Together We can!
a few ideas, tips and mindfulness practices offered by Jamie Derrick, Ph.D. [Founder of You & I Mindfulness Education at University of Idaho, Licensed Psychologist, and University Faculty].
“Your future is being created through the actions you take today.” — anonymous
(and not just your national actions but your moment by moment choices all day long)
“Democracy is based upon the conviction there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.”
~Harry Emerson Fosdick
WE’RE ALL FEELING it — CHANGE, UNCERTAINTY, EXHAUSTION.
HERE A FEW MEDITATIONS & MENTAL HEALTH TIPS THAT MIGHT HELP GET YOU THROUGH THE NEXT FEW DAYS.
1. Of course you are concerned, we all are. It’s really helpful to accept that anxiety and tension is pretty darn normal today. It’s your human reaction because you care. Don’t try to hide it, change it, or put on a happy face. Feelings are ok. Even hard feelings are ok. Click here for a meditation that might help with some mindful self compassion for hard feelings
It’s ok. Dare I say, ‘human and right’, to feel badly right now. Your heart would have to be numb to not react to our times. ~Jamie Derrick
2. Maybe commit to some news fasting. How many times do you really need to check for updates? You checking won’t alter the outcomes but will alter your boiling point. Resist sensational headlines. Those are just there to get you to click. And comment. Don’t fall for it.
- watch your what your mind spins up — you cannot predict the future, so let go of these kinds of thought cycles
- black and white thinking, seeing in all or nothing terms, is not helpful and rarely accurate
- three slow, deep, mindful breaths can calm your nervous system by engaging your vagal nerve and offer a mini-break. Here is a guided practice you can try. [click the title below the image]
3. Distraction is one of our most healthy coping strategies. It’s true. In doses, getting away from the fray is the best thing you can do. As long as we aren’t avoiding anything that really needs our attention, to distract some offers an emotional detour. What wholesome ways might you distract?
- an engaging story — book or Netflix
- treat yourself well –a warm bath, hot tea, foot soak can help.
- listen to a podcast (not about the election)
maybe this one with Poet, Mary Oliver talking about overcoming challenges with nature: Mary Oliver — Listening to the World
- cook up a wholesome, special meal or dessert
- exercise and get your heart rate up
- stay off social media and newsfeeds [yup, it’s worth saying twice] …. otherwise you are likely to amp up your worry and concern. You don’t need that today, right?
- cute animal pictures or videos have been shown to reduce stress. [really they studied this]. Try this video of a beaver eating cabbage to touch a soft spot.
- sometimes a visual meditation is best when our minds are worked up. Here are a couple you might enjoy: birdsong and flowing water. Engage your senses, tune in to the sounds and sights. Don’t use these as background; put your your full focus on them for just a bit. (click on the title on the image)
4. Other people are our solid ground. Our heart rate calms and our sense of safety increases when we are with our TRUSTED others. Even just being in the same room, not even talking. Stay away from your frenemies today. Don’t engage with energy vampires. Not today. Today turn to your warmest connections.
- text or video call if you can’t get together.
- talk about things other than the news… venture into some playful conversations about ‘your favorite season and why’ or ‘an act of kindness that really touched you that you’ve received in your life’. Link here for a list of other ideas.
- we can cultivate a sense of interconnectedness and care for our fellow beings with a Metta Meditation. It is a heart opening practice that cultivates joy and soothes isolation. Click here to give it a try.
- did you know that casual conversations with strangers, checkout clerks, delivery folks, and the mail delivery person have been shown to boost our well-being. Don’t overlook them. These are important ways we connect socially. Maybe chat up your grocery bagger or UPS driver — socially distanced & mask in place!
We help ourselves by planning and committing to wholesome choices. Especially when we know we’ll have a hard day ahead. I’ll be right there doing all this right along with you.
MINDFULNESS TRULY CAN HELP HOLD US SOMEWHAT SANER IN THE COMING DAYS
Join me on Wednesday, Nov 4 at noon for a zoom-based shared community post-election mindfulness practice. We will come together in support of each other and all we’ve held these past few months — and find some ease together in mindfulness practice.
Click here to link to the Zoom meeting that will start at noon,
Nov 4. All are welcome.
May you be well. May you be at ease. May you find moments of hope. & know as well you are able, that you will be ok.
And all beings everywhere.
“To think in terms of either pessimism or optimism oversimplifies the truth. The problem is to see reality as it is. And meet it with unconditional kindness.”
~Thích Nhất Hạnh