How to Feel Your Best Even When Life Is Challenging
How many times have you read or heard the words “these uncertain times” in the last few months? 100? 200? More?
There is no doubt that we’re living through extremely trying times and, yes, EVERYTHING feels uncertain. Which is really stressful!
In case it helps you, here are two things that are helping me right now:
- Realizing that, well, everything was ALWAYS uncertain.
- Things feel particularly precarious these days, but the truth is: Many of the hard things in life have ALWAYS been completely outside of our control.
None of us have ever been able to control the weather, the health of our loved ones, the job market, the economy, pandemics, choices other people make, etc. It’s just that NOW we’re aware of the fact that life is uncertain.
Reality hasn’t changed, our perception has.
How can we learn to cope with it, live with it – and still keep our nervous systems steady in the midst of all the not-knowing-ness?
The one thing you can always do is focus on what is in your control instead of what is not.
Control the controllables:
Check in with yourself Gently ask yourself, “What do I need right now?” A time-out from your phone and all the stressful news? A nap? A good flow on your yoga mat? Give yourself what you need. Nourish yourself physically and emotionally as best you can.
Get plenty of rest You can eat bowls and bowls of kale salad and speak to yourself with kindness and intention, but until you’re well-rested, you’re just not fully nourished. When it comes to dramatically improving health, reducing stress, and impacting your quality of life, sleep is a superfood – so be sure to get plenty.
Make movement your medicine When we move around (in any way), we’re more patient, more focused, more relaxed and feel more in control of our emotions and our body. Movement releases endorphins, which can reduce stress, bust bad moods, and promote restful sleep. Exercise of any kind also strengthens the mind-body connection, so you can tune into how you’re truly feeling.
Drink enough water Everything feels better when you’re filling up with plenty of cell pumping H2O! But don’t be afraid to also think outside the tap: soothing teas, nourishing broths, fruit and vegetable filled smoothies, soups are effective ways to keep yourself hydrated.
Recommit to your daily non-negotiables These practices are small, realistic things you do to keep yourself grounded and centered, even in the midst of uncertainty. Decide what your non-negotiables will be, and commit strongly. Make a pact with yourself that you will do these every day, no matter what, just like brushing your teeth. Even if you’re stuck inside, no matter what the scenario may be, these auto-pilot habits will change the course of your day.
Declutter your environment When your home is filled with stuff, it’s easy to feel weighed down, overwhelmed and like things are getting out of hand. Nothing impacts my energy quite like an overwhelming pile of disorganized mess! Reorganizing your environment can immediately serve as a real mood-booster, and creating a serene scene is especially helpful right now. So, spend a little time tidying up and release anything that doesn’t serve you. Remember, outer order helps bring inner calm.
Strengthen Your Immunity There’s no doubt you want to feel extra resilient, extra strong, and extra nourished as we head into the colder months. By including simple ingredients and easy recipes in your daily repetoire, you’re being proactive about your health. Some ideas: Curry in a Hurry, Moroccan Spiced Loaded Sweet Potatoes, Crunchy Cabbage Slaw, and a soothing Turmeric Latte. Make sure to take a few deep breaths before eating to help reduce stress, another way to boost your immunity.
When you intentionally taking action to feel your best in your mind and body, you feel SO much better about life.
Is control an illusion? Yes. But that doesn’t mean we can’t find some comfort in controlling one tiny, healthy corner of your lives.
Now it’s your turn: How are you navigating “these uncertain times?” What controllables are you controlling in order to avoid feeling overwhelmed?