These are times like no other. Self-care is more important than ever to keep your stress levels down and your immune system functioning optimally. Here are some helpful tips to help you cope and feel calm during these uncertain times.
How you start and end your day has a bigger impact during these unprecedented, stressful times. Reading the latest Covind-19 updates first thing when you wake up can affect your whole day. Consider giving yourself at least 30 minutes in the morning to drink water, play a song, do some deep breathing, meditation or stretching before reading all the latest updates. Doing something that centers you and helps build immunity when you start your day is more important than ever.
We also recommend avoiding reading or watching the updates for at least an hour and a half before bed as taking in anxiety-producing information can affect how well and how deep you sleep. Before bed try listening to calming music, reading or meditating.
Of course, be safe and informed but if you are staying home then try reading or watching the COVID-19 updates times other then first thing in the morning or before bed will support you in handling the rest of the day in a calmer way.
Another way to boost your sense of calm and well-being at the beginning and end of your day is to take a minute or two to focus on gratitude.
Try replacing thoughts of fear and resentment with seven thoughts of appreciation when you wake up and before you go to bed. How you think and feel creates your inner state of being. Your immune system slows down and your nervous system spikes when you are feeling frustrated and fearful.
We know times are uncertain but we also believe that we will get through this difficult time. Integrating daily intentional gratitude into your life is shown to help you sleep better, feel better about yourself, improve mental and physical health and reduce anger and aggression. Start and end your day by focusing on what you appreciate in your life. Even in times of stress, you can find goodness in your life if you take the time to look for it.
Your inner state of calm is always available to you and this inner mode is called the parasympathetic nervous system. You can have built-in access to this state of inner healing and peace anytime, any day. It’s your breath!
Long deep breathing helps to boost your immunity, detoxify your liver and relieve anxiety.
We invite you to take advantage of your built-in calm-inducing system now by taking 6 long deep breaths, inhaling for 5 seconds or more and exhale for the same or longer. Long deep breathing calms the mind, connects you with your body, increases positive energy, stimulates the lymphatic system (delivers white blood cells to guard against viruses and pathogens) reduces inflammation, improves digestion and is a natural painkiller.
When you feel stress, anxiety or fear go to the breath.
When you reconnect with your breath, you expand your inner awareness and then have the opportunity to go even deeper into a state of meditation.
Meditation is more important than ever and it’s easier than you think. A common myth about meditation is that your mind has to be silent, it doesn’t!
Meditation is about connecting to the awareness behind your thoughts. The more you practice the more aware you become, this awareness gives you the opportunity to begin consciously choosing the thoughts that are aligned with what you want to create in your life.
Meditation reduces stress and anxiety and promotes emotional wellbeing.
Get started now with a two-minute meditation! Simply place your hands over your heart, bring your attention inside your body, as if you want to feel your heartbeat in your palm. Count 8 long slow breaths aiming to inhale for 5 seconds or more and then slowly exhale keeping all of your attention on your heartbeat. End by saying a silent blessing to yourself, such as: I wish you peace.
Invite room for JOY!
Have you played any of your favorite songs lately, danced, sang or soaked in a bubble bath?
During stress-filled times we recommend more than ever that you start and end your day with some good tunes so you can stop over worrying and connect to your feelings and emotions.
In indigenous cultures when a member of the tribe was feeling physically or mentally unwell, the first question asked is: when is the last time you sang or danced?
People in Italy have begun singing and playing instruments to each other on their balconies during this time of self-isolation to boost morale.
You can do something that brings you joy too, sing out loud or dance to your favorite songs.
And to help keep yourself calm throughout the day play gentle music, slower music helps your heart, breath, and whole being slow down so you can reconnect to the peace within the present moment. Music that eases anxiety includes jazz, native music with strings and flutes, and nature sounds.
We hope these tips inspire you to take care of yourself and do what brings you a sense of inner peace. Be well!