How to take care of yourself in the middle of chaos

How are you feeling today?

How is your body? Your mind? Your heart?

I ask because with all that is going on in your life and our nation, you may have forgotten to check in on a very important person…..YOU.

So let’s check in right now. Place one hand on your heart and one on your belly and take a big deep breath. Now take another. Feel the breath fill your lungs and as you exhale, let it soften your shoulders, your stomach, your back, and your hips.

Often when we’re in chaos, whether in our personal lives or triggered by the state of the world, we lose contact with our center, that sacred place within us that houses our resilience, peace and joy.

We become so enmeshed in the troubles swirling around us that we can’t hear what our body is asking for. We ignore what our heart needs. We deny the small breaks of calm our mind requires. Of course we don’t mean to lose ourselves in the mayhem, it just happens, which is why I always remind clients that reconnecting to our body, our heart and our mind is a lifetime practice.

Over the last 10 years I’ve supported clients through all kinds chaos with the goal of helping them come back to their bodies and reconnect to presence when life is at its toughest.

And why is presence so important? Because when we are present we are able get out of our old stories of fear and worry and find the clarity to name what’s wrong and fix it.

And while the tools I offer clients differ depending on the person and circumstance, here are the four I come back to again and again.

1. Eat and drink as best you can (because it’s 10x harder to navigate difficult situations when we’re hungry or on a sugar high.)  

  • Always enjoy breakfast (my go-tos are organic eggs, apples with peanut/almond/sunflower seed butter, full fat greek yogurt with honey and walnuts or homemade chicken soup).

  • Get veggies, high quality protein and fat (extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil) in at lunch and dinner.

  • Keep snacks around (dry roasted nuts, hummus, dolmas, fruit, dark chocolate etc) to satisfy afternoon hunger.

  • Have a full, glass water bottle on your desk or in your bag to stay hydrated.

2. Take a breath - The next time your thoughts race and you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed, take a deep breath in for 5 seconds. Let it out for 5 and notice what’s changed in your body.  Are your shoulders and chest more relaxed? What’s happened to the knot in your stomach? Have your thoughts slowed a bit?

3. Write- Grab a journal and answers these 5 questions:

  • Right now I’m feeling…

  • What worries me is…

  • What brings me hope is….

  • I find strength in…

  • What I know about myself is…

4. Reconnect to your joy - Dance. Draw. Cook this. Or this. Stand outside with the sun on your face. Read this poem to remember your goodness. Call a dear confidant. Text “I’m thinking about you” to your partner, a parent or friend.

When we breathe, write and reconnect to our joy we remember who we are outside the chaos. We remember that though life can be hard and we have lots of work to do to right the wrongs of our nation and the world, we also have the resilience and strength to do that work with, as Liz Gilbert calls it, “stubborn gladness.”

So whether you are feeling chaos at work, in your relationships, in your body or in the world, take a moment to come back to yourself. Feed your body well, notice your breath, write out what’s weighing you down and connect to your joy.

All my love dearest and know that I am right there with you, eating, breathing, writing and dancing to keep myself connected, focused and present to the powerful journey we’re all on.

Events, General, Personal Growthjamie