Building resilience: Six steps to feeling better right now
I wrote a post and recorded an episode back in December about eight lessons I learned in 2019. Already, just over three months into 2020 and I feel I have learned a heck of a lot more.
This is a weird time we are living in. The words “unprecedented,” “uncharted,” “uncertain,” and “PIVOT” are swirling around multiple times a day. I am still grappling with the fact that the world has shifted so completely in just a few weeks. We no longer walk down the street the same way. We don’t just get into an elevator and push a button without care. Grocery shopping is slightly terrifying, never mind if they have the staples you need. Someone likely one suffering from allergies is viewed as a potential threat to your loved ones. We’re embarking on homeschooling. Birthday parties and play dates are held on Zoom. I can look ahead ten years and picture the movie that will be written about this time.
Like I said, it’s weird. It’s easy to get overwhelmed right now, to give in to the anxiety about how everything is shifting, the fear for loved ones, etc. It’s totally okay to have the big feelings and ride the waves of emotion that will inevitably come. But we can make the choice to take some positive action and to rise up out of the muck. We can do some things that will get us on the path to health and happiness, and to strengthen our resilience.
I’ve recorded a full episode about how I am staying positive and resilient in this crazy COVID-19 world, but here are the highlights of what is making the biggest difference for me:
- Prioritize sleep. This one is foundational. A good night’s sleep helps increase your energy, it strengthens your emotional resilience, reduces brain fog…it is absolutely transformative. Prioritizing sleep will set you up to be better able to handle what the day throws at you, in the best way possible.
- Drink the water. Again, water is a basic, foundational habit. It increases energy, helps flush out toxins, improves digestion, improves your skin, reduces headaches, and so much more. As a rule of thumb, drink half your body weight in ounces – so if you weigh 160lbs you would drink 80 oz.
- Eat the veggies. You’ve heard it before, you’ve more than likely said it to your kids. Eat your veggies. Vegetables are an important source of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fibre, folate (folic acid), vitamin A, and vitamin C. Eating a diet rich in vegetables may reduce risk for stroke, cancer, heart diseases and type-2 diabetes. Most vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories, and are an important part of maintaining a healthy weight. Eating vegetables and fruits rich in potassium as part of an overall healthy diet may lower blood pressure, and may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and help to decrease bone loss. They’re just good for you.
- Move your body. There is strong evidence that people who are more active have lower rates of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, colon and breast cancer, and depression, are likely to have less risk of a hip or vertebral fracture, exhibit a higher level of cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, are more likely to achieve weight maintenance, and have a healthier body mass and composition. Plus, in the simplest terms, you just FEEL BETTER. Physical activity promotes better sleep, it improves mood, and increases energy. All things you need as a mom, right?
- Practice gratitude. I’ve always been grateful for what I have, but this active practice has been new for me this year. I started using Rachel Hollis’ Start Today Journal back in January, and part of that is to write down five things you are grateful for every single day. It’s so simple, but it’s life-changing. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle – the more you practice gratitude, the more grateful you are. The more grateful you are, the more good things come to, and the more you have to be grateful for. You don’t need a fancy journal, you can use a regular plain notebook. And if you are struggling, your list can literally be anything, big or small. It can be a peaceful cup of tea in the morning, a sunny day, your family’s health, an incredible thing that happened in your business…anything.
- Make time for you. This last one is always important, but when you’re in close quarters with loved ones for an extended period of time, this one is even more necessary. Time just for you. This could be a walk or a drive on your own, some time alone in the bedroom to read a book, a bath, an early morning workout before anyone else is up. It may take some negotiation with a partner and may be tough to find in this current situation, but even 15 minutes to yourself in a day can be huge. This is a major form of self-care, in days where massages and professional facials are indefinitely unavailable.
Sending your strength, love, and lots of “air hugs,” mama. Do what you can, when you can. Come hang out with me on Instagram and tell me what you are doing these days to strengthen your resilience and stay positive.
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