Are you fed-up yet? Feeling a little impatient with all the restrictions? Bombarded by media that seems laden with BAD news? Yep, that sums it up for most of us. So how do we keep our head above water and not drown in all the overwhelming things that occupy the space around us.
This is the question of the day.
And here it is, I am just like you. I get tired, impatient, bored and restless. I want to get on with it, return to a life which may not be as I once knew it, but at least one that resembles what I used to have. Freedom! And, I recognize that complaining and bitching will not help me, nor will I feel better participating in a ‘whine and jeez’ session, except for perhaps a short one to simply clear the air.
Moving on, what steps can we take to keep ourselves level headed, calm, and in the throes of patience? Here are a few Sanity Suggestions to put into practice for the next few weeks.
- One Day at a Time: I am a very visual person, one who always has her eye on the future. I can tell you, this is not currently helpful, partly because the future is being constantly re-written. Try this – when you wake up, simple say to yourself, ‘today in January —, 2021, I bless this day, I look forward to it unfolding. Breathe deeply 3-4 times and feel yourself grounded in the day.
- Set intentions: each day ask yourself what you want to experience during the day and who you want to be. With all the detrimental energy around you choose to be something uplifting. ”I am love, compassion and kindness today. I am fun and joyful.”
- Go easy on yourself: during times of isolation and stress most of us turn inward. When we do, we see all the flaws and faults. Stop that. With the time you have now turn your attention to celebrating all the accomplishments, great and small, of your lifetime. Turn your critical self into a voice that celebrates the best of who you are. Treat yourself with the same love and compassion you would give a friend or family member.
- Read: turn off the devices and find a good book. Fiction or non-fiction, books are an opportunity to get lost in a landscape of words, to have an adventure, to learn from some one else’s experiences, or to participate in self-development.
- Go Outside: even the ‘stay at home order’ states that exercise is permissible. Participate in the 100-day challenge, going outside for a minimum of 30 minutes every day. It makes a difference. Fresh air is good for your health and there is nothing like a change of scenery.
- Plan a Daily Date: stop texting and messaging everyone and pick up the phone or plan a conference call. We are humans, social beings and we need to connect. Hearing the human voice is an essential ingredient in our health. And, and this important, make the connection matter. Ask questions, listen, share, lift one another up, encourage and appreciate.
- Mindful Moments: when you feel overwhelmed, as many of us do at the moment, STOP. Step away from everything. Tune into your breathing and be quiet. Observe you, your body, your feelings, your thoughts. Ponder and reflect on your day, and take the opportunity to release any negative feelings, replacing them with something more uplifting. Reassure yourself.
- Change a Habit: if anything, we all have a bit more of these days, it is time. I appreciate you may be working from home, supervising home schooling and more, yet on the flip side many of your daily activities have been curtailed. This gives you the option of personal development, an opportunity to change a habit which may no longer serve you.
For example, you may spend too much time on social media, and while it passes the time, it might not feed your spirit. Decide to put a timer on it and when the alarm goes off, shut off your devices. Yes, turn them off, as the temptation is too great to respond to every ping. Then take 15 minutes strictly for yourself – a hot bath, journaling, a mindful moment, a walk, whatever feeds your spirit. Do this for 21 days. It takes 21 days to establish a new habit.
These are a few practices to incorporate in your day. There is no need to incorporate all eight. Find the one(s) that most attract you and which you feel will improve the quality of your daily life experience. Together we shall move beyond the current circumstances.
Your thoughts and strategies are always welcome and if you care to share you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Betty Healey, MEd, CAPP