This week, I was reminded of how helpful these tools (below) are even when stress levels are very high.
Last Friday, I was crying at the vets. My sale had fallen through at exchange (again) a few days earlier and, in preparation for the worst case scenario No Deal Brexit, I’d taken Rainbow MagnifiCat to have a titer test (checking for rabies antibodies high enough so that if we crash out without a deal and her pet passport becomes invalid on March 29th, she doesn’t have to go into quarantine).
I’d expected it to be a quick and easy vet visit. Instead, she was taken away to the back and we were there for over 2.5 hours as staff rang various government agencies and labs to give me the best, most current advice bearing in mind that no one actually knows what they’re planning for. Apart from the expense, the idea of my rescue cat, born under a car, who I promised a better life to in quarantine… And I don’t know when I’m moving! On Friday, I assumed it would be months away as back to square one but things have shifted again and all is up in the air.
I went to my London leaving drinks on Monday with no idea as to whether or not I was leaving this month or next or in a few months. I’ve been making endless calls to solicitors and estate agents and others, using all of my self-care tools (they really DO help!) and have come to a place of greater peace and ease (at time of writing – the emotional rollercoaster may well start back up in a few minutes with more big news).
While all has been up and down, I’ve had enough of a connection to that deeper (sometimes feeling very hidden) inner peace to at least remind me to ground and take extra self care measures.
Still, from this place of greater peace and ease, all of this is much easier. My morning meditation, yoga and eft practice is back to being ENJOYABLE rather than Something I Used To Be Able To Do (oh, yes, one of the features I’ve been working on this week has been for people who think they can’t meditate). There were moments where I KNEW certain practices would be really helpful but I just didn’t wanna Feel Better Every Day.
I can see that where I was MOST stressed out this week, it was when I was focused on the very worst case scenario for my Magnificat. My consciousness was contracted and I was aware that I wasn’t connected to so much more of my resourcefulness but couldn’t see a way out. So I kept offering it all to Divine Love (see last week’s blog and the wonderful Tosha Silver book, Outrageous Openness, HERE)
Imagining Rainbow MagnifiCat (and me) moving to Ireland with ease and joy puts a smile on my face and helps me think of how worthwhile it all is. Imagining her feeling lost and abandoned in quarantine makes my arms feel heavy even typing the words. Rather than picturing her scared and focusing on the shaved bits where they took blood, I have a gazillion other pics I can focus on when not actually with her (I’m assuming you knew I was a bit obsessed with Rainbow MagnifiCat before you read this post. If not, well, the cat’s out of the bag).
If a) at home, what is contributing to it? The people you live with? Location of your home? Housework overwhelm? Blurred boundaries between work and home? Something different? You might want to journal (or share here)
If b) at work, is it a long term thing? Might things improve? Is it your body’s way of encouraging you to find more sustainable work? Are there conversations you could have to have to set boundaries and make it a fulfilling environment?
If c) with other people, who in particular springs to mind? Who do you feel yourself, at ease and relaxed with? Who triggers your stress response? It’s not about cutting people out of your life (unless they’re especially toxic) but managing the time we spend with them more appropriately
If d) are you spending too much time alone? Does your cat sometimes tell you that you need to get out more? (Just me, then?) What would be a better balance for you and who would you most like to be seeing more of?
You might surprise yourself by some immediate solutions that spring to mind (then, of course, it’s a matter of deciding what you want to actually change). I’d love to hear what you’d like to share. I’d also love your stress related questions so I can make these tips and vids (I’ll be revisiting stress many times in the future) as beneficial as possible for you.
I teach a lot of breath practices, to clients, in workshops and to yoga students. They’re such a powerful and simple way to de-stress. We always have our breath with us – and even if we don’t, mindful breathing or conscious breathing can help the oxygen last longer (remember those boys trapped in the cave who learned to meditate and stayed alive?).
Simply noticing we’re breathing more shallowly (as we typically do when working out or stressed) and consciously bringing the breath down will begin to calm the whole system. And the noticing needs to be compassionate and soothing otherwise our inner critics ratchet up those stress levels even higher.
If you want to pause right now, what do you notice about your natural breath? Is it coming from the top of the lungs? Middle of the lungs? Lower lungs? Can you deepen it with ease? How does that feel?
In Wednesday’s FB Live, I shared one of my favourite books to help with stress levels.
What are your favourite books for stress? They may be self-help? Fiction? What kind of reading helps you relax?
While I’m no Robert Sapolsky, I talk about some of his work and share lots of other self-care tools for stress in my book, 365 Ways to Feel Better: Self-care Ideas for Embodied Wellbeing. READ MORE
In Thursday’s FB Live, I shared some of my favourite crystals for working with stress.
How do you use crystals when feeling stressed? What are your favourites?
You can access additional crystal related videos and resources HERE
We wear stress and busyness as a badge of honour sometimes so it can be helpful to acknowledge it, even if only to ourselves (I’m drafting this at 10pm – am weighing that against the benefits of having done it tomorrow).
What happens when you imagine your life without stress? Do you notice a little agitation creeping in at the very idea? Does it feel divine or stressful or something else? Use all your senses to make it as vivid as possible.
What do you notice about this stress-free (or reduced stress) you? You may want to journal or share your insights.
How do you feel as you connect with this part of you that’s so much more than your stress?
I’m loving this new approach to my social media (you can check out my pages for additional stress related and other posts from this week and ‘follow’ me to see them more regularly) as it’s more logical and easier for me to manage and, I think (I welcome your comments and feedback) more cohesive for you.
You can also access free videos, articles and other resources (including yoga and EFT) to help with stress HERE.
Next week, I’ll be focusing on confidence! Sharing a range of ways to improve your confidence and self-esteem using your mind, body, heart and soul.