The world as we know it abruptly took a big turn in March. Our normal, what we used to do on autopilot and the things we took for granted, will be changed forever. There is a lot to digest and we have to adapt to many new realities. This is not an easy task considering how our modern world gives us easy and mindless freedom to access an abundance of everything and anything, at any time. Who would have thought all of it would become so abruptly limited?
But would it be possible that this frightening event acts as a wake-up call? Is it perhaps a necessary disruption in an attempt to save humanity from being deprived of all moral values, giving us a chance to regain some back and give the future generations the opportunity to understand and embrace the importance of human connection, love and compassion? Could it bring us all closer to the Source?
This is undeniably a challenging time for all of us. A time when symptoms of mental health issues are heightened for so many, when fragile souls are on the verge of collapsing, when stress and fear want to take over, when grief for loved ones is amplified by the ferocity and speed this vicious virus is taking lives.
However, it doesn’t directly affect all of us equally. My belief is that if we are fortunate enough to be mentally and physically healthy during this crisis, we owe it to the unfortunates - and to ourselves - to keep strong, positive and supportive. To raise above the inclination to surrender and give in to the negativity of it all. We obviously face the same adversity and disruption, along with everything it implies, but while we don’t have control on the events happening around us, we have the power to control the way we respond to it. We always have a choice. And the choice we make individually has the power to affect the collective world.
A helpful first approach is to find the silver lining of a situation, and switch our focus towards it. And when we feel sorry for ourselves, we can turn it around by counting our blessings. Because there are always some. We have to breathe, reach deep inside, find them and hang on to them. This process alone replaces fear and desperation with inner strength, peace and hope.
We also have to be mindful of the fact that the energy we project is perceived by the people around us and affects their own. This saying from Dr Jill Bolte Taylor stuck with me a long while ago: “Please take responsibility for the energy you bring to this space”. In a full household as many families experience right now, where everyone’s energy bounces off each other, it’s even more important to find ways to bring calm and positivity, so the chaos can become a fun welcoming connection. It even might be a good time to practice self awareness, which allows us to realize the role we play in our environment instead of feeling like its victim. It amazingly opens up the gate for happier and healthier relationships.
With this long-lasting confinement continuing to claim a change in our ways of being, I’d like to suggest a few daily Do’s that can help elevate spirits and make this experience more bearable, even enjoyable in some ways:
Start with a meditation in the morning.
All it takes is 15 minutes.
Meditation has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety, increase productivity and focus, strengthen the immune system, promote emotional health, lengthen attention span, and the list goes on! Somehow, modern life has its way of transforming “human being” in “human doing”. When we stop, breathe and consciously live in the present for a moment, it allows us to realign with our inner being and stay grounded.
There are different levels of breathing exercises. Breathwork is becoming a popular healing modality, some of its benefits similar to meditation, while some levels and styles go deeper into processing emotions and healing emotional pain and trauma. It is such a wonderful way to stay calm and connected. If you haven’t experienced it before, now might be the perfect time to try it! YouTube offers many styles of breathwork, from beginners to advanced. It’s worth a try, especially in challenging times!
Moving your body, even only for 10 - 15 minutes before breakfast, will energize you for the day, and if you’re dealing with emotional eating right now, it’s good to know that early morning exercise helps burn fat faster during the day:-)
Set a goal
Goal setting gives a sense of direction, much needed at this time… As small as it is, achieving a goal or completing a task can do so much for your spirits! It could be cleaning out that one drawer you’ve been thinking of for a long time, a closet full of clothes in need to be discarded, or that pile of paper waiting to be filed. Sense of achievement brings relief and pride, especially when it’s been nagging you for the longest time, and it’s harder to be negative when you feel good about yourself, right?
Learn something new
Again, it doesn’t have to be big. It could be starting to learn another language, or a musical instrument, or improving computer skills, or reading about new holistic modalities… Anything you have interest in but never had the time to do. This can steer your attention away from the negative thoughts we are prone to have in moments like this, and opens up some different topics of conversation. Plus, it engages your brain and helps you be more productive.
If you have a few moments to spare, reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while. You might make her/his day, which in turn will make you feel happy and meaningful.
Do something you love
Please yourself and do something you normally wish you’d have time to do! Or try to remember what you loved to do on a rainy day when you were young, before “Life” took over, and go for it, just because you can! It will re-energize you and again, help you reconnect with your true self.
We always have a choice. We create our own reality. We cannot control outside circumstances, but we control how we react to it.
My hope is that when this pandemic is over and we are back to our “new” normal, it will be possible to say, for many of us:
This forced life alteration was in fact an opportunity for me to better my life by allowing me to stop, reconsider, learn new ways, create deeper bonds with loved ones, reconcile with my inner being and deepened my love, compassion and respect for humanity. It also made me realize to not take anything for granted and appreciate every moment of every day. I am grateful because it made me understand the essence and the importance of mind, body and spirit balance.
The past and future are irrelevant if we are not meaningful to the present.
Let’s make this time worth it! Let’s transform Life is happening TO me into Life is happening AS me.
Light & Love,
Life Optimization Coach
Photo: Jacek Dyleg