|People are struggling right now and barely keeping their heads above water. They’re stuck in patterns that don’t serve them but don’t know what to do about it. They don’t want to feel the way they’re feeling but lack the clarity to move forward into something that serves them. Worse yet, depression from a lack of motivation to break free is often not far behind. Self-care practices? Well they’re out the window.
I get it!
Even though I teach, practice and embrace the foundational practices of self-care, I get knocked off course when life gets stormy – just like everyone else – I’ve had news that sent me sailing in the wrong direction. Where everything I know about showing self-kindness and anchoring practices of care gets gripped by the storm. My usual sunny self goes off scrambling for the light – looking for solace.
Can you relate?
Because there are moments in life when we’re beyond the fixes we use to feel good fast (with both healthy and unhealthy habits). When we’re knocked off course and our brains sound the alarms and follow through with a full body reaction that’s big and bold with emotion (because something struck us at our core) we move into a primal state of being. Our emotional seats get hijacked and we switch into a biochemistry that’s not supporting of our well-being.
The good news is, we can do something about this and switch back to a space that’s anchored in well-being – at will – all you need are the tools. Simple tools of self-care can put us back on pathways to an anchored center. These are a few of my favorite tools…
Here are 6 ways to stop a stormy situation and gain clarity for a vital reset:
Ground in gratitude. By taking it out from your head and giving it a voice or making it visible through writing, gratitude is a direct route for restoring joy. It takes us to a place that’s both grounding and lifting of our moods. Gratitude can flood our body with endorphins, thereby shifting and broadening how we see the world. It supports us in remembering what truly matters in life. And it’s a gift that’s free and available to access at any time.
Nurture in nature. Time in nature soothes our souls. A natural antidepressant effect happens when we’re communing with Mother Nature, as our body, mind, and spirit levels get lifted in support of overall well-being. Nature provides a reset for our mental health and mood. Cognitive abilities increase, problem solving, creativity, stimulation of social interactions, connections with family and intimacy all benefit from time outside.
Breath through it. Want to respond to a situation rather than react? Get breathing. This is a ‘go-to’ for so many reasons that positively influence our well-being right down to the cellular level. Breathing deeply and focusing on our breath directly disrupts our nervous system in a way that allows you to calm down. Try a few counts of the 4 – 7 – 8 tool. Inhale for a count of 4, hold for 7, exhale for 8 and repeat.
You are literally turning calm on and you don’t have to think about it beyond your breath.
Be the receiver. I believe in life there’s an exchange that needs to be shared. People who are at ease asking for and receiving help— be it from a coach, mentor, business partner, spouse, friend, neighbor or colleague—experience greater success and feel more connection and confidence in ALL areas of their lives. Here’s the rub, asking for help and receiving it can be difficult because it’s a learned skill that sadly, many of us don’t have. You know who you are. But it’s never too late to begin cultivating because it opens new perspectives. Support systems can make all the difference in how you experience your journey through life as a part of community that’s life giving.
Slow down. We’re in a frontier of technology that requires us to find more space to function. Your internal filters are on over drive much of the time if you’re plugged in. Information is coming in at hyper speed and our brains filter it all subconsciously. The truth is, the more choices and decision we have, the less happy we are. Over-doing and missing our moments, days, weeks, running from this task to the next one and many takes its toll, keeping us from experiencing life – in the moment which is all we ever really have – and ultimately taxes our well-being.
Check-in with yourself throughout your days and be honest about how you’re experiencing the moment. Pausing with an anchoring tool for a vital reset can shift you into a mindset that brings you back into play with your game-on focus and enthusiasm that’s well worth the break in time.
Shine your light. A wise business coach once told me that we can’t heal what we don’t reveal. By shining a light on what ails you, taking the time to sit quietly with our thoughts, we can begin to uncover what’s underneath our stuck states keeping us in the dark. Connecting with our inner world shines a light for healing. This may or may not be a simple fix, that’s up to you. What I can tell you is that this practice builds and improves with skill. Meaning, when we learn to live with the light AND the dark, we free ourselves from fears. Which means, we begin to feel more alive and our enthusiasm is free to guide us. In this way, we gain clarity around boundaries, become comfortable voicing our needs and desires, we connect on a deeper level to life while harvesting the gifts that come from living without fear of our dark sides. Life becomes lighter and easier in nature.
Above all, show kindness in your days – to yourself and others – always. Always. I like to believe that everyone knows something I don’t, and we will never know what it’s like to walk in another’s shoes. Sometimes the meanest people are the ones who benefit from our giving of grace and kindness towards them (truly). Lightening your load with kindness towards yourself and others allows a shift to take place in our bodies. One that supports well-being from an inner wholeness and peace. People first, material things second. Let me know how I can support you.