Practices that can provide calm and peace
After a loss, one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is to build our resiliency skills in order to stay emotionally and mentally well. During difficult times, fear may lead us into a worry loop and we may lose our sense of purpose and meaning. Here are some practices that may bring you comfort during this time of uncertainty.
Back to Basics – In times of stress, nutrition, water and rest help our bodies and brains remain healthy and strong. Drink lots of water, eat healthy meals (with the occasional treat) and try to regularly get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Developing healthy routines supports our nervous system in staying as grounded as possible.
Move – When stressed and anxious, our bodies are braced for protection. Our mind and body are interconnected so movement supports our physical, emotional, and mental health, and can help alleviate tension. Rhythmic moving such as walking, running, stretching, or yoga help with emotional regulation and stress reduction. Find some form of movement that you enjoy!
Breathe –By slowing, lengthening and deepening our breathing we can reduce stress and help to regulate our emotions. Practice by breathing in deeply as if you are enjoying the smell of a flower and blow out your breath as though you are blowing bubbles.
Humour and Play – Two of our greatest tools for coping with difficult emotions are humour and play. They have a calming impact on our nervous system. Sharing inspiration or humour on social media can spark joy for ourselves and for others. Playing cards, board games or physical games with our loved ones can also be an excellent distraction and create fun memories.
Manage your attention – At a time like this, information can be empowering. However, it is important that while staying informed we do not help our worries grow. To manage our attention and thoughts, we should choose reliable sources of information and limit our news intake. When taking in overwhelming information we can shift our attention away by taking a shower, going for a walk, or opening a window and breathing in fresh air. Intentionally shifting our focus helps manage our feelings about what is happening in our world.
Connect with self and others – What helps you to connect with yourself? Focus on things that you love such as nature, reading, or spirituality and be compassionate towards yourself. Physical distancing during this pandemic does not mean being socially isolated. Maintain social connections with others through phone and virtual visits. Plan a virtual lunch or game night with your loved ones, express your gratitude to others, and take care of each other.