How are you?
I’ve found it hard to think, read, sleep and even talk sometimes the past few days. For those of us with trauma histories, the current situation is pushing all our buttons. Why? Because trauma once threatened our sense of safety and control in the world, and now, it’s happening all over again. I’m not a fan of this situation but all my years of overcoming have taught me a few things.
Just know, if you’re feeling anxious, angry, spaced out, shut down, numb, distracted or hypervigillent, it’s completely normal and you’re not alone. What’s hypervigillent? It means cleaning your house a thousand times, spraying mail with Lysol (I did that), washing your hands if someone coughs on t.v, buying toilet paper with a forklift, that kind of stuff. Again, it’s completely normal, given the circumstances.
In light of all hell breaking loose, I wanted to share five helpful tips from my personal treasure trove of staying sane:
Try this right now: take a deep breath as you count to ten. Hold your breath as you count to seven. Release your breath, out from your mouth, as you forget what numbers are. And again, breathe in, …hold…breathe out. And again…
Benefits: oxygen, activating your parasympathetic nervous system, boosting immunity, stopping the flow of cortisol (a nasty stress hormone); basically chilling you out.
If you’ve never had an established a routine, now is a great time to start one. Routines help us feel safe by building trust with ourselves. For instance, every morning I start the day with a devotion, followed by dream journaling, a cup of decaf coffee (cause who needs stimulants these days?), a B vitamin and half a liter of water. I know. I’m so old and boring but it feels good to show up for myself, even in the smallest of ways. Eventually, I take a shower, workout, take another shower and finish the day with some chocolate. Hurrah.
You get decide the ingredients in your routine. Maybe every day at 4 o’clock you eat a hot pepper and do the chicken dance. It’s your world.
This is a fantastic time to set boundaries with the world. Just say no to the news, t.v, negative social media, traveling salesmen (sorry, nope!), phone calls from that one relative who freaks out over everything.
We all react or respond to adversity in different ways. It’s helpful to know we can choose to not panic.
Mentally, physically, spiritually and energetically block out all the panic. You could probably build a fort made of toilet paper to block the bad vibes. Just be sure to roll it all back up when you’re done. Some people bought a lot, so you might need it.
4. Mental Vacation
Meditation isn’t just for weirdos who rub their hairy armpits with amber resin in lieu of normal deodorant. (Hi. That was me during my ‘feral’ phase. It’s a long story.)
If you’re stuck inside and looking for something to do besides freak out over your dwindling supply of Oreo’s, kale powder, marshmallow Peeps or sanity, check out some of my favorite, free! guided meditations.
Clear you chakras:
Sleep under the stars:
Crawl into a cave of serenity:
Chillax with the Word:
And, my all time favorite, sit on the earth with Buddha and Jesus and wrap the universe in a glowing ball of light and love:
If you have any favorite guided meditations, feel free to leave them in the comments.
Love always protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres. It’s the greatest.-Word
Love who you are right now. Love who you’re with right now? Love what you have right now. Love as much as you can, right now.
I don’t know what else to say, except my husband has a serious health condition (his kidneys are broken-he said it was ok to tell you that.), our dog had a biopsy last Saturday (this sucks), my grown up job is stressful and the world is having some kind of pyschospiritual seizure, but I will keep choosing love. That’s how I made it this far. I’m sure you’ve got your own list of wtf’s. Instead of letting all the wtf’s take over and ruin everything, I gently suggest finding something or someone to love.
Maybe you found a bonus Cheeto between your side bum and the couch. Maybe you just got approved to work from home for the next two weeks. Maybe you’re wearing your favorite pajamas tonight. Maybe it’s not snowing where you live. Maybe a friend sent you a hilarious meme today and you laughed so hard you burned at least twenty calories. Maybe you have a bed. Aren’t beds the greatest? Having my very own, real, off the floor bed, with pillows and the whole deal, still gives me all the feels. Whatever it is, no matter how big or small it seems, love it.
Love you. Take extra good care. Everything’s gonna be ok. xo