In changing and chaotic times, we need to slow down and reset our stress.
With the rapidly changing news about COVID-19 and its impact on world health, you and your loved ones are having to change the way you do things — at least for the time being. Please visit the CDC website for the best, most up-to-date information.
At the same time it’s important to be mindful of the social contagion of anxiety and try to avoid inserting unnecessary angst and fear into your life. The fact is that we are wired to pay extra attention to threats, real and perceived ones (that’s the negativity bias). We can’t help it. But we can notice when we’re triggered and then intentionally redirect our attention. So let’s slow down together during this Great Pause.
Let’s use this time to practice recruiting our own physiology to calm our bodies and minds. It truly is time to hit the personal pause button and practice “social distancing” as an act of kindness toward others. In this video I guide you through an instructional meditation, From Stressed to Blessed. See if you can find 15 minutes of quiet time and listen along.
A few other tips:
- Limit yourself in watching the media. Listen to the news or check the CDC site only once a day, and preferably not before bedtime!
- Take the time to redirect your attention to positive distractions: clean a closet, organize your living space, read a good book, and take a walk or get out in nature.
- Spend quality time with family if you are bound to be home: find fun recipes to make; play board games; create a family photo album.
- If working remotely make sure to take breaks to stand, stretch and walk.
- Check out my favorite mental wellbeing practices, RAIN and HEAL, as ways to grow inner strengths for resilience.
- Remember to practice self-compassion.
- Don’t take things personally when others are freaking out. Observe, don’t absorb, the negative energies. Then respond in a calm and reasonable way.
- Download a meditation app (or search YouTube) and practice the many ways you can calm your nervous system or recruit your imagination to send loving-kindness to others.
In the next few weeks I’ll be posting meditations on Insight Timer app. Just look up my name. Take gentle care!