Activating Self-Care for Change in 2020
Updated: Aug 13, 2020
This image is touching, isn't it? I first saw it on Facebook some time ago, and was taken by the warmth, comfort and deep connection it portrays. The COVID-19 pandemic has driven all of us to our knees, in grief, worry, and fear of the unknown chapters that are yet to come, and our need for comfort, companionship, reassurance, resolution. I have adapted one of my posts from 2016, when times were tense, a time when we could already begin to feel that we were headed down a potentially dangerous path.
Choosing Clarity vs. Chaos~
The world as most of us have known it, has turned upside down, leaving many feeling vulnerable, powerless, and disconnected from resources and answers. Ripples of shock have many not knowing what to do with their inner reactions. In these times of great collective distress, the nervous system shifts into fight or flight mode. Memory lapses, inability to focus, waves of tears, high levels of irritability, and hopelessness interfere with clarity, grounding and our ability to make attentive and thoughtful decisions. Reaching out to friends and loved ones, walking in nature, and creative, mind expanding forms of personal engagement are becoming the stand-by tools for adapting to a global crisis that requires all of us to work this out together.
What other personal self-care practices are effective for cultivating resilience and building "en-courage-ment" in times of sheltering at home? Here are a few you may have or might consider in the days to come....
Work with the energies of the physical elements to clear your energy field–air, fire, earth, water: *Take a 20 minute walk in the wind, the rain, the falling snow. *Sit in the warmth of the sun and and bake away all the cares you are ready to shed. *Soak in a sea salt bath or simply shower, seeing and feeling your physical and emotional tensions dissolving and floating down the drain. *Stand barefooted on the Earth, exhale tension, breathe in peace and calm. *Walk in the energy of the night sky or moon light to help restore your own personal rhythms. *Use the energy of movement to keep you strong and fit through exercise–run, walk, yoga, dance. Zumba, anyone?Many gentle work out offerings are now available online.
Plant Medicines~ Herbs, oil blends and flower essences are excellent tools for strengthening the immune system, lessening stress, and helping re-set a positive energy within your nervous system. Drops of sage, citronella, rosemary, juniper, cedar, frankincense, tea tree, lemon grass, or lavender, can be added to water with a touch of alcohol can be sprayed to clear your space and personal energy field. Soul Support (Alaska Flower Essence Project), and other plant and earth essences are particularly effective for helping restore calm and stability in difficult or traumatic times. Plant remedies are a valuable source for returning harmony, resilience, and inner peace on all levels.
Bring out the creative tools~ journal and write, work on a jig-saw puzzle with family members, clear your space for art with collage and other mixed media materials. Block out some time to immerse yourself in focused play activity. Pay attention to your breathing, the flow of your emotions and the gratitude your body feels for offering this time of relaxed relief. Find a creative outlet that speaks to you: cooking, sewing, writing, doodling. Lego anyone? The internet is filled with ideas for your creative expression.
Prepare yourself for Change~ by far, this is the most important element for each of us to ponder. The world as we have known it will never be the same. And this is exactly what is needed. Our time of collective slowing down and staying in place offers us the tremendous gift of Pause. We have time and space to reflect, remember, and re-connect with what is important to us~what needs to be discarded and what needs to be re-fashioned from scratch. Our environment is suffering desperately as are all the creatures who live upon our beloved Earth. It is time to personally and collectively get clear on how we wish to experience life moving forward, and then wisely and responsibly step up to bring it into being. Together, as a collective. We are being given the gift of The Great Awakening, the opportunity to co-create a world of beauty, peace and harmony.