As we face this stressful time in our community and around the world, it is crucial that we take care of our mental wellbeing as much as possible. If we can manage our own anxiety and stress, then we will be able to better support ourselves and our children, spouses, and family members.
First, take a moment every day to STOP and BREATHE. Put your phone down, turn off the television, and stop what you are doing so you can take three deep breaths to calm your body and system. Once you are calm, then you can decide how to respond to whatever it is you are dealing with in the moment. We do have a choice on how we want to respond because feelings come and go, but they are better managed when we can calm our system.
Second, find a “mantra” that works for you and say it often. I often say to myself “I’m calm and confident” or “I can handle this.” Humans are resilient beings, so even though we are feeling on edge and we fear the worst, we CAN handle this and we WILL get through this.
Lastly, Dr. Laura Markham stated “The biggest danger of pandemics is that our survival instinct begins to threaten our compassion. The contagion of fear contracts our hearts. So consciously opening our hearts is an antidote to fear. Every choice, at core, is between love or fear. Choose love.”
In summary, breathe, calm your thoughts and system, take appropriate measures to protect yourself and those around you, and be considerate during this scary time. Most of all extend grace and connect with your loved ones, because we are in this together and need each other to get through this.
- Dr. Jennifer Blacksmith