As I’ve become increasingly aware and sensitive to energy, I have found that times like these can be more difficult to stay grounded in. Fear, worry, grief, anger, amongst other more unsettling emotions are taking hold of people’s energy. These emotions can be transferred and adapted quickly, as uncertainty introduces an inner desire to predict, plan, and combat all that may lie ahead. While these emotions are valid and should not be automatically pushed down, it is important to be aware of where they arise from and whether or not they are your feelings or simply the mirroring of another.
When the pandemic started hitting closer and closer to home, now nearly 3 months ago, my boss started taking surveys over Slack in our team channel to see how everyone was feeling through it all. The responses ranged from “Same as any other day” to “Mildly stressed” to “Straight up panicked”. I found that my responses often varied between the two on the lowest end of the spectrum. Though, on days when I lost myself down a rabbit hole of articles earlier in the day, my response tended to fall a notch higher on the stress scale. I started making note of these observations. From these, I’ve realized my consumption of media along with a few other variables appear to be directly correlated to how I feel on any given day. These are the four activities that are helping me personally stay grounded through these times:
- Get outside (remaining social distanced of course): Whether it’s going for a run, walk, or few moments to take a breath, being outdoors can offer you a break from your current surroundings. By focusing in on the sound of the birds chirping, feeling of the cool breeze on your skin, or observing the way beams of light dance across the early morning sky, you may find a sense of peace from taking the time for these small observations.
- Meditate: 10-20 minutes a day of guided meditation in the morning was my routine prior to all of this, however increasingly I’ve been incorporating an additional 5-10 minutes at night that focuses strictly on my breath. Slowing your thoughts and shifting your awareness can help to reduce anxiety and relax your body.
- Gratitude: Start and end your day with gratitude. Whether you think, write, or say it out loud, the practice will offer the same benefit. When we shift our mindset, our perception of the events and world around us can change. Introducing gratitude can help us to highlight the positives that are still present in our lives.
- Visualization: As I’ve headed into grocery stores more recently (since these are the only places I’ve been outside of my house), I’ve found my chest tightening and heart beat increasing. In advance of being in these spaces where people are increasingly in “fight or flight” mode, I imagine myself surrounded by a veil; one that serves as a protective shield for my own energy. If you’ve never utilized this technique, it can sound a bit far fetched, but it’s been a crucial tool that I have used for several years now and one that has made a noticeable impact on my wellbeing.