I don't need to tell you that we are living in wild times. It is very easy to get swept up in fear. I have so much to say on the why and the how of what is happening right now. There are lessons in this for us, which I am sitting with and will share soon. I'm curious what lessons you see in this for us? Please write me if you'd like to share.
For now, I'm sharing what I know to do to keep sane (and enjoying life) in the midst of uncertainty and fear. In truth, right now, I'm having a pretty awesome time with life. I'm very happy to have my kids home and be given the opportunity to change and re-prioritize things. And, I admit, I have been ideally trained for this moment.
You can enjoy your life right now too. Here's the "how":
1) START YOUR DAY WITH A GOOD-FOR-THE-SOUL ROUTINE - You can choose a morning routine (even 3 minutes does the trick) to start your day off right. It can include reading from a book, writing, prayer, meditation, drawing, anything that will help you start the day with something that fills your soul. Every morning I take a few minutes to write and then do an 11-minute meditation with a mantra. This has been a grounding practice that has brought me through some very difficult times.
2) DECIDE HOW TO STRUCTURE YOUR DAYS - Decide what is important to you and prioritize it. I've become a master (I will own this) of the juggle of working from home, caring for my own needs, and caring for the needs of young kids and family. YOU CAN MASTER THIS TOO. If you aren't sure how to go about prioritizing your schedule, check out my "Aligned Schedule" training under "Free Resources" on my website. If the idea is totally overwhelming, I can coach you through the process.
3) USE COMMON SENSE PRECAUTIONS - AND LET THAT BE ENOUGH. As someone who battled severe OCD at a young age, I can see this time being a slippery slope for people as people's anxieties skyrocket. Follow basic precautions. Wash your hands. Stay home when you can. Eat healthy foods. Get enough sleep. And let this be enough.
4) TIME OUTSIDE DAILY - Breathe that fresh air. Move around. Feel that sunshine. We are alive. Life is good. We are blessed.
5) STAY CONNECTED WITH THOSE WHO LIFT YOU UP - Remember those that fill your heart and make sure you talk with them regularly. We are blessed with amazing technology now and connection can be so easy.
6) BOUNDARIES FOR CONVERSATIONS - You get to decide which conversations you are in. (REALLY. NO MATTER WHO IS IN THE HOUSE WITH YOU.) We may have dear ones, very loving well-intentioned people, call us with concern, or advice, or in a panic. Remember, to send them love and know that it is 100% okay to say "I'm not having this conversation now" or "I won't be talking about this. I am healthy and I know how to stay healthy" or "Thank you, I love you. I've got this. We're well. We're healthy."
7) BOUNDARIES FOR NEWS - Set clear times you will consume news and stick to it. I strongly encourage you NOT to watch the news first thing in the morning or last thing at night. What we bookend our day with, becomes what our days are made of. Remember the days of the evening news? When news was just one time of day? Pick one or two times in the day that will be your news-consumption time. And bookend your days with things that fill your heart and soul, not things that drain you or make you afraid.
8) SPEND TIME DOING WHAT YOU LOVE - This is it, kids! We are alive! Let's live like we mean it! I just picked up my guitar for the first time in years and asked my son what song I should learn. He gave me two - "Walk the Wire" and "Believer" by Imagine Dragons. I plucked away (ouchy my fingers hurt) we laughed and laughed (and probably horrified the others in the house with our singing, too bad! I'm willing to sound bad as I learn things.) It felt so good to play music again. More of this, I say. What feels so good for you to do again? Is there a way for you to do it?
Elizabeth B. Hill, MSW is the author of the bestselling book "Love Notes: Daily Wisdom for the Soul" and "Green Your Heart, Green Your World: Avoid Burnout, Save the World, and Love Your Life".
Elizabeth has special expertise in helping those with anxiety and high-stress lives to cope and get the results they desire in their professional and personal lives. Trained as a social worker, yoga teacher and life coach, she weaves creativity spirituality, and mindfulness into her work with clients.
Elizabeth is the founder of Green Heart Living, which provides coaching, education, healing modalities, and resources to help make the world a more loving and peaceful place - one person at a time.