I don't know about you but I vacillate between vowing to stay clam and not let my imagination and all the hysteria get the best of me and feeling tremendous anxiety over this virus that has just about shut down the nation. We've never seen anything like it! It is the fear of the unknown and the lack of information or mixed messages that keeps us in this state of fear. Why are we afraid?
"The answer is a mix of miscalibrated emotion and limited knowledge," argues psychologist David DeSanto in an editorial for The New York Times.
Here's what I know for sure. We have no control over the situation but we have control over ourselves, our reaction and response. Let's manage our anxiety and do what is in our best interest (and in this case, those that we come in close contact with).
Limit the amount of exposure to the constant onslaught of media coverage. Between the stock market and the virus, one can't help but feel hyper threatened.
Obviously we are aware of the need to wash our hands frequently and keep our distance from others!
What else can we do? We can remain calm, stay level headed and find grace in the madness. If you must stay home, do something you've always meant to do but kept putting off. Stop making excuses for not having the time. You now have the gift of time.
I, myself have been putting off going thru my streaming music and making playlists. I am envisioning how good it will feel to accomplish this task and the added plus of listening to all my music feels immediately calming!
Clean, Clear clutter. Having control over your environment really cuts down on feelings of stress. Now more than ever, your home should be a refuge from the "scaries" outside your door.
Make nourishing meals for your family. It is a way to show your love and make family feel loved and cared for at this uncertain time.
Boost your immune system. Our bodies need to be healthy to fight the good fight. Eat right and take your supplements, reduce inflammation and stay hydrated.
Family time is time well spent. If my kids were home, I'd be breaking out the board games. Oh how I miss those game nights! Indulge in a guilty pleasure. Pick up a good book (damn it, I wish my book was published already!!!) , binge watch Netflix. Oooh, the possibilities are endless. Do you see the silver lining in this time out?
Find humor in the absurdity of it all. Laughter is the best medicine when you feel overwhelmed and out of control.
Go be in nature. Take a walk outside, exercise! I am lucky enough to be in Florida right now, so time spent at the beach is really soothing. I get a good dose of vitamin D, listen to the waves lap against the shore and feel my toes in the sand for a full sensory experience that removes me from thoughts of doom and gloom. Go forth and create your experience.
Practice self care. Take soothing baths, experiment with essential oils, take a nap. If you are self quarantined alone; relish this alone time. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Being alone with your thoughts allows you to go inward. It helps reconnect you to yourself. Relish the solitude
Stay present and breathe. Breathe in, then blow out and repeat " I am fine." Breathe in, then blow out and repeat, " I am safe." Breathe in, then blow out and repeat, " I am healthy." Don't catastrophize and stay mindful.
Don't panic and for G-d's sake, stop stockpiling toilet paper! Be prepared but enough with the irrational panic buying!
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING REALLY SPECIAL: AN EXCERPT FROM "OM FOR THE HOME" . I wish my book was out!! I can speak to all the wonderful things we can do to ensure our home is helping heal us, especially when outside our door it's a mad, mad world.
There is a proverb that says: “Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”
It is not enough to have a well designed home anymore, we must be mindful of the “riches:” within; our thoughts, our behavior, the relationships we participate in, the toxins that we choose to (or not to) allow into our everyday life. The self talk we use to help or harm. None of this is separate. If our outer space mirrors our inner space, then a cluttered house equals a cluttered mind. If our inner space mirrors our outer space, A peaceful mind equals a peaceful home. We must take a psychological deep dive into our subconscious.
Designing a harmonious life, full of rich relationships, balance, and living in authenticity is dependent upon designing your home to support your desires, facilitate healthy relationships, reduce stress, support healthy habits and enable you to manifest the things you want in life built upon the goals you set for yourself and the values you hold dear. The who you envision yourself to be. The who you aspire to be at your CORE.
C connectivity - understanding that everything is interconnected. Your emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, environmental, even financial wellbeing are each pillars of wellness, one dependent on the other.
You cannot have a well designed home that supports a healthy lifestyle while your mind is full of negative thoughts or negative energy. You cannot have a healthy home and fill it with toxic chemicals or a healthy body if it’s filled with processed food. It behooves you not to engage in toxic relationships , even if you do dwell in an immaculate house, they are at odds with one another. Inner and outer peace, inner and outer beauty ~ they go hand in hand. One cannot exists without the other.
O Observe , self observation is critical for transformation, which begins with awareness. Having the observational skillset to practice self-observation:noticing what we are thinking, feeling, doing, and imagining allows us to become self-aware. When we are aware of what we are thinking, feeling, doing, and imagining we realize that we have choices and choices are what make us powerful. When you practice self-observation, you will begin to recognize that the part of you doing the observing is your true self. Having that self awareness allows you to see when you are behaving in alignment with your goals and your values and when you are not. You can also recognize when your choices are serving you and when they are not.
R responsibility help us recognize that we only are in control of ourself. We are responsible for our thoughts, our beliefs, our emotions, our home, our health. How we react to the ever changing landscape over our “interior” ensures more enjoyment not just endurance. Taking personal responsibility for choices and actions not only makes you accountable for yourself but allows for relationships with deeper understanding, trust and compassion. Stop the blame game. You are not what happens to you, you are what you make of what happens to you. Being able to see that your decisions have a direct impact on your life’s events is what being able to accept personal responsibility is all about.
E energy is everywhere. Everything is energy. We are more than physical matter, we consist of energy, our homes consist of energy - different states of being emit different energetic frequencies. Energy interacts with everything all the time in ways you can't ever see, but often you can sense with your feelings.Energy is elusive but is something we FEEL. We can empower ourselves to control our personal energy with our thoughts. Our thoughts create a very real and specific vibration (whether we are aware of it or not) and that energy will seek out it's vibrational match. When we are vibrating at our magnificent best, we are attracting others that are vibrating at their magnificent best. Think about what can be accomplished when we are all energetically in tuned at our highest level.
Call it magical thinking; but in these challenging times, among challenging people, along with our challenging thoughts, it is more important than ever to nurture yourself and create a sanctuary that calms you (within and outside of yourself) and centers you every time you walk through that door.
Could you be better; more joyful, more balanced, more connected to your inner wisdom? Can you do better; listen to your body and give it what it needs to succeed? Can you accept the things you cannot change in a healthy way, understanding that everything happens for a reason, even if we don’t know what that reason is, we have to trust the universe has our back? Could you detach from the stories you tell yourself that you believe to be true ? Could
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photo artwork via Sara Shakeel. She's a great follow!