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7 Activites to Take Care of Yourself in Challenging Times

Updated: Jul 31, 2022

Circumstances beyond our control have so many of us at the ends of our ropes these days. I find it important to remember in these times that it is our experiences with adversity which often strengthen us the most. When a bone breaks it grows back stronger. So too does heartbreak often clarify our desires and grow our resolve to look for love. In therapeutic terms we often talk about one’s ability to overcome trauma as their measure of resiliency. Whether we acknowledge it or not these are traumatic moments in our lives and finding ways to make meaning and grow stronger through them are a necessity.

 
 

Finding resiliency in the face of difficulty is no easy task. Some may feel that there is no escape from the negativity around them in the world today. How then can we make meaning in such trying times? Adopting new self-care routines and refreshing our story is a must in order to maintain our well-being right now. Here are activities that can help.

 

1) Take a break from social media

So many people have taken to social media to air their grievances, and while self-expression is completely natural and healthy, a constant barrage of negative information is not. Give yourself a day or two off. Make sure you’re not looking at social media first thing in the morning or right before bed. Try and remember that social platforms often focus on the extremes in life, the really good, and the really bad, and too much of either is not good for our physical or mental health.

 

2) Take a walk outside

If you’re like me and live in Florida, this may sound like a tall order, but even a short walk can help us to stretch our legs and be reminded of the good that is still in the world. Breathe in the fresh air, notice the sounds, smells, and sights around you and take a moment to recharge.

 

3) Gratitude journaling

It’s easy right now to focus on things that are troublesome to us and our world. Starting a practice of gratitude journaling can help us to remember the things in life we are blessed with. This is not to discount your feelings or negate the seriousness of issues, but as a technique to balance the good with the bad. Simply choose to write down 5-10 things in the morning or at night that make your life good.

 

4) Add meditation and mindfulness to your daily routine

There are plenty of apps available for your phone or tablet that offer quick guided meditations to refresh your spirit. YouTube also offers a myriad of mindfulness practices and guided meditations to help soothe a troubled soul. Researchers have even discovered that 5-15 minutes of meditation per day can repair damaged brain cells and improve physical health!

 

5) Reach out for support

A clinician recently said to me that she doesn’t believe in social distancing, just physical distancing. We can still be social in a time of reduced get-togethers. Take time to call or video conference with friends and family. Ask how they are doing and offer your support, or let them know where you are and allow them to support you. Our social connections and relationships are incredibly important to maintaining a healthy mindset during challenging moments in life.

 

6) Use positive mantras throughout the day

Ok, I know this one sounds silly and a bit “crunchy granola”, but stick with me. With so much negativity in the world around us, many of us may be finding ourselves caught up in negative self-talk or anxious repetitive thoughts during our day. One way to reduce those thoughts is to replace them with something more beneficial. Mantras help us to re-center quickly as we go about our day and teach our brain a healthier method of coping with worries. Some of my favorite mantras are, “I am enough” “I am loved” and “everything will be as it should”. People who find comfort in religion and spirituality may choose to use a quick prayer such as the serenity prayer or another favorite of mine “Big God, little Maggie”. Whatever you choose to use this is fast and effective at replacing worries with comfort.

 

7) Find comfort in your own company

Now is as good a time as any to learn to sit and be at peace with ourselves and within ourselves. Find the joys of being alone; reading a good book, getting lost in thought or meditation, singing or dancing along with your favorite music, or watching a good movie we have yet to see. Take time to remember all the wonderful parts of who you are and celebrate them. This summer is a time for refreshing ourselves and enjoying each moment.

 

This is by no means an easy time. Prioritize yourself and your needs and be sure to give yourself some grace. We all may come out of this moment in history a little bruised, but we can be stronger for it.

Let me know if you try any of these things and what you think! Do you have another helpful tip for traversing this rocky terrain? I’d love to hear it. As always if you or a loved one needs more help or support please feel empowered to seek counseling. There is strength in asking for help.

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