How are you doing? Like, really? I know it feels a little crazy out there right now. We all feel it. And today, I just kept thinking one thing: that its OK to feel all of these feelings….AND, in the same breath: to keep searching for daily little joys and finding the light.
It’s an intensity on both ends of the spectrum right now. It’s not a black or white thing right now- it’s both/and.
While I am so appreciating this forced pause and slow down in some senses (more QT with my little family, more downtime at night, more time to get creative with my cooking (ha), etc) and I feel so grateful that I can continue serving you–my people, through this season… in the same breath, I too have moments of feeling uncertain. Or where I feel nervous or overwhelmed or anxious about the unpredictability of things for an hour or so before I pick myself back up again. I’m a small business owner afterall. I employ myself, take care of my family, and employ 3 other team members (and their families too). Nowadays we know of many people using cbd products to deal with their anxiety and depression, you can read more here on this site.
Let me remind you that this entire thing is a totally NEW experience for all of us. There is no “right” way to handle it.
But my best suggestion for you right now is this: to just feel ALL of those feelings, and know that now, it’s even more important than ever to have healthy outlets and ways we do this. Like, longer term strategies for deep self care and mental and emotional health care, after the initial shock of all of this slowly becomes a new version of normal right now.
Like, let your feelings be. Welcome them all in. Acknowledge them. Make the space for them to be there. Having a full range of emotions is healthy, not weak.
But most of us are never taught that. Or how to ride our emotions up and down in daily life. And times like this: in change, in transition, and in the unknown, just heighten that. You may have noticed with food: increased comfort food. More wine. More sugar. More treats. More “oh, WTH, it doesn’t matter anyways” kind of moments.
Yup, it’s all normal right now. Our emotions and food and behaviors are SO freaking connected.
It’s funny because this is exactly what we talk about in my yearly Simply Real Life program, which was originally planned for April, but will open again in May (you can join the waitlist here) because this is exactly what we all need right now: learning how all of this is connected.
How our emotions, mental state, feelings, habits, patterns and stories, and brain wiring controls so much of how we experience life, what we manifest and create for ourselves, what (and how) we eat, how we think, and how our bodies look and feel. You know, everything beneath the surface.
Our internal game. It’s EVERYTHING.
And being connected and in control of it, no matter what’s going on around you. THAT is everything.
But we’ve never been taught how to do this as a society. We’re taught to numb, distract, just keep going, always stay busy, never be still, keep ignoring, pushing though, etc, etc, etc.
We’re never really taught how to be quiet. How to be with our our thoughts, and sort out the ones that are helpful to those that don’t serve us at all: the fear, anxiety, panic over things we have no control over. Like the definition of “healthy” needs a total revamping in our society. Because what’s going on in between your ears– your MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEADSPACE is just as important to learn about and tend to, as your physical body. For as much attention that’s given to weight loss, jean size, and looks—- it makes me so sad to see. Because the real way to change your life and your health has to be looking at your inside game first.
A non-secret secret? Strengthing and learning more about our mental and emotional health is what actually leads to having the healthiest physical body too. In most cases, THAT’S the order that it happens, not the other way around: get your internal game dialed in first, and your external life follows.
It’s why I spend an entire 6 weeks deep diving on this topic every single year. It’s the missing piece for so many people– and one that diets, programs, or workouts alone never address.
So, if numbing out with Netflix, scrolling social media way too late into the night, a big nightly wine pour, or uncontrollably shopping online lately is happening right now: that’s ok. It’s so NORMAL. Be kind to yourself. Like hey– I personally love all of those things (truly), but it’s the mentality that you do those things with that matters too. Is it out of joy, calm, or to simply relax…..or is it to avoid feeling things that are uncomfortable?
Because sometimes the uncomfortable feeling things can be signs. They can be helpful hints. And can lead to healing, if you’re willing to go there.
When I notice things like that bubbling up, I always try to ask myself this: what is this here to show me?
Or here to teach me?
Or what opportunity is there in this for me?
Or what is this here to unveil or help me let go of that will ultimately help me be even better?
So, right now, I’m inviting you to do the same. In this weird time. The in-between and the messy middle, to ask yourself: what CAN you do? How can you feel more calm and held when things seem crazy on the outside?
My approach: take care of what you can control. Your mental health. Keeping tabs on your emotions and feels each day, even if they are all over the place. Asking yourself what’s actually true vs what you’re assuming when your mind runs wild. Continuing to find, create and infuse little tiny daily joys and delights into your life. Connecting with humans you love (bless those zoom calls, marco polos, and FaceTime).
We’ve been given this time to re-evaluate. To slow down. Our distractions have been minimized for us. So, it’s a perfect time to start (or keep) tuning in. There’s always more to observe and learn. We get healthier, in all senses when we do.
The best things right now are usually the smallest. And they add up with time.
So even if you’re not sure where to start or how to take care of you, my mantra has been– just do ONE thing a day. I’ve been using the #srhselfcare hashtag on instagram lately, and anyone is welcome to join me in this.
To just do ONE thing that brings more peace and calm to my life.
It doesn’t need to be fancy, it just needs to be for you: to come back to you. To ground yourself. To breathe. To take a hot second and just check in. Anything that brings you back to the present, and taking things one day at a time.
How to Make the Most of This Time & Care for Your Mental Health:
One thing I’ve been focusing on is embracing this unexpected slow down by purposely slowing my pace in other ways. And in doing so, I’ve been able to breathe through the fear and anxiety, and find more sparks of light where I need them.
Here are a few ways to slow down, care for your mental health and make the most of this time:
+ GET OUTSIDE EVERY DAY
With space, of course. Daily sunshine and walks have been saving my mental health right now.
Go for a walk/run in a less populated area, plan an early morning hike, work from your patio (if you’re in a state that allows it), take a bike ride it does not matter if you don not have one, in here you can rent a shopper bike, open all the windows in your home for the afternoon, step outside just to breathe for 5-10 minutes, read on your front porch, have tea in your backyard or in a portable mug on a walk, take a workout to your yard or the park, walk your dog, play with your kids in the grass, plant a garden, meditate in the sun, walk barefoot through the grass.
There are so many ways to soak up fresh air and sun, even if you don’t have outside space in your home, even if it’s cold where you are. Be conscientious of others while being relentless for giving yourself this gift of getting outside.
+ DO THINGS YOU LOVE THAT YOU DON’T NORMALLY DO
The things you wouldn’t normally “have time” for.
Read more, cook more, unplug more, connect with family more (via FT/zoom/phone calls/group texts/marco polos). Do yoga, stretch, take walks, breathe deeply anytime you think of it. Make a happy playlist. Meditate. Write a list of gratitudes and good things. Pray. Journal. Do a face mask. Take a salt bath. Try gua sha. Bust out that instantpot and finally figure out how to use it. Cook through a cookbook you love. Try some new online workouts. Create a new morning ritual for RIGHT NOW. Or practice a more complete night & wind down routine.
Go wild with the little grounding things that you can take delight in, is what I’m saying. There’s no better excuse than a global pandemic to really start taking care of you, and to do it like you mean it.
+ TURN INWARDS
Like really, how are you doing? Go there, and then keep going there.
Take this opportunity to rest. To slow down. To take more breaks if you are working from home. To write: in any capacity. Write down what matters to you most. Vision cast for yourself, and then see how you can help the collective. We are ALL here for a reason, and now is the time to step into and up with your own gifts. What are they?
If I know one thing, it’s that we are better connected. We all have an opportunity to use this time to be really in tune with who we are, who we’re becoming and where we’re going. And then to use that as momentum to go out and serve others once this is all over.
Use this time to get present. Because anytime we’re forced to get present, is always a gift. Even if it’s not easy. Or fun. Or comfortable. But to know and remember that there’s always joy to be found, if you look for it.
What is helping you stay grounded right now? I would love to know. Tell me in a comment so we can all add it to our own lists of daily joys.