So where do we start? Just as an airline attendant urges you to put your oxygen mask on before helping others, to heal the world we need begin with ourselves. A good place to start with most things that go awry is to go back to the basics. Fundamental is good nutrition, exercise, and sleep, things that we often let slide when feeling stressed.
Back in the days before technology, people connected with what was around them for healing. Plants were medicine, fresh air and healthy foods were recommended by healers, a walk-about or spirit quest might be prescribed for restoration and resolution of problems. In modern times it is easy to lose connection with the natural world and get caught up in fear, external events, distractions and unhealthy choices. Making good choices is key to restoring balance and harmony. One way to determine if your choices are good for you is to consciously evaluate each decision as to whether it takes you closer to your goals or further away.
Other ways to support emotional health:
--Let it be OK to feel what you are feeling. Talk to someone who is available to listen without judging, or write about your feelings without self judgement. Take your time and don’t be afraid of them. They are just feelings, just a form of energy that can be transformed if you make changes in how you manage them. Learn that you are not alone in your feelings, even though you might feel that way.
--Get support for whatever issues bother you. Talk with family and friends to receive and offer comfort and support. Online Zoom “rooms” offer experience, strength and hope for many issues. Build community wherever you may safely find it.
--Be of service and be kind. Offer to run an errand for a neighbor who doesn’t go out much. Sincerely thank servers. Practice listening with full attention when others talk. Take a bag to the beach or the park and pick up trash. Google “how to volunteer during a pandemic” if you have time for deeper community involvement (and perhaps expand your definition of community).
--Reduce anxiety: Limit media exposure, and remember to breath deeply. Taking a longer exhale than inhale calms the mind and the body. Read material and watch shows that are inspirational. Use your tools: finger holds, meditation, EFT tapping, cognitive restructuring. Sit or walk in nature, take a warm bath. Keep a gratitude journal and actively look for things to appreciate.
--Make time to what you love (and find safe ways to do it if prevailing conditions necessitate) Don’t forget to honor your creativity: paint, draw, write, sing…..
--Ask for help if you need it. Remember that letting others help you also helps them feel better.
--Live in the now and be vigilant and calm about your health and safety.
Becoming more aware of our behaviors and our thoughts can help us connect more fully with our environment and integrate more healthier practices into our lives. When we pay attention to what we put into our minds, our bodies, our spirit, and choose wholesome actions, we can restore our sense of wellbeing and add some wellness to the world.