Lately I’ve been feeling like Dorothy Gale from Kansas:
There is a tornado-like energy swirling about, fraught with disaster, impending doom and fear of WTF could happen next? I wouldn’t be surprised to look out my window and see Almira Gulch on her bicycle riding past.
Adding our own distraught energy to the collective does nothing to help the world at large. In fact, it may be more important now than ever to stay in the eye of the storm.
But Easier Said Than Done, right?
Here are a few simple practices that you may find helpful to stay anchored and centered:
1) Rest your body. Give yourself permission to lie down (under your desk if need be) for 30 minutes. Cover yourself with a blanket so you stay warm. Don’t worry about sleeping, you are just doing a reset. Set the timer on your phone and just let go for a half hour. Breathe.
2). Quiet your mind. Unplug from the noise: newspapers, radio, internet. Give a wide berth to toxic people: Aunt Alice’s fanaticism and your coworker’s activist exploits can wait til tomorrow. Give yourself a break from the fear mongering. Disengage for a day. It doesn’t mean you don’t care about what’s happening. You just need some self care and head space.
3). Eliminate the noise. Noise pollution is a thing! If you live in the city, blaring horns and ambulance sirens are part of daily life. In the burbs lawnmowers, leaf blowers and hedge trimmers all play into your stress level. As does the continuous TV chatter and radio in the car. Turn off the ringer on your cellphone, Voicemail was created for a reason. Get some noise deafening headphones, pretend you are 15 again and just ignore everyone for an hour or two!
4) Get out in nature! Take a walk, without a destination in mind. Listen to the birds, feel the air on your skin. Sit on a bench and marvel at all the colors of green. Put your feet in the sand, dip those tootsies in the water. Smell the salt air. There is beauty all around you. Use your senses: See it. Feel it. Smell it. Touch it. Taste it.
5) Laugh. Life is crazy ! Can you see the craziness as laughable? Laughter releases tension and reminds you not to take everything so seriously. Shake your head, mutter WTF? and laugh at the absurdity! Or just turn on Comedy Central and howl at the moon!
6) Reach out and touch someone. You’ve heard it said “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth” Are you getting your share? Humans need touch to thrive. Hold hands, give a foot rub, get a massage. Hug your dog.
7) Find the joy. What do you do to self soothe? Exercise, sit with a good book, play ball with your dog, cook. Remember the things you love and do one!
8) Breathe. Put your hand on your heart and breathe into your heart space. Feel the oxygen coming in and out of that miraculous organ that is pumping life throughout your system. Take a deep breath , all the way down to your toes. Hold it for thirty seconds and then release it all the way out. Repeat three times, or all day, if necessary.
The tornado may still be from raging, but now you are perfectly calm and able to hold space for anyone else seeking refuge. Give yourself permission to practice self care. Your positive vibes are adding to the collective. I can feel the difference already!
Toward hope and healing,