KEEPING ON TRACK WITH SELF-CARE DURING CHALLENGING TIMES
The coronavirus is currently affecting over 90 countries. People’s daily activities have been limited to help slow down the spread of this threatening virus. Now, more than ever, we need relief from all the stresses we are currently experiencing. Am I scared? Yes, especially for my elderly parents, who are already immune-compromised and living far away from me in Canada and for my business that it still in its baby phase. Will it survive?
But then, I am reminded to be mindful, not swept away by the constant social media, television news and Facebook stories popping up on my phone. I am not being ignorant by avoiding the news. I choose what information I expose myself to. I educate myself about the type of precautions I need to take out of awareness so that I can take those precautions from an intelligent and centered place. Anxiety thrives on uncertainty. And these are very uncertain times. So how do you choose to respond to this outbreak? You can choose to grow your fear by being constantly focused on the news, or you can choose to anchor yourself in a belief that is healthier for you. Studies show that when you focus on something, not only does it trigger an emotional response, but it also generates a physiological one. Your body responds with physical expressions of stress (tension, rapid heart rate, irregular breathing). In that moment your mind is picturing the worst case scenario and your body is responding as if it were happening.
Staying Centered and Grounded:
When you start experiencing stress and insecurity, it’s time to practice tools to support you through your challenges. So, let’s start at the beginning.
Gratitude: Gratitude can be a great tool to build strength, awareness and harmony in both the mind and body. It is a mindset and emotional power initiating a positive response that turns your thoughts into a “glass half full”. My daily routine starts with a prayer and a letter of gratitude to the God of my understanding. Nothing starts the morning better than showing gratitude for one more day and all the people and things I’ve been blessed with.
A Daily Yoga Practice: Aside from the physical benefits, one of the best benefits of yoga is how it helps manage stress which has a devastating effect on the body and mind. Yoga’s incorporation of meditation and breathing with your physical practice improves mental well-being and promotes relaxation. Multiple studies show that practicing yoga for at least 3 months can have a promising effect on anxiety and decrease the secretion of cortisol, the primary stress hormone. I always include at least 35 minutes of yoga in my day. It keeps my mind calm and ready to tackle the daily responsibilities of running the business and making the best decisions for its success.
Taking care of your own health should always be priority. Especially during times like these. Gratitude, yoga, sleeping well, eating well are all healthy tools. Running around frantically, mind racing a million miles per minute won’t help you. Stop and do something for you. Whether that’s taking five minutes to write in a gratitude journal or simply lying on your mat breathing. Do something every day, just for you.
You can take the necessary precautions to be safe and decrease your chances of exposure by being smart with what you choose to focus on, keeping your mind, body, and spirit in optimal health.
Be safe, be happy, be healthy.