Mindfulness and Self Care In Stressful Situations
“Mindfulness is about love and loving life. When you cultivate this love, it gives you clarity and compassion for life, and your actions happen in accordance with that.”
– Jon Kabat-Zinn
When COVID 19 touched down and made its way to our communities both large and small, we as individuals and all of humanity were asked to take on an all-new way to live and think. The lifestyle we were used to living was pulled out from under us as if overnight. Not only were we asked to social distance and stay safe at home but our innermost thoughts and our very self-care took on the face of COVID 19.
At a time like no other in our world, we have an all-new way to live and navigate our lives. I believe the Universe – God is requesting us to step into this and do some loving thought work on how to be for ourselves and how to show up as citizens on behalf of humanity working collectively with caring mindfulness in how we treat others as well.
This is a big responsibility and one that begins right where you are today. Your self-care and how you take up for your needs begins within your heart space.
Many of us right now are experiencing a noticeable change in our emotional landscape. Feelings of grief, sadness, loss, anger, frustration, and fear have stepped in and have even taken over.
While we can’t ignore the influx of COVID world and local news and the very real impact in our communities this is creating for us, we can look to loving ourselves with special care by applying mindful self-care.
Self-care wrapped with a personal mindful approach is key to our wellbeing and for the wellbeing of the world moving forward!
Mindfulness – the practice of being present in the moment using self-compassion and non judgment offers us self-help and yes healing. All we need is to lovingly notice our thoughts and how we are feeling physically. From this place done with intention what we need in the moment will rise to the surface and from here our self-care path takes shape and action.
Why practice mindful self-care?
Being intentional and paying attention to our physical and emotional care needs helps us to:
Improve our mood and attitude.
Reduce daily stress.
Improve our ability to handle and cope with change proactively.
Increase our ability to focus with greater clarity instead of feeling scattered.
Self-compassion and non-judgment towards our own needs first then extended to others are the life “keys” laying the foundation for mindfulness to flourish.
Practical mindfulness self-care tips:
Pause and notice how you are feeling and where you feel this in your body.
Name the place where you feel tight, stiff or sore and go beneath this physical feeling to the underlying emotion that is perhaps being shared. Ask yourself what you need and what you can do for yourself. Pause share this back to yourself as the knowledge you can use going forward for you.
Check-in with your sleep needs.
Are you feeling tired more than usual or have trouble falling and staying asleep. Recognize the source and find a solution such as tending to your sleep hygiene by unplugging from the news and social media. Make your bedroom an inviting place to sleep where things such as room temperature and reducing outside noise and light that may interfere.
Permit yourself to feel what you’re feeling right now.
Simply notice and name your feelings. Use loving self-compassion that this is ok. What you feel is yours whether it’s overwhelmed, overworked, tired, bored, unsettled. Giving yourself permission to feel and name your emotions validates you and from here mindful self-care enters in! This may feel like grief, disbelief, doubt, anger, sadness.
Take it one day at a time.
With headlines and COVID news changing daily, trying to forecast and predict what may occur opens the door for emotional stress to enter and from this a return to the recent past or near future. We only have the day and moment we are living in! Be present to the present moment. This is self-care 101!
Practice a moment in stillness and silence daily.
For some of us used to being on the go and moving quickly, this may go against the grain of who we are. Taking in all that is now front and center with as little as 2 intentional quiet moments in a distraction-free place indoors or even on a walk outdoors will reset and calm our emotional center. When we have calm from simply “being” what may seem deeply challenging or painful will lessen or completely diminish. Find one of many meditation apps on your smartphone or another device to use as a guide for your journey.
Self- care is personal. What you choose to do for yourself depends on your personality and preferences. Your self-care might be immersing yourself in a good read or doing a sweaty cardio workout, going on a hike or ordering take out or connecting with friends online or sleeping in. Whatever this is give yourself this. You matter! Know that this time like no other in our world is your time to focus on yourself with love.
We are all here together in this time like no other globally. Please share with us what you are doing for yourself and others.