Have you considered making use of this time to create some positive changes in your life? What a gift to yourself to turn this challenging time into a transforming time for you. Here are three ways you can use this time to grow yourself and expand your capacity for dealing with difficulties and change.
3) Changing our Reactions into Choices – It’s really easy to react with when we are able to slow down and make our decisions from our calm, connected self, we empower ourselves. Reactivity is sometimes hard to slow down and notice, but when you set an intention to pay attention, you can begin to change habits over time. We know that the amygdala is the part of the brain that reacts to emotional triggers. We know that if we practice mindfulness, it slowly trains the brain to be less reactive. Why not take this time to move yourself forward and work with changing your brain’s reactivity? When we slow down and notice the struggle we are having with something, we can make a decision about what is the best choice of action for ourselves. Even noticing that we need to slow down and starting there is a good start. Easing Anger, Stress and Anxiety:
Are you feeling more stressed and fearful during this time? What would it be like to use this time to investigate more deeply your thoughts? Often our thoughts drive anxiety and fear. How do we investigate our thoughts? Have you ever tried to watch your thoughts, or observe how they are a constant stream of words that carry you away unless you intentionally separate yourself from your thoughts. Mindfulness practice can teach you how to do this more as you stop and notice what is really happening and see that your mind is just a part of you and it is not often showing you the truth. Are you really unsafe? Are you really worried about your future or is it just your mind telling you you are?
Can you find the parts of you that are not scared and not worried? This is the core of you and this You can settle all the other parts of you — especially your mind. Learning to watch, listen and separate from your thoughts can help you ease your anxiety and stress. We learn this in mindfulness practice or through exploring your parts in IFS work.
We will explore all of these aspects of self-care and creating that special relationship with yourself that you need to be resilient and healthy through midlife at my Women’s Mindfulness Retreat Nov. 5 -8. Now is time to reserve your spot and prioritize yourself and your health during this pandemic.
2) Working with Diet and Exercise:
Regular exercise is the best way to manage anxiety and keep your body healthy at the same time. Exercise triggers endorphins that wake up your system and bring in positive feelings that can energize you and change your mood. Research shows that exercise increases your lifespan and keeps your immunity charged up, if you don’t over exercise. Finding the right balance doing regular aerobic (activates your blood-oxygen levels) exercise will improve your outlook about yourself and your future. It is a way to do something good for yourself.
A healthy Diet can change your mood and your immunity. Whether you choose plant-based, Vegan, Paleo, or some combination of carbohydrates, fats and protein that is optimal for your body, finding the right combination is key to your health. The best book I have found that speaks to Women in Midlife and our diet is Sara Gottfried (M.D.)’s book called Brain Body Diet. Sara shows how to balance your brain and body with diet, exercise, meditation and detoxification practices. Her first book The Hormone Reset Diet, was for midlife women going through menopause and perimenopause. In this second book she shows you how to find the right balance of diet, etc. for your brain and your gut to avoid diseases and mental issues associated with midlife women. Her holistic approach which is based on functional medicine training is revolutionary for how we can find optimal health and resilience at any time in our lives. This is a powerful book and I pick it up often. You must explore these new breakthroughs in mind/body/brain balancing.
This is a perfect opportunity to work on yourself more deeply so that you can strengthen your ability to find your path going forward. What will that path be? What will you do to help us find connection rather than division to solve our global issues together? Working with yourself is the place to start.