There is a constant swirl of mixed emotions surfacing in all of us. For some, there are incredibly drastic transitions occurring. Changes in their work schedule, the amount of pay if any, the responsibility of payments weighing heavy, concerns of educating their children while trying to maintain their own sanity. Other people may be focused more on the virus that has struck globally, concerned bout flights back home, elderly loved ones receiving proper care, trying to keep their immune system functioning optimally, making trips to the grocery store only to find what they need is out of stock. Then there are people who are struggling with the transition of being busy to being alone with their thoughts, no longer making plans with friends and trying to find an outlet to distract themselves from all of the emotions that are forcing themself to the top. There is also the possibility that all of these things are being experienced by one person, a nasty cocktail of overwhelm, scarcity, and fear.
There is no doubt that this pandemic is to be taken seriously, it’s important that people are preparing their homes with the essentials to keep them healthy and safe. However, one thing that continues to be overlooked is how all of this is affecting your wellbeing. Health is not limited to the physical responsibilities of washing hands, disinfecting surfaces, eating healthier, and maintaining a safe distance from crowds. What also falls under the category of health and wellness is mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. I’ve created a workshop to help you navigate through these troublesome times.
The wellbeing of your mind has a great deal to do with what it is you’re consuming on a daily basis. If you’re constantly watching the news, refreshing your social feed, surrounding yourself with people who are only sharing negative stories, you are aiding to a negative and low vibrational mental state. This way of thinking will begin to create deeply rooted beliefs about what is and what is not possible for you. As a result, you’ll begin to see a limited world where you lack control of everything, rendering you a victim to what happens to you.
This virus has absolutely taught the world there is an incredible amount of circumstance that will always be out of an individual’s control. However, what you always have control over is your perspective and the way in which you CHOOSE to respond to something. For instance, there is no changing the bad news of the world today, there are unfortunate things happening to people all over the world. What does not help is constantly reminding yourself of all the bad things being experienced, sharing more heartbreaking news than groundbreaking, bonding with people over what is wrong with the world rather than what is right with it. The mind needs you to set boundaries for what it consumes because what you consume shapes the person you become. It’s important to remain informed but not overwhelmed, prepared but not paralyzed with fear, connected with others but not through the energy exchange of worry and stress.
Your brain is an incredible tool that is constantly working to serve you, just as long as you know how to navigate it. A perfect example of this is if you ask yourself (your brain) a question it will search for the best answer or solution possible-based on the quality of your questions. Therefore, it’s important that you’re asking yourself proactive questions that are bringing you closer to a calm state and peace of mind. Instead of asking with a tone of fear, self-doubt, overwhelm “what can I do about what’s happening?”, try asking with the intention to create change in YOUR life, right now. What you can do is turn off the news and connect with the people around you, Skype with friends, step into your yard for some fresh air, read a book about self-improvement. Start creating healthy boundaries of what you allow your brain to think about, that’s how you prepare a mind for changes.
Honor the feelings that are surfacing for you at this time. If you’re feeling sad for the people around the world dealing with the loss of family, connection, and access to income-then feel it. If you’re feeling scared because you of YOUR loss of structure, connection, and access to income-then feel that too. The emotions that each of us experience are being triggered by an event. They may feel too intense, overwhelming, and maybe burdensome, but they deserve your attention more than the news or social media. Because each of these emotions is a gateway to get to know yourself on a deeper level. You are meant to feel all emotions, even if they aren’t pleasant or coming at a convenient time. Don’t shut out what you’re going through because it’s too hard to face, because the longer you push away the feelings the more challenging they become to face. An introspective perspective is a powerful tool that will help you navigate the brand new difficulties you’re facing. Instead of distracting yourself with substances, the latest news, food, video games, or any other stimuli, stop to ask “why am I running away from this?, how can facing my feelings help me heal?”
Sometimes it’s not about taking action but rather just being with what you’re experiencing. If you experience judgment arising about your feelings examine it. Try understanding why you’re not letting yourself feel authentically and what you can do to work through that belief. Get to know the activities that elevate your mood, help you relax, bring you peace, or make you feel a sense of safety. Learn the difference between when you need to feel connected to other people who understand what you’re going through and when it’s time to be alone with your thoughts.
Each of us is experiencing a unique awakening that is bringing to light our greatest feels and that which we are most grateful for. There is bound to be a mix of emotions, strategies to handle them, and community to share in this time of change. Express a little more self-compassion by tuning into what it is you need most. Whether it’s a really good cry, a self-soothing journal session, or a phone call with a friend, it’s just as important as stocking up your pantry. Take care of your emotions seriously, they’re here to help you.
Your soul is the vessel in which Spirit/God/Universe/All-That-Is is communicating with you. In order for you to hear the messages meant for you, it’s your job to turn the noise down in your life. An important part of spiritual practice is removing the layers of junk that are not serving your highest good. Lot of these examples were mention in mental and emotional wellbeing such as distracting yourself with coping mechanisms to hide what it is you’re really feeling A great way to expand your connection with the source of life force is by strengthening your intuition and slowing down the chatter of the mind.
There are many different forms of meditation, but the one I am suggesting is Vipassana. The goal of Vipassana meditation is to become aware of the present moment. This means bringing yourself out of the thinking mind which is either meandering in the past or trying to create the future. Both of these places take you away from the only focus that really matters, this moment. The present moment is all that ever matters because it is the only moment that truly exists. Therefore, at this moment lies your control over how you can respond to life unfolding. Instead of worrying about what you have lost already, or stressing about what may never happen, you can rest your attention into what is right now.
Vipassana meditation is best when you wear loose-fitting close, make sure your waistband isn’t too tight and that you’re dressing appropriately for the temperature where ever you are. If you’ve never meditated before or practiced focusing your attention on anything for more than 10 minutes, I suggest starting in a chair preferrably without arms on the side. Rest the arms on your lap with palms facing down, keeping your back straight without being rigid, placing your feet firmly on the ground. One last and very important piece, bring an intention to your seat with you. A common one I like to use is to be patient with myself and with others because your thoughts are bound to take you away from the moment and into what is bothering you. Another one is to be kind to yourself and others. The intention you choose is not as important as the fact that you choose one. You’ll need something to anchor you back to the reason you sat down in the first place. This practice, done daily, will help increase your awareness and the level of calm in your life.
Life will always be unpredictable, filled with circumstances and events out of your control. The way to navigate through tough times is by focusing on all that you can control. This pandemic has opened the eyes of the world to what truly matters, what never did, and how fragile life can be. It is not enough to prepare your pantry and refrigerator with foods that will give you a strong and healthy immune system. If you’re worrying, living in a fearful state, and not taking care of your soul’s needs, you’ll continue to lower your vibration every day.
Set boundaries for your mental health, create space to allow your emotions to surface, and cultivate a practice of awareness into your daily routine. Even after the chaos of the world begins to settle, and life proceeds to merge into a new normal, these 3 ways of improving your health will still be just as significant. Don’t ignore the relationship you have with yourself because it’s uncomfortable to face. Start by bringing your attention to the parts of you that need it the most. Be gentle as you adopt these practices into your daily routine and be kind to the person you are becoming. Life does not get easier, but you do get better, as long as you keep going consciously.