Life can be busy and very blurry sometimes with the hectic pace many of us take. But sometimes, we are stopped in our tracks by something huge, tough and scary.
It might be a death of a loved one or the death of a relationship. It could be the loss of a job or maybe a dream seeming to fall apart.
During these crisis times, we can forget how to take care of ourselves, just when it is crucial that we do. We may turn to other forms of relief and they may bring destruction. We’re at a fragile point and something may have to give.
During these times it is best if we focus on the essentials, without putting too much pressure on ourselves. This will help us to keep our wits about us so that we can stabilize, make decisions and eventually take baby steps forward.
I divided these essentials into three well-known categories: mind, body and spirit.
Let’s start with the mind. Crisis can mean crazy for some and for others crisis can drop things to a primal level where what is truly important emerges. Focusing our minds, quiets the noise of the “what could have beens” or the “I should haves.”
Using affirmations or focus mantras (they are one in the same) can help focus and calm our minds and re-organize our nervous systems.
Usually I suggest repeating affirmations at three intervals during the day, morning, noon and night. I also say it is good to attach it to a behavior that you already do on a regular basis, like brushing your teeth.
But, in crisis time, this is too much to remember. Just write your affirmation down on sticky notes and post them around your world. On the bathroom mirror, inside the refrigerator, in your lunch. Or, set the mantra as a reminder that pops up on your phone.
If you notice yourself slipping into the mind games of “what could have been” or negative self-talk, you can repeat the affirmation to yourself too, it will help to refocus and calm your mind.
Pairing up repeating the affirmations or mantras with deep breathing never fails to lift my spirits and clear my mind at least a little bit.
Writing your own affirmations is awesome and useful, of course, but you may not want to dedicate the brain power to developing one, so here are some to choose from that you can start with.
I am willing to love myself unconditionally.
I am willing to heal.
I honor my wounds with love.
I look for solutions.
All of my solutions are coming to me now.
And if you’d like some more affirmations, check out this from Louise Hay, one of my favorite teachers.
Adding Instead of Subtracting
When a crisis hits, we may not be able to even figure out what we should eat, it takes too much brain power.
Comfort food may be a siren call that offers relief, brief though it may be. And, I contend that this isn’t the time to try to have perfect nutrition and put pressure on yourself about losing weight, even if it is a goal you have been working on. That may add more pressure, and that’s not what we are after in this emergency situation.
So, my suggestion is to focus on adding in more healthy foods like fruits and vegetables and drinking more water and not to concentrate on taking away foods.
Get Some Fresh Air
Going outside for a walk, whether it is on a city sidewalk or on a nature path can be a soothing elixir for both the body and soul.
In my times of crisis, sometimes I just wanted to run as fast as I could, as if I could escape for a few minutes. There were other times though, when I didn’t have the energy to run or even walk, but it felt good to just sit or lie down in the sun for a few moments of stillness.
Sleep can be elusive in a crisis. But, getting physical rest is paramount in our healing and recovery from our grief, so it is worthwhile to put some effort here.
I recommend setting up a sleep routine and sticking to it as much as possible. Figure out how much sleep usually works best for you and how much time you need to get ready for bed.
Set a time when you need to start getting ready for sleeping, then stick to it and go through the motions. Your body does get used to the process.
There are some great apps like the Insight Timer that offer soothing guided meditations and music. Have those ready and then you can just press the buttons if necessary. I like to use headphones when I don’t want to disturb anyone.
Doing something that helps to connect with your spirit is my advice here. And, this is different for everyone; I’ve found that many people have various ways of connecting with their souls that works best for them.
At times in my life, journaling has been helpful, sometimes it is listening to high vibe music and still other times it is looking at beautiful nature photographs or snuggling with my dogs.
Here is a new one that I like, lighting a compassion candle for yourself. It sets the intention for being loving and compassionate with yourself while you watch the pool of light flicker.
This one is a sure fire way to boost my spirits and often times in a crisis they need boosting. There are so many ways to play the gratitude game and be grateful for every moment.
Make a long list, make a short list, think of one thing and 5 reasons why you are grateful for it, take pictures of the things you are grateful for and then look back through them.
During a crisis, you may need to go really basic and be thankful for deep breaths, your fingernails, clean water to drink or the last meal you ate.
Another comforting thought to me is what my mom often said, “this too, shall pass.” Time does help heal our wounds, thinking of the time to come when you will feel more settled and at peace is a blessing in its self.
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I was a school teacher for 20 years and am a lifetime soul learner. I am still a teacher, just a different curriculum.