Updated: Nov 2
My mind has been a little crazy lately, working overtime. My feet hadn't even hit the floor this morning and I already had a full length feature film going in my mind, busy identify all the potential problems of the world...of my world. A conveyor belt of worries. Some real and some just sequels, likely not to happen.
After all we are in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and that is enough to make anyone's mind swirl. Then there is homeschooling our kids. Are we/they doing a good job? Are we doing enough? How is all this screen time effecting them? Then there's the gaming. Is it the only way the kids can socially connect? Should we be more lenient, what are other parents doing? Are we struggling together? I think so but it feels..hard. I am not always the best version of myself, to say the least. Swimming thoughts. Then there is the job security, or insecurity, that so many of us are struggling with. I work in healthcare and I also feel the vulnerability. Working some from home is great and also incredibly challenging with four kids at home. We have good days and we have really bad days. What will today be? Yesterday was hard. Where is my practice....Oh mindful one?!?
All this commentary continues and nudges me out of bed. My feet hit the floor and I feel that connection to the earth, my gaze lifts and I move out of my head as I take in the most beautiful Vermont morning happening outside my window. I hear the birds busy and their sounds fill the sunny space between earth and sky with joyful sounds. My thoughts settle and what emerges is 'just do today'. That's all. My body is filled with relief at this thought. One day, one moment at a time. That is all we can really do anyway, I remind myself. This allows me to begin to relax into the day.
I share this because I know I am not alone, that we are all in this struggle together. It can feel like a hard journey at times and we need to know when we are getting swept away, our thoughts hijacked. How do we redirect when we get off course ? With my breath I can create the pause that allows my inner guide, the wiser version of myself, to be heard. I still need to choose to listen.
Happiness is an inside job though, so it's wise to own that and support ourselves in ways that keep us on the path of staying sane, healthy and happy. Here are a few thoughts:
Nurture: find a daily practice to start your day. Mine is to start with a glass of lemon water, go for a walk, write my morning pages, practice a little yoga and meditation. Then I savor my cup of coffee.
Nature: get outside, or look out there!, for a reminder of all that is good in the world. Feet on the earth keeps us grounded and if your feeling like your roots have been pulled out, there is no better way to root yourself and find a solid foundation to move through your day.
Nutrition: drink more water, eat more fruits and veggies, know where your food comes from. Keep its simple. Limit food that induces stress and inflammation- such as too much caffeine, alcohol, preservatives, diary, gluten, red meat. You don't have to eliminate these foods but be aware of how they make you feel and find what feel good (FWFG)!
Resilience tools: movement, mindfulness, meditation, writing, yoga, music, running, sewing, beading, gardening, biking- you know what you love, so do more of it! Maybe this means picking up something you haven't done in a while, remembering what you used to love to do before life got too busy. The best gift we can give to the world is to do things that make us happy, it's called the ripple or butterfly effect.
Sleep: get what you need, research continues to show us how important our sleep is.
As many of our grandmothers said "nothing good happens after 10pm, so go to bed!
There are some great meditations for sleep, here is one on my youtube channel, Mindful Living VT.
We are currently living a window of time we will never experience again (you may be saying phew :)). If we can pause and put some intention into our days and embrace this time as an opportunity and recognize what we may want to encourage to emerge or notice what may be organically emerging. For me that means relaxing my edges a little bit (some days a lot) and paying attention, living with uncertainty, surrendering to the journey and just doing today.
Sharing my meditation to nurture your nervous system and find ease with Soft Belly Breathing