During tumultuous times like these, it's easy to feel like you're spinning out of control, disorientated, and ungrounded, like you're on a cosmic rollercoaster ride with no end in sight.
This is when a few simple tactics can be incredibly helpful for reconnecting to your source, your soul, your spirit, the universe, God, your faith, your connection to all. No matter what you call it, it's there waiting for you to reconnect, and once you do, your stress will melt away.
Perhaps you already know and practice these tactics, in that case, this will serve as a timely reminder of why they are still helpful in case you've forgotten.
If you don't currently have any stress-reducing strategies, these 5 simple ideas can help you to stay calm, grounded, and connected during times of stress, especially when life feels out of control:
Be grateful even on (especially on) hard days.
Gratitude is one of the best ways to relax, increase your happiness quotient, and reconnect to your true essence. It only takes a few minutes each day to write down your gratitude list, and once you make it a habit, you'll discover more to be grateful for, even on the most challenging of days. Remind yourself that trials and tribulations contribute to your evolution, and gratitude is how we can lessen the struggle.
Can't seem to muster gratitude these days? Then start by writing down the situation you're not happy about (like being stuck inside for so long) and flip it. Take the perspective that these obstacles and upsets are showing up for your own good. Write in your journal how grateful you are for them (yes, even if you're not completely feeling it completely). Do this daily and be amazed at the positive and calming effects it brings.
Take walks in nature.
Simply being outside in a natural place – one far from the hustle and bustle of modern life and media reporting – naturally calms and provides you with the quiet and stillness essential to reconnect with yourself.
Find a nature trail nearby and spend time there. Take in the greenery as if you could breathe in its health and vibrancy. Notice the flora and fauna thriving around you. Let this be your sacred place, where you go to reflect and contemplate and reconnect. This will help you attune to nature's rhythms and tune in and remember your true essence.
Don't have any greenery nearby? Create a "garden space" in your home that you inhabit with plants. Or how about a fish tank, known for its relaxing effects? If nothing else, you always have the day or night sky to look up into, drinking in its spacious wonders.
- Attune yourself to pets or other animals.
We all inherently know the power of an unconditionally loving pet. If you're blessed enough to have a pet (and you're stuck at home like most of us), take some extra time to groom, pet or play with them each day. It's a simple technique to cultivate present moment awareness.
Don't have a pet? That's okay. Get outside (critically important during this time) and find wildlife to enjoy. Every creature on this planet holds its own beautiful and magical mysteries. Find a bird or butterfly to observe. Use it as a mindfulness practice and observe them with total presence. Imagine what it would be like to always do your daily activities with this sense of presence and non-judgment. It's a powerful practice to cultivate calm and connection.
- Reflect in your journal daily.
During times like these, your thoughts can seem like a freight train running perilously out of control. So much to think about -- to worry about! Journaling can still those frantic voices in your head and connect you to your inner self like no other practice.
The best time to journal is first thing in the morning, to set yourself up for the day ahead, and at the end of your day, the optimal time to reflect and unwind. Journalling is your time – when you can get all your thoughts and emotions out of your body and mind and onto paper. Dare to ask for advice, wish uncontrollably and purge truthfully. This is your no holds barred "anything goes" outlet!
When you write, you bring through and connect to your inner voice or intuition. Being able to express that inner voice and connect to your intuition and how you truly feel is healing, restorative, and essential for growth. The more you practice, the more you'll hear it.
- Meditation for Elevation
Meditation is one of the absolute best practices you can do to nourish all parts of yourself—mind, body, and spirit — and elevate yourself above the noise. Its health benefits go way beyond just the physical, and even into the realms of mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
A regular meditation practice gradually moves us from seeing ourselves as a small and limited to an empowered and connected Self, one that's expansive and totally plugged into the powerful rhythms of nature and the universe. In this state of expansion lies heartfelt compassion and true wisdom. Meditation helps us live from this place on a daily basis. And at this time, plugging into our true wisdom is an essential practice.
Perhaps never before has our spirits been more challenged. And never before have we had the such an opportunity to step up and be there, wholly in the moment, building our resilience. Take these ideas and use them to create calm amidst the storm and stay connected to what you know is true.