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Techniques to find peace during the pandemic

By Andrea Millar, RLP®, CFLA, CPA/PFS

It’s understandable to have bouts of anxiety during this unprecedented time, even for those of us who are vigilant about our self-care routines. I have had my share of ups and downs and even went six nights in a row with very little sleep and this almost sent me over the edge!

Here are some things I have learned along the way that have been helpful for me to find my inner peace, despite all going on in the world. I hope there is an idea below that is beneficial for you.

  • Feel your emotions. When you allow your body to process your emotions, you’re able to let the feelings flow through you rather than resisting them which can make them get stuck and keep your body feeling tight and rigid.
  • Be intentional with your thoughts. If you start thinking of all the worst-case scenarios that may happen as a result of the pandemic, this can lead to negative feelings which can lead to behavior that is not ideal. If you catch yourself and become intentional with your thoughts, you have a better chance of tapping into positive emotions that can lead to behavior that aligns to what you want for your life.
  • Try high-intensity interval training. When you’re experiencing anxiety on a level of 6 or higher out of 10, it is best to resolve it through your body versus your mind. High-intensity interval training workouts can be found online and it only takes 10 to 15 minutes to calm your nervous system. This combined with meditation has done wonders for me to begin my day in a good place.
  • Do yoga inversions. And, no, you don’t have to be able to do a headstand. You can simply do a downward-facing dog for seven breaths. When you’re experiencing anxiety, the blood has moved from your head to your muscles. A simple way to gain calm is to move the blood back to your head.
  • Take time in nature. When I had my six nights of little sleep, I had to find a new routine to shake things up. This is when I found the new habit of swimming laps in the evening under the dark sky with the stars and moon beaming down on me. My dog ran alongside me as if cheering me on and this led to float rides with him that made me laugh and grin ear to ear, no matter how my day had been.
  • Accept what is. I was recently alerted to the ontological definition of vulnerability which is to allow the winds of life to blow freely over your soul and to let life in on life’s terms. Any situation can become more manageable, or even enjoyable if you accept what is and hold on to knowing that all will be well.
  • Re-focus on what is most important to you. When you know your life’s purpose and you’re focusing your time, money, and energy in that direction, it’s amazing how you can come alive regardless of circumstances surrounding you. As Viktor Frankl said, “those who have a ‘why’ to live can bear with almost any ‘how’.”

Do you need help with finding your why?