The image above is a flower known as the Forget Me Not. I chose this photo for this post with a sincere purpose: I hope you do not forget yourself during this pandemic.
There are so many distractions during this time — the news is one of the biggest. However, I hope you can clear some space in your mind and in your day to remember these three opportunities. These are important because I believe they will help you thrive during the time of COVID-19. Who doesn’t want to thrive?
1. Keep Calm
Stress is really great for a short period of time. You might get more done or be able to focus on a project really well. Stress can help fuel your ambitions and lead you to success.
However, your nervous system is sneaky and really wants to help you. When you are stressed, your nervous system starts to send signals to the body to shut down the excess. And this ‘excess’ are bodily functions that are actually really important for you to thrive in life. Some of the processes that are impacted by the changes in hormones due to stress include: digestion of food, reproductive health, immune system and many others.
This is mostly due to the fact that your nervous system is telling your body to divert the extra energy to fight or leave and in some cases freeze (like when an animal is playing dead). The blood in your body is pushed into your limbs to help you in this scenario and this blood includes the blood in your reproductive organs. Additionally digestion and fighting disease in the body can be paused because that additional energy is needed to create different hormones for the stress response.
During this pandemic we need to try and stay calm as much as possible in order to let our body do the work it needs to do. Many of us live in the most safe time in human history and we need to remember that when things get a bit crazy. Remind yourself, “I am safe.” When that simple affirmation will not do, get out in nature, call a friend or any other activity that brings you joy.
2. Express Yourself
Find any modality of self expression that you love. It can be painting, dance, yoga or journalling — anything that allows you to get closer to expressing what is really happening for you in a controlled manner. And I say controlled because I do not want to see you get to a place where expressing your emotions means that someone else has been harmed.
I break down emotion to be e-motion. An e-motion is energy in motion and you need to keep the energy moving. In this modern life, there may be instances where it is a bit inappropriate to keep the emotion moving out of you — this is when your self care needs to come in. You need to make the time and space to let the emotion free.
Occasionally, the emotion you are experiencing is not one that you really enjoy. Those emotions are the ones the you really need to let out. When emotions are stored in the body for long periods of time, they can wreak the same amount of havoc as mentioned above with stress. As you get more practice with releasing emotions, you will find that the emotion does not last as long — authentic emotion only lasts roughly 90 seconds. The emotion could last longer for a myriad of reasons and a therapist might be the best to help you navigate the history that is stored in your emotions.
3. Love on Your Self
It might look like a typo, but I am referring directly to your higher Self and I denote that with a capital S. This part of you may be called the inner teacher (guru), your inner child, the one that lives beyond time or many other names. I like to call her by the name my mom gave her, Cara. Use the name that you like, but the most important thing you can do is love that individual.
When you show your Self the love, your Self will learn to trust you. Your Self will learn that you have got your back. And when there is trust, your Self will be more willing to show up and tell you what your Self really needs. It could be that love looks like boundaries or it may look like a spa day. It may even look like sleeping in. You will know when your Self is talking to you because the answers that come to you will be simple (even funny at times).
Find the opportunities to give your Self the nourishment that you need and your body will pay you back ten fold. You will have more vitality, energy and this pandemic may not hit you as hard. It is also possible that you may find a new friend: YOU.
The ways that I love on my Self include much that was recommended in opportunities 1 and 2. I also enjoy: jumping rope (exercise is love), cooking a warm meal (food is love), bubble baths after a rough day (bubbles are love), telling me to stop binging Netflix (boundaries are love) and listening to music (vibration of sound is love).
These recommendations are great for any time of the year, and extremely important now. xoxo