I recently posted a quote on Facebook that got a lot of attention. The quote was “When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” The message of encouragement resonated with my community, and I think I understand why. My students and friends are highly sensitive and tuned in to the energy around them, and right now, many are feeling bombarded from all sides.
Navigating Challenging Times
The world is an uncertain place right now. In addition to lingering fears and restrictions brought on by the pandemic, there’s conflict and uncertainty everywhere you look (especially if you’re looking at the news). I’m flying to Peekskill New York in a few days for an event, and I must admit I’m a little nervous about traveling. I know in my heart that everything will be fine, and the small misgivings I have are outweighed by my excitement about being onstage, connecting with my community live and in-person.
But aside from my own fears, I’ve spoken to many students and members of the JVP community who are making their way through uncharted waters. Over the past few years, some have lost jobs, experienced health issues, or lost loved ones. Stress and anxiety are at peak levels. As a sensitive person, how can you hang on? The simple answer is this. You must take care of yourself.
Self-care isn’t selfish – in fact, it’s essential to your mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1.) Make Time for Exercise
Over the last few years, more and more people are working from home, shopping online, and avoiding gyms, supermarkets, and other crowded spaces. That may protect you on one level, but at the same time, it’s impacting how much you move your body. Fortunately, getting exercise doesn’t have to be complicated. Start by tracking the number of steps you take in a day and plan to increase the number until you’re at a consistent level of 10,000 steps a day. Incorporate yoga and stretching too – either by taking a class or moving through some poses in your own backyard. Have some fun by dusting off your bike and taking a ride or grab a friend and try out the new pickleball craze. I promise that the more you move, the better you’ll feel.
2.) Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is vital, and not getting enough can undermine your best efforts at health and fitness – making it hard to concentrate and keeping you from feeling and being your best. Consistency is the key to getting the best night’s sleep possible, so I suggest you create an evening ritual and stick to it. Plan to go to sleep at the same time each night, and a few hours before, wind down by putting away phones, tablets, and computers and taking a nice warm bath, listening to quiet music, reading, or meditating.
3.) Embrace Healthy Eating
There are countless theories about diet and nutrition, and while I don’t have the space or expertise to get into them here, I do have a few tips to offer. First, listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry – not stressed or bored. Prepare pure wholesome foods that make you feel healthy inside and out. Practice moderation when it comes to caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and red meat, and eat slowly and mindfully.
4.) Take Regular Breaks From Technology
Where would we be without phones and laptops? Sometimes I think the productivity those tools provide might be offset by the toll they take on our energy and relationships. Give yourself the gift of unplugging – not occasionally, but regularly. Turn off your screens a few hours before bed or enjoy a long mindful walk without your phone.
Without breath, where would you be? In addition to keeping you alive, breath can be a time out, allowing you to take a tiny vacation and center yourself during stressful situations. I’ve been practicing “box breathing” lately, and it’s so easy. Here’s how you do it. Breathe in slowly and deeply for a count of 4, inflating all the way down to your abdomen. Hold the breath in for four counts, then exhale for another 4 counts. Hold the exhale for 4 counts, then repeat 5 or six times, or as long as it takes to feel calm and refreshed.
6.) Declutter Your Environment
You owe it to yourself to have a peaceful, pleasing space to work and live. Purge your space regularly, getting rid of anything that isn’t useful or beautiful. Open a window and air out stuffy rooms. It’s worth the effort to clean as you go along. You’ll find that a clean, bright workspace helps you be more productive and happier.
We all experience stress and uncertainty occasionally, but I hope these simple tips provide you with a way to survive and thrive through the hard times.
One more thing. Remember who you are – a divine, spiritual being who was put on this world to spread love and be happy. If you need a little inspiration or a laugh, I hope you’ll check out my YouTube channel. I created it to give you access to love and light throughout your day!