A little calm in the storm

Things are a lot right now. Full stop. There is no denying that the world is feeling (at least) a bit overwhelming. From COVID-19 to elections, to the environment, to the stock market…the list goes on. How are you supposed to get up and continue to do-the-things? What’s the right thing to do? How do you find calm in the moments when you most need it?

While I don’t have magic answers, I’d like to use this little space of the internet wisely right now. My offering to you is support from afar for however you’re feeling. My wish for you is that the ideas I’ll share below offer at least a moment of calm when you need it most. What I know more than anything is that we are all here to walk each other home. (hat tip: Ram Dass)

My friend Jo Casey taught me about the concept of stability zones, which are so hugely helpful at times when everything feels out of control. The truth is that there are still things in your daily life that haven’t changed and that aren’t out of control. Those are your stability zones – look for them. Write them down. Remind yourself of them often.

Prioritize rest. Go to bed an hour early. Make time to slow down during the day if you can.

Nourish yourself with food. Now is not the time to skip meals. Keep your body fueled in a way that feels good for you.

Continue to connect, even if it’s virtually. Can you Skype with someone to feel connected while being socially responsible and staying home?

Monitor/limit your news and social media usage. How do you feel when you consume information? If it helps you, go for it. If it makes you feel anxious or scared, please use boundaries around your exposure. Being informed is important. Consuming information to a point where it’s negatively impacting you is detrimental. Make a list of things you can do instead so that when it’s hard to step away from the screen you’ve got ready-to-use tools.

Laugh. Now is a great time for your favorite funny movie or YouTube comedian. Laughter reduces stress and is good for the soul.

Look for the helpers. (hat tip: Mr. Rogers) I’m keeping an eye on local food banks so that families who can’t work are able to get support when they need it. I can make small donations that go a long way to being part of the solution, and I can do it from home.

Taking are of yourself is taking care of the world. The better we all support ourselves right now, the more able we are to make sound decisions. Wash your hands. Use hand sanitizer. Stay home more than you usually would, and while you’re there, make sure you’re caring for your emotional health as well as your physical health.

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