24 Mar We Can All Find Our Calm
Stress is viewed as a bad thing, something that feels uneasy, unwelcome and difficult . It fosters hardship in the body and in the long run can cause a lot of health complications. While all of this may ring true, I’d like to shift your perspective and shed new light on this subject of stress. I’m guessing with all the shifts that have taken place in the past couple of weeks you may be feeling overwhelmed and desire a little calm in your life.
Here’s the thing we need to remember; stress is a very healthy and necessary response in the body. It helps us address difficult situations and can aid the body in healing. Stressful situations will always be present in life. It is our responsibility to manage them in a healthy manner. That, my friend, is the real challenge; its our inability to respond appropriately to the multitude of stressful situations, big and small, that we encounter on a daily basis that causes hardship in the body. If we can choose to participate in a new way and provide the body adequate time to rest, repair and rejuvenate we can stay healthy through times of change.
Here are 5 things you can do today to create calm in the midst of it all:
1. Do your best. And know that your best is going to look different every day.
Life is full of expectations. The expectations that others have of us, and those we have of ourselves. Especially in times of change, it is easy to feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. We tend to want to control the outcome, and worry when we can’t. This cycle leads us right into sleeplessness, fatigue and irritability. Make a commitment every day to show up in your best manner possible and offer others permission to do the same. Celebrate small success and big moments and when someone’s “best” isn’t as solid as it usually is, offer grace. Learn from it. Have conversations about it. Provide space for “best” to look different day to day, and be a positive guide and support to yourself and others.
2. Create structure.
Working from home, managing the needs of the kids and getting used to life during a quarantine is a new experience for all of us. Sit down with the family and together, create a daily schedule for everyone to follow. Set healthy boundaries for work and play time by sharing your needs and inviting your family to do the same. This will create ease throughout the day and provide a foundation for healthy communication. Take time over dinner to discuss what’s working well and explore any shifts you may need to make. We’ll all need to be a little flexible and open in the days ahead.
3. Practice gratitude.
Many miracles have happened because of the power of positive thinking. Even in the most challenging situations there is something to be grateful for. It may take a little time to see the positive, but it’s there. Strive every day to give thanks for 5-10 things in the morning upon waking, and again in the evening before going to sleep. You may express all your grateful for by writing your thoughts down in a journal, or reciting them silently or aloud. Do what works best for you, the most important part of practicing gratitude is making it a practice. I promise, you’ll feel amazing!
4. Anything that is mentionable is manageable.
This is a quote from Mr. Fred Rogers and it is a favorite of mine. We cannot keep our worry, concern and overwhelm to ourselves or we’ll find that we continue to feed the worrisome thoughts. Please talk to someone. Share with your spouse, call a friend, reach out to a colleague or ask your boss for a few minutes of time. When we can voice our worry, needs, expectations, and concerns it provides space for solution-based ideas. The only caution I would provide is that your confidant must be willing and able to shed a positive light on the situation, share a laugh or two and be supportive. There is no room for others to fuel your worrisome thoughts either, it’s all about forward motion.
5. Please breathe.
If you’ve followed my work, you know I mention this a LOT. But it’s for good reason; breathing can reduce cortisol (stress hormone), provide calm to the body, refresh your mindset, and provide new perspective. Please take slow, deep belly breaths often. At a minimum, set your timer for 10 slow abdominal breaths every hour, on the hour. By the time you leave your work space you will have taken 80 deep breaths. While breathing, close your eyes and focus only on your breath. Practice this daily, and observe the change you feel take place in your body and mind. Your worries will lessen and the stress your body feels will subside. It’s powerful. It’s free, portable and accessible anytime, anywhere. Use it well.
It’s always an honor and joy to serve and support you in health and happiness. I’d love to hear from you; feel free to connect with me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Believe it can be!