Times are very stressful right now as we face a world crisis together in regards to the Coronavirus. Emotions are high, energy is tense, and fear, stress, and worry has overcome many of us.
During these times it’s important that we take good care of our emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual health. When we are stressed, our immune system is lowered thus potentially allowing illness and dis-ease to enter our bodies more easily. Take this time to take care of yourself so that you can take care of those around you.
Here are some helpful ways you can manage your stress, and keep your energy levels at their optimal.
Recognize and acknowledge your feelings
It’s okay that you’re feeling anxious, scared, fearful, angry. You have every right to your emotions. What’s important is that you recognize your feelings and acknowledge them, otherwise you are denying parts of yourself that want to be felt, seen, and heard right now.
When we ignore our feelings, the energy of the emotions that were created remain active in the cells of our body. Acknowledging our emotions put simply, is how we release them. When we release them in a healthy way, we decrease stress, tension, and anxiety. Another way our body releases stress is through tears. Our tears act as a safety valve by releasing excess stress hormones such as cortisol. Chronic elevated levels of these hormones can cause physical ailments and negatively effect our mood and emotions. As stress often precedes a good cry, the sense of calm you experience afterward is the result of the hormonal release.
It may also be helpful to use a journal to freely express your thoughts and feelings. Journals are a great tool and outlet where you can openly share how you are feeling, knowing that you will not be judged or criticized. Let it out by writing it out.
I'm able to control and minimize the stress from major life challenges and changes.
Do things that feed your soul
Now more than ever it’s vital to do things that feed your soul and nourish your mind and body. Consider right now the perfect time to reconnect with self and reflect on areas in your life where you may have neglected or ignored what your inner being has been craving.
There are many things you can do, such as listening to Meditations, going for walks and connecting with Mother Nature, or engaging in Yoga practices such as, Restorative Yoga, which is soothing and healing for your mind, body, and soul. You can also enjoy a good book while taking a candle-lit cleansing bath with Epson Salts and essential oils like Lavender or Ylang Ylang; I call these Spiritual Baths. Other things you can do to feed your soul are creative activities such as painting, drawing, knitting, colouring, or putting together a puzzle.
Anything that you enjoy doing, do it. It's also good to try something new and different. Give yourself some relief from any chaos in your current reality so you can keep your energy calm and strong.
I have let go of mentally replaying negative situations in my mind.
Challenge your thoughts and be mindful of what you allow into your energy field
It’s hard not to fall victim to our own thoughts at times, to allow them take over and control our entire being. What our thoughts can do, however, is affect our emotional state. When you have a "negative" thought come up that you feed energy to, it then grows. As it grows it turns into an emotion, and our emotions are known to control our actions and behaviours and can make us respond from an "irrational" place of high emotion and put us in a state of intense anxiety.
To stop a “negative” thought in its tracks, ask yourself, "does this thought serve me purpose, and is it feeding the energy of love, or fear?" These questions create an interruption in our thought pattern and can help us choose new thoughts that are more empowering and healthier for our wellbeing and state of mind.
We also want to be mindful of what, and who, we allow into our energy field. When we are bombarded with fear-based news and articles flooding our social feeds, it’s easy to get pulled into the "darkness." But nothing good comes from feeding and fuelling our fears; in-fact, fear alone is known to weaken our immune system. Social distance yourself from your phone and anything else that doesn’t feel good right now. Stay mindful, aware, and informed, but take what you need, and leave the rest.
I have replaced feelings of overwhelm with faith that everything will work out. All will be well.
Listen to music
This suggestion doesn’t need much of an explanation other than, music is healing for the heart and soul. Play your favorite songs, search for new music, or tune into some of the amazing artists on social media who are sharing their gifts and musical talents with the world. Seeing so many artists having Live concerts online has lifted my spirits in a way they will never know. Free yourself from anxiety or stress by listening to music and the healing vibrations it brings.
Let yourself get lost in the creative and musical expressions of others.
I am freeing myself of any obsessive and compulsive thoughts. My body is becoming clear and calm
This may be a hard one to swallow but acceptance is essential. When we don’t accept our current reality as it is, we resist it. When we resist it, we remove ourselves from the situation thus preventing us from managing our emotions and working towards creative solutions. Non-acceptance simply keeps us stuck and paralyzed. Acceptance is the act of acknowledging and embracing what is as opposed to trying to control what isn’t, or what might be.
Use the statement, “I accept what is happening right now, even if I don’t like it. Acceptance will bring me into action and move me towards finding solutions and managing my emotions."
In truth, acceptance provides a sense of peace when you let go of what isn’t and embrace what is, as unknown and as uncertain as it may feel right now. There is freedom in acceptance.
I am letting go of all feelings of despair and hopelessness. I have trust and faith in the future that lies ahead of me.
Take a conscious breath
When you find yourself consumed with unpleasant thoughts, pull yourself away from your thoughts by connecting to your beautiful breath. Ground yourself in the present moment where everything is truly okay. Place your hand over your heart, as this has a calming effect on your mind and body, and take deep conscious breaths in and out creating a wave of relaxation throughout. Visualize your body filling with peaceful white healing light and allow yourself to let go and just be. Your breath is life, connect to your essence of life and being.
I am releasing the habit of always assuming the worst and I replace this energy with trust, hope, faith, and belief.
These are really difficult times for the entire world, so take a bit of comfort in knowing you are not alone. We can see this situation as complete devastation and disaster, or we can find some good in what it means for us. Whether it’s encouraging you to strengthen the bond with your family, choosing to eat better or move more so you keep yourself in good health, or the inspiration to have a deeper connection with self. This situation might be the catalyst for you to make those much needed changes in your life that you have been putting off...it could be the Universe “forcing” you into change. You choose what it means for you.
I truly believe that in every burden, there is a blessing...what blessings can you find right now?
Love, light, and truth upon your path.
Article written by, Vanessa Marie Dewsbury
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"Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappointing others." - Brené Brown
Having healthy boundaries in our lives are necessary because they ensure that our friendships and relationships are mutually respectful, supportive, and kind. Boundaries are a measure of self-esteem and self-worth and they set the basic guidelines for how we want to be treated. Setting boundaries however, isn't the easiest thing to do. In fact, many people feel guilty and uncomfortable when they express their our own needs and desires.
Healthy boundaries are also an important component of self-care. It's how we respect ourselves, and in turn, the way in which we receive respect from others. When we neglect to set boundaries, in essence, we are unconsciously giving permission for others to take advantage of us. This creates patterns of unpleasant experiences and relationships that leave us feeling resentful, depleted, angry, and frustrated.
There is a well known quote that says, "we teach people how to treat us." And what a truth that is! The more we "accept" things that we're not okay with, the more we show someone what they are "allowed" to do. Setting healthy boundaries can have many benefits, including the well-being of your mind, your heart, and your physical health. When you start saying "no" to what doesn't serve you, and "yes" to all that does, you will find your level of confidence increases as well as your self-esteem.
I've shared with you six ways to create healthy boundaries, I hope they help you too.
Clarity is power
You can’t set healthy boundaries if you’re unsure what your own needs and desires are. So, the key is to get clear on what feels right for you, and what feels wrong for you. How do you want to be spoken to? How do you want to be treated? What makes you uncomfortable, stressed, or anxious? These feelings will help you establish what your limits are. Start by making a list of your values, of what's important to you, write down how you want to be treated, and from there any time your values and boundaries aren't being respected, you can communicate with more clarity and confidence because you have been clear on what you will and will not tolerate.
Each time I honour my boundaries I feel more and more confident to express my needs and create space for my desires.
Learn to say no
The word "no," is a complete sentence, but the truth is, this simple two letter word can be quite daunting and stressful to say to others. This is because we have often been met with guilt and poor reactions when we have said "no" to someone who is wanting something from us. So in order to avoid confrontation and people thinking "badly" of us, we appease them and do something we desperately do not want to do. Then the resistance and resentment sinks in and we are left feeling depleted and disrespected. Maybe even taken advantage of. We also feel frustrated with ourselves because we said "yes" when our heart was calling out, NO! Here's something you need to know, when someone asks you to do something and you say no, they are going to move onto the next person. They may even forget they asked you in the first place. And when you actually start saying no, people will respect you, IF they respect themselves. If they don't, they don't deserve your time and energy. Say what you really want to say and don't feel the need to justify or explain yourself. If something doesn't align with your energy, or serve you, don't do it.
Setting boundaries is a normal part of my every day life.
Give yourself permission
Guilt, fear, and self-doubt can often prevent us for standing up for ourselves and expressing our deepest needs. We worry about how others will react and respond to our requests. This is one of the biggest things that stop us from setting healthy boundaries and receiving the respect we innately deserve. One thing that helps me greatly in many aspects of my life, is the act of giving myself permission to do what I need to do. Because the truth is, we tend to wait for permission from others, for someone to tell us it's okay to speak up, to say how we feel about something that doesn't feel good for us. However it's solely up to us to directly communicate our needs because nobody knows what we truly need, only we do. So give yourself permission to set boundaries and know that you are not responsible for how others react, you are only responsible for your own actions.
It’s safe for me to share my boundaries with others.
Tune into your intuition
What is your intuition telling you? What is your energy saying? Your instincts and intuition can help you determine when someone is violating or disrespecting your boundaries. It's also an indication to let you know when you need to set some boundaries. When you find yourself in a situation that doesn't feel good, check in with your body and reflect on how you are feeling. Are you anxious, uncomfortable? Is your heart rate up or do you feel a tightness in your chest? These are some of the many ways your body is communicating a message to you. Ask yourself what part of the experience and encounter made you respond this way and self inquire whether or not you need to set some boundaries, and what those boundaries will be.
I honour myself by honouring my boundaries.
Make self-care a priority
We hear about self-care so often, but how does it relate to setting boundaries? Simple. If you aren't caring for yourself, and respecting the needs of your own mind, body, and soul, you can not expect others to respect those needs. It's important that we are taking care of own wellness and our wellbeing, because when we do, we start to feel more confident and self assured in our choices. In turn we come to a point where we will not allow others to mistreat or disrespect us. Putting yourself first and nurturing your own needs will help you build the inner strength you may require when it comes to setting those healthy boundaries. And just remember, implementing boundaries isn’t selfish, it's an act of self-love. When you say "no" to others, you are saying "yes," to yourself. Take care of yourself first and value your own self worth because when you value yourself, others will naturally value you.
Each and every day I’m becoming clearer and clearer about the boundaries that serve me best.
Like any new skill, effectively communicating and expressing your boundaries takes practice and patience. Begin by setting a "small boundary," one that doesn't scare you too much or make you feel overly uncomfortable. Maybe it's telling your clients that you're only available between certain hours. Maybe it's turning down an invite from a friend or family member, or perhaps it's declining a favour someone asks of you that you know you will later resent doing. When you start "small," you begin to build the boundary muscle and eventually you become stronger the more you exercise and build this muscle. The more you say "no," to that which doesn't serve you, the more aligned you become with your own truth and your own needs.
I am worthy and deserving of setting and maintaining boundaries that feel good and right for me.
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Article written by Vanessa Marie Dewsbury
"I help guide and support women on their Healing and Spiritual Journey in Life and Business."