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These are my all-time favorite simple, easy to do practices and tools you can apply today to help yourself through difficult times.
I will keep adding and updating these over time and I hope that you will find something that supports you – by reconnecting you to your inner wisdom.
Please share anything you discover that is helpful so that I can add it to this list. I’d love to hear from you. Sharing is caring (and thank you to those who have already shared).
Remember, you don’t have to do it all. Just choose one or two things that seem manageable – and start giving yourself some TLC. Even just sticking to one of these practices can make a huge difference.
Start by asking yourself:
- WHAT AM I FEELING?
- WHY AM I FEELING THIS WAY?
- WHAT DO I WANT TO DO ABOUT THIS?
- Ground yourself. Try a lovely 20 minute guided meditation which invites you to imagine yourself becoming a tree, anchoring yourself into the supportive, loving Earth. Why not try a chakra cleanse?
- Spend time in nature, take a forest bath or at least barefoot walk on the Earth. If you’re in lockdown and unable to get outside, try one of these 20 free beautiful guided visualizations set in nature. Your mind does not know the difference between reality and imagination/thought.
- Sit in the sun for 20 minutes a day for your daily dose of Vitamin D.
- BREATHE. Just breathe deeply into your stomach – at least three times. Try some breathing exercises for anxiety. Try the very powerful WimHoff breathing method.
- Listen to some calming Solfeggio frequency infused music. I have something playing in the background all day long.
- Be creative. Draw, dance, craft, knit, crochet, … It is a very effective way to switch off your fight or flight mode and to relax, be playful, and use the right hemisphere of your brain, which is so much more expansive. If you don’t see yourself as creative, try coloring in mandalas. Here are some downloadable a templates.
- Soothe yourself. Take a relaxing bath or try using the ancient wisdom of Eastern energy healing medicine called Jin Shin Jyutsu. Simply by holding your thumb with the fingers of your other hand, you can quickly reduce the intensity of any emotion (follow link for instructions).
- Meditate. Beginner? There are many helpful apps to get to started – like for example, Headspace, etc. You may also find some tips to overcome any ‘yes, but’s’ you may encounter here.
- Move your body. Walk, run- and if you can’t get outside, dance to your favorite uplifting music, stretch, yoga. There are also many 30 minute functional, no equipment exercise routines available on YouTube. I personally love doing Qigong in my PJs which also helps to ground and centre me.
- Read or listen to something inspiring – a podcast, a book, … Enjoy exploring. I personally love On Being (podcast) and Brain Pickings (blog) and anything by Dr Joe Dispenza and Pema Chondron (YouTube). This is the perfect time to explore what resonates with you.
- Learn more about something you are curious about. There are many different, affordable online courses available. Udemy is a great start for affordable on-demand courses.
- Journal. Try Julia Cameron’s “Morning pages” as a way to clear your mind from the clutter of thoughts, the broken record that’s playing over and over again in your mind.
- Keep it light. Have some fun. Laugh. Watch a comedy, laugh with yourself. I recommend followinganything light like kittens and puppies and pictures of nature on social media rather than news, particularly fake news. I am keeping it very light and all I can watch is the Netflix animation Dragon Prince, which is filled with delightful magic and goodness.
If you’re feeling lonely:
- Learn more about this thing, ‘loneliness’. From a Buddhist perspective, read about the 6 types of loneliness, by Peme Chodron.
- Routine and structure. Structure will help you feel more contained. Start your day focusing on your non-negotiable self care tasks. Set a goal for this period of lockdown (e.g. learning a new skill) and work towards this goal. Plan your days. Here are more tips.
- Reach out. Connect with someone. They may also need the interaction. Join an online forum or group aligned with your interests.
- Start a gratitude practice. Write down 10 things you are grateful for today. Repeat daily.
- Make a difference. Remember that we are all interconnected. There is so much you can do, even in lockdown. Physically, you can donate your time, goods, food, money. Join a Community Action Network (CAN) or other groups like Cape Town Together to start working together as a rapid community response to COVID-19. Energetically and spiritually, you can focus on change by joining an online group meditation, like the HeartMath Institute’s Global Coherence Initiative, “an international effort that seeks to help activate the heart of humanity and promote peace, harmony and a shift in global consciousness. GCI conducts groundbreaking research on the interconnection between humanity and Earth’s magnetic fields and energetic systems.”
“We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.” Nelson Mandela
- Connect to hope and your inner resilience by joining the free 21 day meditation offered by Oprah and Deepak Chopra: Finding Hope in Uncertain Times.
- Tidy up your home, office, etc and find what sparks your joy.
- Find your courage and inspiration. Watch Brene Brown’s Netflix documentary: Call to Courage.
Perhaps you could benefit from one-on-one coaching support? Please feel free to contact me to set up a 15 minute free discovery chat. I will be able to give you some immediate support, see if further coaching is something that could help you, or what your next step could be. In addition, during the South African COVID-19 lockdown period I am offering coaching sessions at discounted rates.
In an emergency, please contact the crisis/suicide/helplines.
If you’re thinking about hurting yourself please contact your local crisis support. You are not alone. Talk to someone.