Staying Strong During Difficult Times
There's a lot of fear and uncertainty happening in the World at the moment. The coronavirus pandemic is unlike anything any of us have ever experienced. It's affecting EVERY single person on the planet in some way.
And, as scary and challenging as it may be, there are several tools that we can use during this time that can help us navigate through this experience with a bit more calm, more compassion towards ourselves, that can support us in staying strong during these difficult times, even though it may feel like our world is suddenly askew.
For those of us dealing with cancer, whether currently or in the past, there is an added concern about the integrity of our immune system being compromised, because of certain treatments, perhaps making us feel more vulnerable in the face of this pandemic.
(If this is a concern for you, you may want to read How to Strengthen Your Immune System naturally.)
Staying strong during difficult times calls us to be more compassionate towards ourselves, to take loving care of our selves in deeper ways than ever before, as we are being profoundly affected physically, mentally, emotionally, energetically, and even spiritually.
Below are a few tools to help assuage the stress or anxiety you might be feeling:
This might seem obvious, yet often we tend to forget - focus on your breath. Take a few moments to breathe deeply and experience the gratitude of being able to fill your lungs. Think the words "I am peaceful. I am calm. I am grateful" as you inhale.
And as you exhale think and feel yourself releasing fear, anxiety, worry. And say to yourself "I release fear, I release worry, I let go of..." whatever it is you're wanting to release. And visualize small particles of those things being released into the space around you.
Then do it again. And again, until you feel a sense of inner calm begin to unfold inside of you. This simple exercise can be practiced anywhere at nearly anytime. It releases endorphins (which leads to feelings of well being) lowers blood pressure, cleanses and detoxifies the body, delivers vital oxygen to all areas of the body and fills you with a sense of relaxation.
Watch Your Thoughts.
It's so important to realize that in the midst of so many things we can't control, there IS one thing that you CAN control: your thinking. It's not always easy, yet with practice, this skill can become an essential aspect of truly thriving! Not only through this pandemic, but through your cancer healing journey and life in general.
If you find yourself feeling scared, worried, and anxious, take a step back and ask yourself: What am I thinking? Become aware of the thought that's causing those emotions. Then do your best to REPLACE the negative or scary thought with another one that feels more calming. I call this your ANTIDOTE.
Learn to reframe your thinking by formulating another thought that bring you a sense of inner peace. If need be, WRITE IT DOWN. Keep reading it to yourself. Be super vigilant about what you're thinking, especially if you find yourself panicking or falling into a deep rabbit hole.
If we're running around with "Oh, this is terrible. The world is coming to an end. The entire planet is suffering and there's nothing I can do..." Then guess what? What you focus on, grows stronger in your life.
Pay attention. Are you futurizing terrifying scenarios? Are you thinking "What if" this or that? Bring yourself back to RIGHT NOW. Be aware of where you are, right now. Become aware of your surroundings. Find something you can appreciate. Shift your focus to feeling grateful. To the parts of you that are well.
What you focus on, grows stronger in your life.
Drop the story that the "world/leaders/government/powers that be' should be anything different than they are." Notice what's right in your world, right now. There are hundreds of reasons to be grateful in this moment. Notice a few of them. Focus your thoughts and energy on what's working.
In the midst of all of this you might feel disempowered and have thoughts like: There's nothing I can do. And though you may be right about not being able to solve this coronavirus issue, there's a lot that you can do to take care of YOU, and the ones you love.
There's a chance that our own emotions and thoughts can get stuck in our body and lead to feelings of helplessness or frustration. Taking action can give us a sense of doing something proactive and will alleviate or lessen our anxiety.
Prepare some nourishing meals, play the piano, write the novel you've always wanted to write, donate to organizations that ARE able to do something at a larger scale, start planning your life for the near future when you are healed from cancer and when this world situation resolves.
When I had cancer and my treatments seemed endless, Joseph had the presence of mind to keep reminding me of three little words: This. Is. Temporary. And you know what? Though at the time it didn't feel like it, he was right!
So, I'm reminding YOU: This is temporary. Take excellent care of YOU at every level. Soon you'll be on the other side of this experience, and of your own cancer healing journey.
Remember the saying "You can't get water from an empty well"? That means that you need to nourish yourself like never before. In my experience, that was a HUGE part of healing from cancer. And, I believe that this can take you very far, especially now.
Keep yourself well nourished. Your body, mind and spirit. Do things that feed your soul. Move your body with daily stretches or light movement. Start or maintain a practice of gratitude, prayer or meditation. Connect with your community online, and spend time in nature if you're able.
There are 100's of ways to practice self care; these are just a few. If you can do one or two of them a day, that will help you, yes?
Then the proverbial well will be able to give water from a more nourished and empowered place.
We want to remind you that WE ARE HERE FOR YOU. We have many tools we can share with you to support you during these challenging times.
We can help you fine-tune your mindset (even if you need a major overhaul!) Coping skills to manage your emotions. Delicious ways to nourish your body with nutritious foods. Helping you become CLEAR of confusion you are better able to make good decisions from a place of calm, not fear.
It would be our joy to help you through this challenging time. Please reach out to us and explore how we can support you with a FREE COACHING SESSION. No pressure to buy anything.
Just special time to listen and encourage you, and offer you some life-saving tools that have worked for us and that we share consistently with dozens of people in similar situations.
Hope you'll take us up on it. We're here for you.
To your strength and wellness,
Eli + Joseph
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