My mind and heart are overwhelmed by all that is happening in our world right now. The feelings are big and hard, and while I know they’ll get smaller and easier someday, the uncertainty and unknowns will likely be here for a while. I’ve seen so many people showing up to support each other in so many ways, and that makes me feel hopeful even as I grieve and move through the feelings. I’ve been contemplating how I can best serve from home as I also teach my kiddos and nurture my family. I shared on Instagram this week that I’m offering six weeks of free coaching to two women during this time. I’ve also been compiling a list of resources, which I’m sharing here so you can take what you need.
I know there’s so much we can learn from this pandemic. I’m not yet in the space of embracing all the learnings, as I’m still in the mess and the grief. What is clear is that we’re being offered an opportunity to connect with ourselves, others, and the world in new and different ways. It seems to me that there has never been a more crucial time to connect and grow in our individual and collective wellness. Hopefully we all (including the systemic structures of our world) will be redefining and cultivating wellness for all more fervently in the future, not just when illness is imminent.
This post has two parts (the next part will be coming soon). You’ll find links to some of my favorite physicians, healers, and people who are sharing their work with the world right now in both posts. I’ve also included some of my own recommendations for nourishing your mind, heart, body, and spirit through this time. This page offers resources for your heart and mind, while the upcoming post considers your physical body. Ultimately, though, they’re both about strengthening wholeness and wellness, which translates into a more resilient immune system (bonus). How you take care of yourself matters. Even in the midst of this pandemic, I do still believe that human beings are resilient and capable of healing.
But first: please, please, please don’t “should” yourself. We’re all moving through so many emotions and experiences, and most importantly, we need to be gentle with ourselves. If you take nothing else away from this blog, I hope you hear this. Being gentle with yourself is a most important step toward strengthening your wellness. I, for one, was feeling overwhelmed by all the possibilities for helping, for self-caring, for home-schooling right now. It’s OK to do less (thank you Kate Northrup). You aren’t meant to read or do all the things. Explore what feels inspiring and manageable for you and your family, when it feels inspiring and manageable. Onward…
We must tend to our hearts and minds during these stressful times. Stress and illness are intricately connected, and finding ways to connect with a sense of joy, peace, or aliveness can greatly impact our susceptibility and resilience. You know best what connects you to your aliveness. I realize, though, that it can feel more challenging to do right now (raising my hand), which is why I’m sharing these resources. I’m going to keep adding to this as more things enter my awareness, so keep checking back.
This is my favorite meditation and guided imagery app. I’ve been turning more to guided practices lately, because my monkey mind has been busy, so it feels harder to focus if I’m going solo. Some of my favorite offerings are from Tara Brach, Sonic Yogi, and Karine Bell. Also, Elizabeth Gilbert is offering a free, 20-minute talk on the app called Facing Fear with Compassion. It’s powerful and, I believe, a wonderful place to start right now.
Ann Arbor Dance Revolution
Amy from Mindful Art Studio has been inspiring me for many months to get curious and playful with making art in new ways. My art journal is a place I go daily to get out of my head and create peace. She has so many virtual offerings…just looking at her Instagram feed is inspiring.
Brené Brown’s new podcast is available! I’ve not yet listened, but you know it’s going to be good.
Good News Movement
I started following Good News Movement on Instagram, and it’s such a wonderful place to land when you’re craving a quick dose of goodness during the day.
One of my favorite authors has been going live on FB and IG, sharing insights and inspiration in her poignant, heart-opening way. I believe she’s planning on continuing this on Mondays and Fridays. It’s good medicine!
Center for Mind Body Medicine
James Gordon’s Center for Mind-Body Medicine has a full page of resources for self-care. It includes mindfulness exercises, a body scan, a drawing exercise, and one of my favorites…dialogue with a symptom.
Amber Rae is an author who is offering 30 days of guided journaling prompts called Journal Your Feelings. I’m already loving her prompts to get me flowing more freely in my journal.
Dot Painting with Angela
My friend Angela is offering a virtual dot painting class on Facebook. Her videos guide you through all the tools you’ll need, and there’s plenty there to get you started on your own if you don’t want to do a class.
I recently shared some of our most-utilized strategies for managing anxiety in our family. Many of our human collective are experiencing at least fleeting moments of anxiety, fear, or worry during these disorienting times. I share a number of simple approaches to grounding and moving through anxious moments (for kids, too).
Doodles in my art journal inspired by Amy Maricle.
Lifestyle Choices to Strengthen Wellness
Our choices make a difference in our wellness. I get it—it mayn’t be easy to get adequate sleep or exercise right now. I, for one, am having more challenges fitting in exercise with my kids home all day. But, exercise (along with my morning meditation) is one of the non-negotiable things I fit in most days of my week. These things fortify me. What fortifies you? I’ve offered a few ideas below. Add to it if you want to. What is one thing that is most important for you right now?
- Time outside and in nature with exposure to sunlight.
- Adequate high-quality sleep.
- Nutrient-dense food and clean water.
- Movement and exercise.
- Play and pleasure.
- Managing stress through mindfulness, meditation, yoga, journaling, gratitude, or any supportive modality.
- Cultivating community and social support (virtual hangouts for now).
- Giving and sharing resources and time with others.
More resources coming soon…