instead, try this: Pay attention. Be where you are, right now. If you're sitting in a chair, reading, then sit in the chair and read.
Drop the story that the 'World/leaders/climate/powers that be' should be anything different than they are. Notice what's right in your world, right now. There are thousands of reasons to be grateful in this moment. Notice a few of them. Focus your thoughts and energy on what's working. Then the proverbial well will be able to give water from a more nourished and empowered place.
If you need further support, we're always listening here.
To your strength and wellness,
Eli + Joseph