Finding Balance in Uncertain Times
Uncertain times cause anxiety and make people feel out of control. Feeling a loss of control creates more anxiety and this can turn into a vicious cycle. As we shelter at home, we may be completely safe and yet we may feel completely unsafe, unhappy, and unsure about everything. Getting back that sense of control can help us move forward in a more positive way, with greater happiness and confidence.
Establish a Routine
Our lives changed quite suddenly and most of the routines we had in place are gone.
“Absolutely nothing is the same, but it’s important that we allow ourselves to be okay with the fact that everything is different,” says Reverend Janice Cary of Unity of Fort Pierce, who is also a Life and Spiritual Coach. Figuring out how to live in this time, at this time, and enjoy life by recognizing all that we have to be grateful for is the task we are presented with.
While there is grief surrounding the economy being shut down, fear of the loss of income, fear of illness and shock for many at witnessing scarcity for the first time, in addition to gratitude for what is still good, there are ways to maneuver through the craziness with a greater sense of control.
One great way to feel in control is to establish a routine for part of, or all of, the day. Jessica Schneider, owner of For Your Health Thermal Imaging, is encouraging people to have a routine that includes a spiritual component, an activity that involves reaching out to a loved one and physical exercise. “I think it’s so important to recognize that we are a three part being: we are spiritual, we are emotional and then we are physical. So, we have to make sure that we are supporting each system.”
Giving ourselves compassion is crucial. “Of course we’re in fear, how could we not be? This is so different. So to think that we’re not supposed to have that feeling, that’s the mistake. There would be something wrong with us if we didn’t have this concern,” says Cary.
Keep Healthful Activities in Place
Keeping or putting healthful activities in place is something that we can do during this challenging time. Exercise and other healthful activities not only boost our immune system, but they make us feel better on many levels.
“With the COVID situation that we’re in, we’re seeing a lot of people panicking and in anxiety,” says Andrea Pearson, Health and Life Coach at Tranquility Haven Center. “It’s not only important that we take care of our physical health but our mental health as well.”
Meditation can be particularly helpful to keep us grounded and calm. While there are numerous types and methods, Pearson recommends that people who are new to meditation start with a simple focus on the breath. “Lots of people hold their breath and don’t even realize how tense they are,” she says. “Proper breathing goes down into the stomach. When you’re inhaling the stomach should inflate like a balloon.” Breathing naturally, with full inhalations and exhalations, and just noticing how the breath moves is a form of meditation.
Another breathing meditation technique is to inhale for a count of four, hold the breath for a count of seven and then exhale for a count of eight. This 4-7-8 breathing helps you focus on the present moment. “When you focus on the present moment, it keeps you from worrying about the future or holding onto the past. Having a strong mind boosts your immunity. Focusing on the present moment also helps us feel safe,” says Pearson.
Nutrition is another aspect of our health that can boost immunity and control stress. While it may be tempting to have a big sugar buzz or a carb coma, we will feel vastly better overall if we practice some restraint on the junk food and focus on staying hydrated and eating healthful foods, such as fruits and vegetables in all the colors of the rainbow.
“We are all stress eaters, whether we think we are or not. We are biologically programmed to comfort ourselves with food,” says Mind-Body Eating and Life Coach Patricia Akers “Just being aware that you are emotionally eating can help modify the behavior, as well as using another tool such as yoga to cope with the stress and calm the nervous system.”
Sleep should not be overlooked as it’s crucial to keeping all of our systems running optimally. While a friend may be suggesting that now is a great time to learn a new language or start a new hobby, it’s really a good time to get enough sleep and meet each new day feeling refreshed.
Hug Trees, Socialize Online
We are disconnected from other people, but we can remain connected with nature. Getting outside has been proven to lower blood pressure, improve mood and quality of sleep. Other benefits of nature are fresh air, sunshine and observing things beyond ourselves. By unplugging from technology and news, we can unplug from all the negativity and find beauty and positivity in the natural world. Walking can also be a form of meditation as we focus on the feet connecting with the earth with every step.
Making social connections, from a distance, is important. “Being alone takes a toll on your immune system,” says Schneider.
“While we physically can’t be together, we can still socially connect with one another,” says Pearson, who runs an Authentic Relating and Circling Class Saturday mornings at 11 via Zoom. The class stems from the fact that many people feel isolated and don’t have authentic connections with others.
Meeting with family and friends on Zoom or Facetime, or simply talking on the phone, are also ways to ensure we don’t feel isolated or alone. Reaching out to connect with others can help us maintain realistic views, calm our fears and bring laughter and joy into our days.
“Panic energy and fear are really strong for everyone right now and everyone needs holding,” shares Kumari Mullin, internationally acclaimed spiritual teacher, intuitive coach, Reiki master and best-selling author. “We are all isolated and need connection.” Mullin connects community with an online group that meets to meditate and send healing to each other and the planet but stresses that everyone has something to give. “Everyone can go into their heart space and send more love; it is a healing vibration. Love is always the highest frequency.”
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