3 tips for coping in challenging times
There are a lot of people struggling right now. I’m talking about our neighbours, friends, parents, children. (Yes, there’s also lots of people struggling in faraway places, but for this conversation I’m staying close to home).
The situations that have arisen lately in my circles have brought to light some thoughts and feelings that I feel compelled to share. Also, some tips for how I’m personally dealing with the experiences. I hope this is helpful to anyone out there whose heart is feeling a bit more tender than usual, or who is feeling overwhelmed with the desire to help others but a simultaneous feeling of helplessness.
- Gratitude, Appreciation & Love
I have realized amidst supporting several friends over the past couple weeks, how very much I have to be grateful for. This is very very very humbling. I am incredibly blessed. Is it luck? Is it positive vibrations? Is it conscious creation? I don’t know … I guess I’ve been through my fair share of rough times, too. It’s tough; I guess no matter where we are at, we have to take responsibility for our circumstances in life (as one wise friend pointed out, and I agree). So I will take responsibility for the life I have created. 1000%. I am taking a good long moment to acknowledge ALL of the blessings in my life. This comes on the heels of my first experience with Heart Math recently; a modality which encourages conscious attention on the three emotions above (gratitude, appreciation, and love) as a way to create a state of “coherence” where things flow better. Amidst the chaos ‘out there’ we can all benefit from taking a few moments to focus on these three things and dropping into our hearts.
2. Feel the feelings, and channel that into constructive action
I’ve noticed anger and frustration rising in me when I hear of the injustices of our systems. Single parents struggling. Friends in dire financial straits. People sick and tired of the grind. People struggling with mysterious health issues. People generally struggling to cope with life. This whole human experience is tough! At least at times. Negative emotions are not a place I like to dwell, but they can provide motivation to take action.
3. Put your own oxygen mask on first
I am becoming more and more present to the need for us to take care of each other, especially when we live in different cities than our extended families (our ‘built-in’ support system). However, it is also critically important, if we are to be truly supportive to others, to take care of ourselves first. We must put our own oxygen masks on before we dive head first into saving the world. How many people do you know who are so caring, so generous, so heart-centred, so purpose-driven… That they are completely depleted and burnt out? This doesn’t serve the world.
So, how am I taking care of myself so that I CAN be of service to others?
There are many factors… I’ll throw a list down here, in no particular order.
- Meditating every morning, including the heart coherence technique I just learned, and asking for support from Spirit (10-15 mins is all it takes!)
- Nourishing myself with the highest quality food, superfoods, and supplements (physical well being is top priority)
- Getting enough sleep (7.5 hours seems to be good for me in the summer months, with maybe one night of per week of 8.5 hours sleep).
- Doing things that bring me joy (dance breaks, spending time with positive people, sharing food, movement, nature etc)
- Being thoughtful and careful how much time, energy, or money I invest in a given situation; I need to make sure my own needs are still met
- Not over-committing myself – knowing that what I am contributing is enough.
- I have also set myself up to have a non-transactional source of income, which means my income is not determined by how many hours I work, which frees up my time to be of service. I could not do what I am currently doing to support others if I was working a traditional job.
If your heart is hurting over wanting to help others, and not feeling like your own tank is full, lets have a chat. Getting yourself supported will allow you to support others. Rock on, my caring and compassionate friends!