Take a deep breath. Really. Take a deep breath. Like right now.
Now close your eyes. And take another one. Nice, right? Now put down the device you are reading this on and take three more of those. Even bigger ones. The kind where you can feel the oxygen expanding your entire belly. The kind where your shoulders drop when you exhale and you feel a sense of release and calm.
Thank you. Thank you for taking those few moments. To Just Breathe. We all need to be breathing deeply, on our own and together. Connecting with ourselves and each other on a deeper level than we may have ever been forced to go. A level where we have to stare down our fears, grapple with an unprecedented number of unknowns, be separated from our friends, co-workers and communities, and spend far more time than we are accustomed to with our family members, roommates, or by ourselves.
This sh*t is hard. We have never done this before. It is an extremely uncomfortable time. And probably will be for a while.
So what are we supposed to do?!
Right now there are far more questions than answers as we are all wrestling with the “what ifs”and the “how much longers?” I do not claim to have answers. No one really does. But I do have ideas and tools that I’ve utilized during very dark times in my life and ones that hopefully will resonate with you and provide some perspective and comfort.
The most important thing I have learned about navigating times of distress is to notice what you do and where you go with your discomfort. Are you hard on yourself or others? Are you irritable, sad, angry, despondent? Do you eat more? Eat less? Drink more? Shop more? Fight more? Sleep less? Where do you go with your self-care during times when you need it the most? Answer these questions honestly, lovingly, and compassionately. And adjust accordingly.
In my Facebook Live that I hosted for our ModernWell members Wednesday morning, we talked about the mindset of scarcity versus the abundance mindset. The scarcity mindset is fear-based—fear that we don’t or won’t have enough–enough food, water, supplies, money; that we will lose our jobs, our health, our relationships, our sanity. And right now these fears are living large for all of us. But to stay healthy in body and mind during this time, we need to ask those fears to step aside (even just periodically) in order to dig deeper and lean into an abundance mentality. Focus on what you do have and what you will never run out of as long as you keep cultivating these resources within yourself.
As humans, we have an endless supply of:
During times like this, it can be hard to find these precious resources within ourselves, but they are there for you, and the more you tap into them the better you will feel. This pandemic WILL END. And when you look back at this time and remember how you showed up for yourself and others, how do you want to see yourself?
In the past few days, I have talked to dozens of ModernWell members, community members, and local small business owners. I have talked to parents and partners who are struggling to find common ground, to agree or respectfully disagree on decisions about how to navigate this time and all of the decisions that need to be made. We are all figuring this out together, and fighting two universal truths:
- We need to take care of ourselves, our families, our livelihoods.
- We need to take care of the people, causes, and businesses that we care about and value.
There is no easy way to balance the two truths. However, you can start by asking yourself the following questions each day:
How do I want to show up for myself and others today?
What am I most afraid of?
What do I need?
What can I give?
Who can I reach out to for support?
Who can I reach out to and give my support?
We are walking through the wilderness, friends. And the wilderness can be dark, scary and lonely. But we are now called on to be brave. To find the brightness, hope, and trust in ourselves and each other that we WILL brave this wilderness together. Not without pain, not without loss, and not without fear. But with kindness, compassion, and love, we will persevere. And eventually be stronger for it.
Sending an abundance of love, hope, health, prayers and strength to you and your loved ones during this trying time. And please remember to breathe.