Never in a million years did I think we would be going through a pandemic. I bet you feel the same way. One week life is normal, we’re making plans for Spring Break and the next week everything gets cancelled, businesses are force to close and we’re in quarantine. I wake up every morning thinking maybe it was just a bad dream, but it’s not.
As a mom of two young children, ages 4 and 7, I am worried and I feel like I’m on a rollercoaster of emotions. Just like probably you are too and this is exactly why I’m writing this post and sharing this information with you. Now, more than ever, it’s important that we stay sane, stable and calm so that we can make smart decisions for our family during these uncertain times.
But, how can you do that when it feels like everything around you is falling apart?
That is exactly what I’m going to cover on this post, but before we jump into it, I want to talk to you about fear.
According to Psychology today, “fear is an emotional response induced by a perceived threat that causes a change in brain and organ function, as well as in behavior. Fear can lead us to hide, to run away, or to freeze in our shoes.”
Fear has its place and has been useful in the history of humanity but fear also has negative effects. When we live in a state of fear, we are living in a state of constant stress, and this lowers our immune system. When we’re in a constant state of fear, we cannot think clearly and we might make the wrong decisions at a time when it’s crucial to make the right decisions. When we’re in a constant state of fear, we cannot listen to our intuition, and given that the future feels uncertain right now, listening to our intuition is an important part of deciphering your next move.
Living in fear might be causing you more harm right now than anything else. And I get it, I have moments in my day where I feel taken over by fear. We are constantly being bombarded by very scary news, by the possibility of our economy collapsing and by the uncertainty of it all. I also think about my children and wonder if it will come to point where it will affect their lives drastically.
We just don’t know.
But here is the thing, life is uncertain. We never know how long we’re going to live, when we will die and there are no guarantees – which is why so many spiritual teachers have talked to us about the importance of living in the present moment, to live in the now, because that is all we truly have. Yet, we somehow create this false sense of security when things are comfortable and fine…
This global situation is just showing us the reality of life, that all we have is the present moment – the now. And that can feel scary but when we don’t know what tomorrow will bring there’s only one thing we can do, and that is to go within…
Your mental health should be your #1 focus right now
There are so many things outside of our control, especially in these times. Which is why we HAVE to take control of our minds. I heard the other day someone saying that our bodies can handle a lot, and recover from a lot of things on their own but our minds are the ones we should worry about because they can take us to a dark place. And to overcome this situation, we cannot be in a dark place.
Keeping your mental sanity in check right now is crucial.
You can be prepared, you can be informed, but not live in a constant state of fear. During a recent podcast episode, James Wedmore compared it to locking our homes at night. We lock our homes every night, because that’s the smart thing to do, because you are informed and prepared, but you don’t go to bed and spend the entire night in fear and wondering if someone is going to break in.
This is what we have to do now, know the facts, be prepared and take care of our mental state so we are not in a constant state of fear.
How to protect your mental health during a quarantine?
Here are 11 things you can do daily to keep yourself out of fear and in the right head space to handle this situation:
Don’t focus only on the bad, scary stuff
I know there is a lot of scary and bad stuff being shared every single day. But placing your focus on it is only going to make you feel worse and unstable. This is the time to be mindful about who you follow on social media, follow people who are inspiring you, who bring you hope, who lead the way and who give you practical advise without instilling fear. Anyone who’s making you feel more scared or unsettled is not someone you want to follow.
Pay attention to your emotions, they will let you know what you should stay away from. Choose things that make you feel better, that make you feel hopeful, and that remind that this too shall pass…
You can stay updated without constantly watching the news and without getting obsessed with what’s going on. Last Monday I spent the whole day reading the news and I thought I was going to have a mental breakdown. Don’t be like me! Do not focus only on the bad stuff.
If you must watch the news or read a news report, take a few deep breaths before you do and acknowledge that what you’re about to do might bring you fear. Remind yourself that nothing is permanent and whatever you are reading now it’s the current situation, not our permanent life situation. Remind yourself you’re doing this to be prepared and smart about things but not go into full blown panic mode because you cannot make smart decisions or keep yourself in optimal health if you’re living in a state of fear.
Practice gratefulness by being present
Although the world around you might feel like it’s collapsing, there are still good things happening in your life. If you start paying close attention to your every moment, you will notice more and more the good things.
Be grateful about that hug your child just gave you, that you can feed your family, that the weather is getting nicer and it’s possible to go outside and stand in the sun for 15 minutes, be grateful that the flowers are blooming and remind us that life is cyclical, be grateful that you have a roof over your head today, be grateful that you are healthy, be grateful that you are smart and you will find a way out of this… there are so many little things in our life to be grateful for and this is the time to start noticing because gratefulness raises your vibration to a higher frequency, it helps you ease the fear.
When you’re feeling down, make an effort to notice the good things and be grateful for them. That can shift you from a place of fear to a place of calm.
Go within with meditation
If you have never meditated, this is the time to start. When you meditate you quiet down your mind, your stress levels lower and your anxiety levels lower. Try to find the time in your day to sit 15 minutes alone, in a quiet space. There’s no one specific way to meditate, do what feels right to you. You can do it while sitting in a quiet room or listening to uplifting music. You can go on YouTube and find a meditation to listen to – I personally love Abraham Hicks and her rampages. You can sit on the grass on your yard and just watch leaves move with the wind, or even go for a run and feel your mind quiet down.
The goal of mediation is to quiet down your mind. At first, you will notice millions of thoughts going through. That’s okay, acknowledge them but don’t get stuck in them. If you find yourself getting stuck in a train of thought, take a deep breath and tell yourself you will deal with it later, right now it’s time to quiet down.
When your mind is quiet, your stress levels also go down, which helps your immune system. Our bodies are either in stress mode or not stressed mode, there’s no in between. For optimal health, you need to keep your body in a non-stressed state, and you can achieve that with meditation.
Meditation doesn’t work if you do it once. The more you do it, the faster your mind learns to quiet down so start doing it daily. I promise you will notice a difference.
Feed your mind with uplifting words
Now-a-days we have books, audiobooks, podcasts and videos on personal and spiritual development. This is the perfect time to start consuming this kind of content. Now, more than ever, we need to remember we are SPIRITUAL beings living a human experience. We can and will turn this situation around, and the ending hasn’t been written, which means what we do right now will make a difference.
The best way to heal our world, to heal our society is to heal yourself. If you work on yourself, and everyone works on themselves, collectively we will change humanity. If this virus has taught us anything, is that we are not operating our society properly. We are not doing things right if entire livelihoods are being threatened by a quarantine.
Start reading or listening to audiobooks that will help you develop as a person and that will help you stay out of a place of fear. They will change your life and the way you see things – and I say this from experience too.
I am sharing daily in my Instagram Stories recommendations on what to read daily to keep yourself in a higher vibration, in a better mental space. And if you don’t know what you should read, shoot me a message on Instagram and we can chat about it there.
Connect with people – online
We are humans, we were made to live in communities and even though it might seem like we do now, we really don’t. Most people live for themselves, most people don’t have support near by to help raise their children, to help each other when the going gets rough. Most people don’t share their goods, think about each other and work as a community. And this pandemic is making us realize just how CONNECTED we all are, how connected the systems are and that the only way of out of this is by collectively joining forces.
So, while we currently cannot be meeting in person with our friends and loved ones, we are lucky to live in a time where we have the internet and we have so many ways to stay connected. Now it’s the time to surround yourself with people who bring you happiness, who make you feel supported, who spark love in your heart.
You never know, maybe after all this has passed, you will rebuild your life alongside these people.
Use tapping to heal deal with the fear and anxiety
I am blessed to have an amazing best friend who’s pretty much like my shrink. Haha! She has a blog on holistic self-care called Dwell in Magic and thanks to her I have fine tuned how to quiet down my mind and how to be still when everything around me feels like it’s crumbling. I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to find someone to talk to during these times. – (we send each other daily messages on WhatsApp).
And so it happened that this good friend introduced me to a technique called tapping, which is a great thing to do when you’re feeling fear or anxiety. You can find a lot of videos on YouTube explaining how to do tapping or download the Tapping Solution app and do one of the exercises there.
I downloaded the app and that’s all I use. The Tapping app comes with instructions on how to tap as well as lots of guided tapping sessions to deal with your emotions. They even have a whole section now on how to deal with everything that’s currently happening.
What I love about tapping is that you first acknowledge your emotions and then work through them. You can find more information on tapping here.
Deep breathing / Mindful breathing
I think most of us don’t realize the tremendous power in breathing, especially deep breathing. There’s a reason why so many mindfulness activities starts with you taking a deep breath.
According to the University of Michigan, medical school: “Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body. Those things that happen when you are stressed, such as increased heart rate, fast breathing, and high blood pressure, all decrease as you breathe deeply to relax.”
Deep breathing is a great way to bring your mind into the present moment and a great technique to do before you do any mindfulness practice but I have also found that it’s great at calming down fear when it creeps up while you’re in the middle of something. Every time I feel a negative emotion come up, especially when I’m busy, I pause briefly to take three deep breaths. I imagine letting those emotions go and imagine my body relaxing.
I usually accompany this deep breathing with a positive affirmation.
Positive affirmations are positive statements that help you overcome or deal with negative emotions. They are statements that you repeat over and over again to help you make positive changes in your life. The purpose of positive affirmations is to replace your negative thoughts or unhelpful thoughts with more positive, useful and impactful thoughts.
Positive affirmations are a great tool to utilize during this pandemic, whether it’s to calm your fear or anxiety, to allow yourself to dream of a better future or to give you back a sense of self-worth and courage to face what’s ahead.
I created a list of 21 Powerful Positive Affirmations to Improve Your Mental Health During a Pandemic. The affirmations on this list are meant to help you deal with this pandemic and all the emotions that are arising because of it. On that same link I’ve added more in more depth as to why affirmations work and how to do them correctly.
We all know sleeping is important but in times where being in optimal health is so important, sleeping enough should become a priority. According to Medical News Today: “Sleep helps the body repair, regenerate, and recover. The immune system is no exception to this relationship. Some research shows how better sleep quality can help the body fight off infection.”
You want to stay healthy? You want your immune system to stay strong? Sleep is a must.
The recommended amount of sleep is 7+ hours per night but my naturopath recommends 8 hours so that’s what I’m aiming for now.
Stay active by doing something fun
Laying on a couch all day thinking about what’s happening is a sure way to fall into depression and raise your stress levels. Now is the time to try new activities and discover new things you like. There are lots of videos on YouTube and free resources online, so if you ever wanted to learn how to dance, start working out, do yoga, or any other physical activity, now is a great time to start.
I personally started doing Zumba with my family in the comfort of my living room and let me tell you, it’s been hilarious! I also started jogging for 30-60 minutes daily and I’m really loving it! It gives me a little break from taking care of the kids all day, allows me to quiet down my mind, enjoy the beautiful flowers and trees blooming while keeping myself away from people.
Find something that sounds like fun, and helps you stay active and stick to doing it daily. Once you get bored, move into something else but don’t forget to stay active even if you’re indoors, because this too helps you stay healthy.
Get some fresh air and sunshine
Mother Nature is healer. Letting yourself go and immerse in nature has similar benefits to meditation and it helps to calm you down. But recently, I ran across this very article about the 1918 Influenza Pandemic and the health benefits to breathing fresh air and getting sunlight (Vitamin D) every day and because if it, we have instilled a new rule in our home that everyone has to be spend, at least, 20 minutes under the sun.
We have a yard and we still can go out walks so it’s easy to accomplish this, but if you’re stuck at home, don’t forget how important fresh air and Vitamin D are for your health. Stand by a window, breathe some fresh air and feel the sunshine! You can even do your meditation then – all at the same time.
Also, remember to open your windows and let fresh air circulate around your home!
Focus on a better world
No matter what’s going on in our lives, there’s always some good and some bad. And while we cannot control what happens to us or what happens around us, we can control what we focus on and how he react to things.
Know the facts, know what’s happening and then visualize the outcome that you want. We live in a world of universal laws and one of those laws I’m a strong believer in is the law of the attraction, which says, whatever you focus on the most, will become part of your reality.
So now, more than ever, it’s time to focus on the good. It’s time to focus on a good outcome, one that benefits us all. We are all humans, sharing one world.
The other day I found this quote on social media and I read it every time I need to remind myself I should be focusing on a good outcome.
“And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply.
Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.”
Be the light in a dark tunnel
Friends, this is your time to step up. We are all scared, unsure and wondering what will happen. We need leaders, we need more light, we need more kindness, we need more love in our society and for our planet.
All those thoughts and feelings you are having, are being felt and thought by others, too. Think about how you feel, think about what you need because most likely others need it too and you could be that source for them.
On my worst moments, I turn to my best friend, and she helps me see the light. On her dark moments, I sure hope I do the same for her. Be that person for someone and find a person like that for you. You are NOT alone! (and if you feel like you are, I am here, shoot me a message on Instagram, I will reply)
You don’t have to be happy and hopeful all the time, it’s okay to feel scared at times but it’s important not to dwell on the fear and recognize it as soon as it creeps up so you can stop it from taking over.
Now is the time to bring the light inside of you and let it shine. Spread light. Spread love. This is what our world needs the most.
One day, we will look back at this and understand why all this went down.
Sending you love and light,