Staying Zen in Trying Times

Posted by Amina AlTai on

This week, there's been a theme in both my coaching practice and in my own life.  Seemingly, many of us are feeling "off." From our exercise routines to eating clean, we are coming up short -- and often with a chocolate bar in hand.  It's no secret as to why: Most of us are feeling the pangs of anxiety and fear as our world quickly changes around us. 

I always say, our relationship to food is secondary.  It's not that we don't know how to make good choices or eat mindfully, it's that our habits can be a reflection of our relationship with the world; when we're freaked out, our eating (and other things) can follow suit.  It's more important than ever that when we're feeling out of whack to take the time to honor and love ourselves through self-care.  But even I forgot that this week.

I freaked out.  I had a moment where I succumbed to my own fear and judgement, because, well, #human.  I didn't reach for the candy, though. Instead, my acid tongue got the best of me and I said things I shouldn't have.  I realized that people I care deeply about have made choices that are very different to my own.  It called into question my value, my worth, and triggered my inner child so hard I had to put myself in a time out.  But, it quickly became apparent, it's not about me, and it's not about you.  It's about us.  And how we choose to come together versus stand apart.  If I choose judgement, I choose separation, and that is not #BeingTheLight.  

But what do we do when we're so deeply mired in our feelings we fear we'll never be pulled out?  I'm glad you asked. Here's my process for pulling myself out of fear and into love.  And it's never been more relevant. So, go on.  Give it a try!

Ground yourself

Try a gratitude meditation or quick breathing exercise.  Even four deep inhales can switch your body from fight or flight to a state of rest.  See our favorite meditations for freakout here.

Identify judgement (to yourself and others) and work to let it go.  

Journal out where you might be judgmental and how it's causing separation, fear and anxiety.   My favorite thing to do is just pour all my feelings onto the page (no matter how crazy).  And then go back, line by line, and identify where fear might be taking over.  Then I go back and rewrite my feelings with a whole new perspective.  

Sweat it out.  

The best way to get our of your head is to get into your body.  Exercise is also a great mood booster so maybe skip the evening news cycle and hit the gym hard. Endorphin release is different for everybody, so there is not set way.  But, I do recommend a nice run on the treadmill, an upbeat spin class or even weight training.  

Treat yourself (well!) 

I don't mean run for the ice cream.  I mean do something kind for yourself, such as drawing a bath with essential oils and candles. F rom Greece to the Middle East,to Japan, healing baths are centuries-old wellness traditions; healers would recommend them as a way of dispelling illness and calming the nervous system.  Try scents like Clary Sage, Lavender and Sandalwood to help support your calm.  

healthy living Positivity self-care

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