Self care during stressful times

For Physical and Emotional Wellbeing

So, until we can get back to business as usual, what can we do to combat stress, anxiety and depression? One of the first things that can be done is to put limits on watching news. Yes, it’s extremely important to stay informed. We should, by all means, be staying on top of the news, as things are changing rapidly. But there is really no need to spend the entire day being bombarded by constant doom and gloom. It fuels fear, anxiety and depression. Stay informed, but take breaks from all of it.

Interaction can still take place, thanks to technology. Phone conversations, emails and texts, facetime, positive social media (stay away from those negative posts!), or video conference platforms such as Zoom or Go To Meeting, which allow the opportunity for groups to get together for virtual meetings or classes. Just this past Saturday I attended Satsang at Integral Yoga Institute in New York from the comfort of my own home. It was inspiring to get together with like-minded people to share our thoughts and feelings. It doesn’t change the situation at hand, but offers a level of support that is somehow reassuring. I’m involved in a writing group that will be meeting twice a week -- again from the comfort of my home with my beloved cat by my side. Pets can be such a source of solace. They have no stress, since they have no idea what’s going on; and in fact they are happier and more content than ever because they have their human by their side far more than usual!

The practice of yoga and meditation cannot be underestimated at a time like this. We all have within us a place of peace, stillness and balance. Accessing that place can sustain us during these tumultuous times. When our minds are busy and focused on fear and worry, we cannot access the peace and stability of our soul nature. Take time to quiet the mind, even 10 minutes a day of meditation has the power to create positive change. The benefits of yoga practice on physical and mental health are profound and will calm and center the nervous system, which is beneficial on a “normal” day, but invaluable at times like this. With that in mind, I am sharing a link to free audio versions of a few of my classes and guided visualizations. I encourage you to maintain your yoga and meditation practice to stay strong and calm; it will restore your nervous system and thereby boost immunity!

In closing, I’ll share my own personal list of things to do during this time of social distancing. Determined to make this a productive time, I am staying busy making healthy home-cooked meals, fresh baked life-changing bread, writing, cleaning out files, drawers, closets, boxes of photos and journals, getting fresh air daily and of course practicing yoga and meditation. It seems that I have far more on my list of things to do than I have time for, even during this period of isolation. So, I’ll take it one step at a time, with the goal of having my entire life in complete order by the time this is over. I wish the same for you!

Please stay safe and healthy!