I like many of you have been watching the world news and seeing the many changes that COVID-19 has brought into our path. Many of you may be home with your kids whose school was cancelled, or maybe you are working from home, or your work schedule or expectations have changed.
It is a time of uncertainty and unknown. Changes are difficult for us. Whenever we have something unknown our anxious mind grabs onto it like velcro and won’t let go. Our survival instinct (fight, flight, or freeze) is there to help us and protect us if we need to get out of dangerous situation. So our brain has a negativity bias trying to scan for anything that could hurt, wound, or cause us problems.
I understand the seriousness of this pandemic and see that our leaders have made the necessary adjustments to keep us safe and healthy. I also see how anxiety, stress, and being reactive can worsen the situation and negatively impact our mental health. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can step back and respond. We can be smart, safe, and conscientious without being thrown into reactivity.
Mindfulness helps us learn to respond rather than react. We can take in our environment and whatever is happening and simply “notice.” We can notice what emotions we are experiencing (anger, sadness, fear), notice what body sensations we feel (tightness, tension, tingling), and what our thoughts are (“I can’t do this, when will this end?) without getting caught up in them. Anxiety feeds on the “what ifs” and making a scary story out of our experience. I have worked with anxiety as a companion for most of my life. There is such freedom when it is no longer personal. When you can say hello to “anxiety” and know it’s there without the continued stories. When you respond rather than react you can feel more capable, calm, and relaxed and be able to go out and do good in the world.
I would love to help anyone who is struggling with anxiety in any form so I am attaching some Mindfulness practices I have found helpful along with my “5 Steps to Calm the Anxious Mind” PDF. These can be used with children and adults.
Please use them and share them so that we may all be able to meet this challenge with wisdom, peace, and mindfulness.
If you feel like you are struggling and need to talk to someone I will be hosting zoom counseling/coaching sessions Wednesday and Friday and would love to help you.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and support.