In response to the high level of emotion that wraps itself around the information we are receiving regarding the complex layers of dealing with the COVID- 19 crisis, I want to offer some suggestions, encouragement, and support for moments of moving away from anxiety and spending time in more creative ways of thinking and being.
This will end. We will get through this. Be well
- Limit the amount of time you spend watching the news, reading articles, and listening to podcasts that end up making you feel more fearful. It’s important to give your psyche a rest. Be careful about the sources of your news. As always on the internet, there is a lot of misinformation that is woefully inaccurate and creates harmful rumors.
- Reflect on the truth of living with uncertainty. Learning to accept the reality of no control can actually bring an inner spaciousness and may lead you to a new found sense of freedom from the painful contractions of trying to be in control. Below are some resources but I recommend that you do some exploration on your own to see what you connect with for your own needs and wants.
Comfortable with Uncertainty by Pema Chodrum
“Getting on with the business of your life is not always so easy. You thought you were headed for Denver and next thing you know you’re in Detroit. You hold onto the belief that your life is certain, that you can know what will happen around the next bend. Because we believe that can actually control things, we want things to be certain, we want to know what will happen. Why is it so tempting to dwell in the land of what we believe to be certain when it can lead to boredom and a deadened sense of negatively scripted reality? We stay here despite how bleak it may feel largely because it is familiar to us. Yet allowing the mystery of uncertainty to touch you can lead to unexpected chances creating adventures and events you may never have dreamed possible. It’s not static or predictable, it’s a way to feel more alive.
Uncertainty creates curiosity. Remember how, as a child, the summer days seemed to stretch on endlessly? The small discoveries of grasshoppers or places in the woods you hadn’t noticed before. Clouds blowing by, changing and becoming different animals or faces. Recapture that childlike innocence that trusts that the next moment will arrive as it will.
Each moment does arrive as it will. The sooner we get over our delusions of control, the more spontaneous and joyful we become. Being willing to accept the paradox that letting go of certainty may actually lead to a deeper sense of relief and well being helps you to move forward. You learn that while you aren’t in control, you do have choices.”
Excerpt from Surviving the Storm: A Workbook for Telling Your Cancer Story by Cheryl Krauter
- Taking care of Fear
Giving power to fear, letting fear control you, controls your life and the choices you make. Accepting fear as another emotion in the palette of your inner world allows that experience to ebb and flow naturally. Fear is just another emotion in the multitude of your emotional palette. Begin to speak to yourself in the words you would say to comfort a frightened child. By not giving over your power to your fear, you are freed up to move forward at whatever pace suites you.
Breathing Exercises You Can Practice Yourself
Simple breathing exercises can help you to soothe and reconnect with yourself when you are feeling triggered by traumatic thoughts, feelings, or images. You can practice working with your breath no matter where you are or what you are doing. These exercises are designed to help you regulate your reactions when you feel overwhelmed. You can do these breathing exercises with your eyes closed or open. The simple act of using your breath helps you to connect with yourself and the more you practice, the easier it is to remember to check in with yourself in this way.
Breathe through your nose
Breathe into your center( your belly) and inhale all your energy in.
Breathe out from your center and exhale all energies, distractions, anything that you don’t want to carry, breathe it out.
Sit down comfortably, or lay down in a comfortable place, whatever works the best for you.
Place one of your hands on your stomach, just below your ribcage. Place the second hand over your chest.
Breathe in deeply through your nose letting your first hand be pushed out by your stomach. Notice that your chest doesn’t move.
Breathe out through your lips, pursing them as if you were about to whistle. Gently guide the hand on your stomach inwards, helping to press out the breath.
Slowly repeat between 3 and 10 times.
A simple breathing exercise to help you sleep:
Lie down and make yourself comfortable
Let yourself sink into the bed or floor and bring awareness to your body
Feel how you are supported, relax any tension and soften with each exhale
Focus on your breath and notice where you feel it in your body
Take a deep, even breath into your center, hold for a couple of seconds, and exhale
Continue this breathing pattern quietly and gently
Allow yourself to soften and relax into your body
Let your thoughts go with each exhale
Continue your focus on your breath
- Creating a Home Retreat
- Virtual AA Resources
- Discovering Your Creativity
“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
You may want to use this time of sheltering in place to discover or rediscover your own creativity. Art or writing projects can help focus your energy in meaningful, energizing, and fun directions. Making music, cooking, reading out loud, dancing and movement are all ways to connect with your inner creator.
- Apps for Stress Relief