Here is one thing I think we can ALL agree on...2020 has been a tremendously tough year. No one saw this year coming. This time last year we were all getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving and the 2019 Holiday Season like we do every year. We looked forward to the new year with optimism and hope. On a personal level, I looked forward to growing my business and finding more balance in my life. I had quit my day job in June 2019 and had been working really hard to grow my little venture to the next level. I saw 2020 as a chance to bring balance to my home and business. I mean the number 2020 alone has balance...seemed logical to me that 2020 would bring balance. Well I could not have been more wrong. 2020 came barreling at us like a freight train out of control. The year started well enough...there was some talk of a virus that could be coming our way. As we moved into February the growing angst was palpable. By March we were told to go hide away for a week or two...how bad could that be? I needed to organize my closet anyway....well two weeks became an undetermined amount of time. We watched the virus grow and overtake our entire lives. The angst became fear. From there the year devolved into a quagmire of awfulness.
We were hit on all fronts by this virus: physical, social, emotional, spiritual. It made us look inward and become more introspective (being quarantined for three months, did we have a choice?). Six months into 2020 felt like 6 years in purgatory. We just wanted out and fortunately most of the country was able to ever so cautiously leave their homes (which had begun to feel like a prison) and socialize again. Then there was the social unrest. It made our weary psyche even wearier. Was there no end to storm of 2020?
Now with the winter descending upon us and so much uncertainty still swirling around us, its hard to feel optimistic about 2021. Yet, what do we have if we do not have hope? I know that sounds Pollyanna-ish. Anyone who knows me personally would be hard pressed to describe me as a Pollyanna. So, when I say we need to hang onto hope, I mean it. We have to find ways to reduce the amount of negativity and unnecessary stress in our lives. I work hard each day to maintain emotional and spiritual balance. I thought I would share with you some of the ways (in no particular order) that I maintain an emotional state of homeostasis:
Minimize the amount of news you watch. Watch only enough to know what's going on.
Meditate. I hear it all the time: I can't focus, my mind keeps racing....that's okay...still do it. I try to meditate first thing in the morning. Davidji (highly recommend his meditations) calls it RPM (rise, pee, meditate). Insight Timer is an amazing app that I use (they did not pay me for this endorsement). They have a meditations that range from 3 minutes to an hour or more.
Laugh. I look for ways to laugh (not chuckle, not guffaw...a real laugh) every day. Find funny movies or shows to watch. You can follow a comedian on Instagram and watch for just a few minutes. Laughing raises your vibration and laughing with others raises it even more.
Spend time with people who make you laugh and minimize the amount of time with people who don't or, even worse, zap your energy. I know this hard because sometimes the people who drain our energy are people we actually love. If this is the case for you, you need to learn energy filtering. If you don't know it, it will be the subject of a future blog post.
Give or help someone. Looking outside of our own little world and our problems and helping someone else is one of the best ways to raise our vibration and find balance. There is always someone who has it worse that you...go find them (I'm sure you won't have look far) and perform a "little act of kindness" make them a dinner...send them an encouraging note...pray for them. Doing for others not only raises our vibration...it makes us feel really good.
Gratitude. There is always, always something to be grateful for...the laugh of a child, the aisle of paper towels fully stocked at Target, our fingers as they move effortlessly (or not so) across the computer keyboard. Making a list of people and things you are grateful for is a great way to visually see all of the blessings in your life. I know, it sounds Pollyanna...maybe Pollyanna was onto something??? :-)
Talk...getting those negative emotions out is huge. Talk to someone whether its to a trusted friend, a therapist or even your dog...talk...don't bottle it up and try to swallow the anger, frustration, etc...it will only eat away at you. If you can't bring yourself to talk then write...as I like to say...the paper doesn't judge. You can be as irrational as you want on paper...and the physical act of writing is getting that negative energy out. Later you can always burn it and offer it up in prayer.
Exercise/walk. Again, get that negative energy out of you. Yoga, kick-boxing, biking...all great ways to get negative energy out of your body. I love walking in nature...admiring the beauty and stillness of our planet. Even though I live in NJ, when I walk in the woods I like to make pretend I'm in Montana and its the 1800s...don't know why...maybe I watched too much Little House on Prairie as a kid.
There are more tools to help with balance and emotional well being, such as, energy work or essential oils (you didn't think I would let a whole blog go by without mentioning them?). They provide wonderful support on all levels...physical, emotional, spiritual. They can assist with meditation, after exercising, help with sleeping, help with anxiety, help with depression...the list goes on and on. How to choose? Knowing which ones do what is my job...your job is use them and love them.
Even with all of these tools, there are days that we are low. It's okay to be in a low mood. Acknowledge it, its okay to stay there for a little while but don't build a house there.
As I mentioned earlier, no one saw 2020 coming. What would we have done differently if we had known? As we move through the rest of 2020, I encourage you to find the beauty and gratitude in the little things...sharing Thanksgiving dinner with a few of the people that you love, doing a zoom call with the ones you can't be with, praying for the ones we lost this year. If we all strive to raise our vibration just a little, 2021 can be so much better than we ever hoped.
With love and gratitude,