It’s the beginning of May. We’ve been inside a long time, physically distancing ourselves when we do go out, washing our hands, wearing masks, etc.  Some of us are alone and others are in new territory, living with another person (or persons) 24/7.  Maybe you are adapting to new ways of working or not working. For some things have slowed down, with more quiet time and fewer outside distractions.  For others, it just feels like there’s more to do (family, work, friends, zoom, etc.). You may have begun to notice things, like priorities, patterns in behavior, coping mechanisms and thought.  You may even feel exhausted from it all. Perhaps you’re noticing more of about your ‘inner’ world, or becoming more aware of how you feel (physically and emotionally). There may be some emotions arising that are unfamiliar and maybe even uncomfortable.  The initial panic appears to have subsided and has been replaced by us asking ‘What’s next?”

As we continue to move through the changes that started earlier this Spring, we’re also beginning to look forward.  What have we learned from this time? What do we want to take into our future?  How can we continue to integrate the lessons and insights?  How do we feel as we look at the lives we’ve been living and that which awaits?  All big questions – and quite frankly, we are far more likely to learn and integrate and make changes when we feel supported and encouraged; when we are kinder and more accepting of ourselves (we are doing the best we can, after all); when we continue to ask questions, stay curious and open-minded.

Recently, I was interviewed by the lovely and talented Adera Andelucci http://Www.aderaangelucci.com.  We discussed the importance of Self-Care; something important anytime, but even more so now. The interview https://youtu.be/Fui7hY6frjo was really fun.  There wasn’t enough to go into detail about the mindfulness tools and techniques mentioned, so I thought I’d include a list of things I’ve found in the past few weeks that offer resources and gentle distractions (none of which I am affiliated with). This list is simply a beginning; a list of things you can do to help yourself feel better. I hope you find it helpful – or at the very least, that it inspires you to look for other tools to add to your own Self-Care toolbox.

Self-Care

Breath Techniques

Yoga – Check out your own, local Yoga studio to see if they are offering on-line classes. I don’t have any affiliation with YYoga, but am really impressed with their on-line offerings of yoga, breath-work and meditation. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQV_J47rbyQ7gkafYHcod8g

Meditation

Creating a Gratitude Journal https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/media.rickhanson.net/WeeklyGratitudeJournal.pdf

10 Things You can do When You’re Stressed https://mhanational.org/blog/10-things-you-can-do-when-youre-stressed

A Walking Meditation (with written directions) https://www.mindful.org/daily-mindful-walking-practice/

Self-Soothing techniques https://www.blurtitout.org/2019/01/03/self-soothing-means-9-ways/

Mindfulness Benefits & 3 Techniques https://thebestbrainpossible.com/how-to-use-use-mindfulness-as-a-mental-health-tool-to-decrease-depression- and-anxiety/

Advice from a Sleep Expert – what’s your sleep been like lately? It’s very important to your overall health and wellness. Create a routine for yourself if that helps. Turn off your devices, have a soothing bath, read a book, slow everything down.

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_keep_coronavirus_worries_from_disrupting_your_sleep?u tm_source=Greater+Good+Science+Center&utm_campaign=cab2219ea8- EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_GG_Newsletter_April_14_2020&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5ae73e326e-cab2219ea8- 51011987


Music
– Why not turn on some music and let the rhythm carry you on a journey. Tap you toe, move your body, dance, sing along, make up words. Music touches and moves us, it can shift our mood in mere moments..

Ode to Joy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eXT60rbBVk&feature=youtu.be

A Family singing – this is sweet and funny. https://www.kentonline.co.uk/faversham/news/familys-viral-les-mis-lockdown-success-224818/

Read a Book! Books have been described to me as virtual reality. Isn’t that great? Pick up a book (new or used), discover a new author or genre, dive in and be carried away by an interesting story. Personally, actual books are the best – but audio books will work as a distraction, too (in which case – sit down and listen)..

Inspiring & Encouraging Authors – there are so many. Here are two of my favourites:
Brene Brown (Author of many books & amazing speaker on numerous podcasts)
 https://brenebrown.com

Jen Sincero (Author of ‘You Are A Badass’) https://jensincero.com

Nature  If you can, Go outside! And if you can’t get outside to spend time in nature– take a virtual walk in the forest. (The visual might be too much, but close your eyes, and listen to nature.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NKMQmHjYqQ

When we feel overwhelmed, it’s important to remember that we can shift out of that feeling by taking one step towards our goal (no matter how big or small) and that action can move us into feeling better. Rather than bemoaning what we can’t do (or control), it helps to focus on what we can do (or control) and then take action

Honestly, some days, it’s enough for me to choose just to begin the day by listening to ‘Ode To Joy’. 

What is that one thing you CAN do today?

As things unfold in the weeks and months ahead, please continue to stay connected to others – reach out if you need help.  Reach out if you know someone is alone or needs a kind word.  It will make both of you feel better.

Resources from BC Government

Website https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/mental-health-support-in-bc

We are stronger together… a forest of trees is connected by a root system and branches that make up its canopy. A tree in a forest can withstand a storm far better than a tree standing on its own. The healthier you are, the better for you and for all of those around you. Reach out to others and find new ways to stay connected. Physical, emotional and mental Self-Care is vital, especially now. Ask for help when you need it, from friends, practitioners and professionals that you trust.

If you want to talk or book a time with me, please send me an email and we can talk about the options available.

Nicolette Eus, CHt nicoletteeus@gmail.com