Hi – I hope you are all healthy and well. As we’ve collectively limited our interactions with others recently, I’ve thought about the many people who have touched my coaching practice over the years whether as clients, mentors or colleagues. While we may not connect often, each of you has impacted my life in an unique and meaningful way. For that, I’m deeply grateful and am sending you love, light, resilience and growth during this global pandemic.
Below is an article with a few simple ways to take care of ourselves. And given all the upheaval in the world today, I’ve opened-up my coaching practice to new clients. Email me if you or someone you know could benefit from phone/video coaching.
Be well, Amber
Taking Time to Take Care
After talking with clients, friends and family, I wanted to share a few simple ways to take care of yourself during these stressful times. Pick and choose what works best for you and adapt as needed.
1. Be Kind to Yourself:
- Allow yourself to feel all your feelings – including the pleasant, the difficult, the uncomfortable, and the ugly; it’s okay, we’re all having good and bad days right now
- Notice when you are holding yourself up against some perfectionist ideal that has you feeling like you’re falling short (whether it’s related to job loss/ job insecurity, working from home, homeschooling, etc.); allow yourself a little breathing room
- Instead of beating yourself up, try on the perspective of “good is good enough,” you’ll be surprised how often that’s exactly what’s called for
- Kindness towards yourself will naturally lead to kindness towards others; there’s never been a more apt time for appealing to the “better angels of our nature”
2. Focus on What’s in Your Control vs. What’s Out of Your Control:
- Make a list of what’s in your control vs. what’s out of your control; focus on what you can influence, let go of what you can’t
- Examples of things that are in your control: taking care of yourself; setting boundaries with others; adopting a mindset that serves you; telling loved ones how you feel
- Examples of things that are out of your control: other peoples’ words, actions or thoughts; family illness, the stock market, other people ignoring health directives
- Notice when your mind wanders to the many scary things that are currently out of your control, take a deep breath (or 500) and refocus on what’s in your control
3. Create Meaningful Social Connection:
- Reach out to immediate family, friends, roommates, extended family, colleagues and/or neighbors via phone, video conference, text, email; they need you as much as you need them
- If you’re on video conference overload, change up the start of the meeting to allow for some personal interaction. Ask questions about what people are doing for dinner or watching on TV. Ask if anyone can recommend a good book or an easy to bake dessert. Most people want to share what they’re currently experiencing and you might end up with a much different – and better – video meeting.
- Or, try an old-fashioned phone call. Without visual distractions, the phone can allow for more vulnerability, more presence and deeper connection. I often notice these benefits in phone sessions with clients.
4. Get (Outside) Exercise:
- If it’s still allowed in your region, go skipping around your block or take a neighborhood walk, run or bike ride; burn through some of the energy pent up inside of you
- While you need to stay six feet away from folks you come across, try making eye contact and smiling – it will make you both feel good; saying hello is still legal!
- If you’re not currently allowed to exercise outside, check out the plethora of online exercise classes and choose a couple that fit your needs
- Get your hands dirty planting a garden, growing flowers in a pot or cultivating vegetables in a windowsill planter; it’ll lighten your mood, instill a sense of accomplishment, be nice to look at; and may even be edible
5. Choose Healthy Food:
- Increase protein and veggies/fruit intake (if you’re fortunate enough to have access to produce). Consider some non-organic options given the current need to limit shopping trips and purchase items with a longer shelf life.
- Vitamins – the benefit of vitamins is up for debate. However, with so much out of our control right now, you may feel more proactive by taking them.
6. Develop (or Continue) a Mindfulness Practice:
- Yoga, meditation, journal writing, knitting, prayer, baking, listening to relaxing music
- Anything else that gets you out of your head and into your body
- Focusing on gratitude is especially beneficial during stressful times
These are just a few suggestions – let me know what other ideas might work for you. And, to help people through this challenging period, I’ve opened-up my coaching practice to new clients. Email me if you or someone you know could currently benefit from online/video coaching support.