Like most us I have been feeling a lot more anxious than usual, having difficulty concentrating and even had a ‘COVID cry’. I’ve also noticed I’ve been hyper-vigilant towards my health and obtaining all the information possible about how to stay healthy and protect myself and my loved ones from getting COVID19. Sound familiar?
My mind went into a bit of a spin last week as I was constantly checking for updates in the media: what do we need to do, what are we allowed to do, how fast is this spreading, will we have a job tomorrow, will there be help, how long will this last, how do I stay immune-strong, what is my new daily routine now, is my family safe????? An internal tail spin.
After some sorely needed reflection-time I realised that what I really needed to do is SLOW DOWN, take a real breath (not a shallow upper chest gasp) and remember that anxiety, stress and speediness/hurry/rushing is one of the most depleting things we can do for our digestion, for our immune system, for our physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
I find it useful to pause for a moment to remember all the great things we are ALREADY doing or that we can easily do for our health. Instead of stressing and being hyper-vigilant about buying and doing ‘all the things’, let’s just take it down a notch, breathe, take a mindful moment, and acknowledge that regaining our sanity and ‘calming down’ will have an enormous beneficial effect on our wellbeing, our digestion and our immune strength.
Remember that if you are reading this, you probably are already eating pretty well, exercising when you can, going to bed as early as you can and drinking lots of warm/hot liquids. Really acknowledge that these things are supporting you right now. Give yourself a high five for these things! Feel a reduction in the emotional weight you are carrying that these realisations bring.
So want I really want to share is: We’ve got this! You’ve got this!
Here is one of the great, simple medicines that can truly support us and reduce stress during this anxious time of unprecedented flux and emotional chaos. We really can make our best efforts to calm down our nervous systems, slow down that ‘fight or flight’ response so we can get more of that ‘rest and digest’ activity. Set a regular reminder to take a mindful moment:
- Take some time whenever you notice your mind or body racing to just stop.
- Step out of the whirl.
- Do what you can to feel good now. Maybe it’s sitting in the sun and breathing for just 5 minutes, maybe it’s a mindful walk around the block, maybe it’s taking a bath with a candle (highly recommended!), maybe it’s looking out the window at the bird sitting in the tree outside and really seeing it, maybe it’s engaging with your pet, or maybe it’s a short yoga, yoga nidra or meditation practice.
- Take some deep breaths, proper deep breaths, for 5 minutes. Reconnect with yourself and feel the slowing down on every level of your being. Sit on the floor with a straight back and imagine your spine as a strong tree, its roots extending down through the earth and branches reaching tall from the top of your head to the sky, connected and supported.
- Take a ‘media fast’ for the afternoon or evening, or just turn off the news for a day.
- Remember a few things that you feel truly grateful for today.
If you feel that hyper-vigilance or anxiety resurfacing, just tell it: “I am eating well, I am drinking plenty of hot liquids, I am doing some exercise, I am getting to bed as early as I can, I am taking time to slow down with some mindful moments. I’ve got this!”
… and if you’re like me, you’re periodically closing that laptop shut, walking away, putting on the kettle, making an ORGANIC INDIA stress-reducing Tulsi Tea and sitting down to breathe and mindfully sip the goodness. Really feel the goodness of the herbs being absorbed into your body. These adaptogenic herbal teas were made for these times; they literally help you adapt to stress. This Ayurvedic wisdom is a gift from nature and is truly coming into its own right now. We’ve got this my friends!