Thanks to our friends from SPARK Kindness.
1. Practice self care + calming practice. This is highly individual! Do what brings you comfort. Breathing, meditation, spiritual practice, cup of tea, yoga can all be helpful.
2. Look to the heroes & show gratitude – as Greater Good Science says, when we focus on those who are helping (healthcare workers, public servants) “we feel what is called moral elevation—a warm feeling inside that inspires us, fueling optimism and a desire to act altruistically ourselves.”
3. Practice compassion – a powerful practice “acknowledges our vulnerability and it brings out our strengths so that we can be a lamp, a bridge a source of medicine to the hearts of others and ourselves…” (from J. Kornfield’s excellent meditation.)
4. Focus on what you can control – As the American Foundation for Sjuicide Prevention recommends “separate what is in your control from what is not. There are things you can do, and it’s helpful to focus on those.” Wash your hands. Eat healthy. Sleep.
5. Maintain social connections – email, call, and video chat with friends and family. Use this as a time to catch up with others. (Find time to laugh and feel joy!)
6. Limit the news – think of this as a healthy diet for your mind – watch your intake. You deserve to protect your mind from overwhelm. (And limit exposure to people who overwhelm you with negative news.)
7. Exercise & get outside – fresh air and sunshine do wonders. Nature has a unique ability to calm and show that after the storms of life, all will be well. Exercise is a great way to promote mental and physical health and the feeling of strength!
8. Work on a productive project – declutter the house, bake, create… Action is an antidote to anxiety.
9. Derive comfort from common humanity – the Benson Henry Institute suggests deriving comfort from the fact that we are all in this together and there are experts across the globe helping.
10. Get professional help if needed – Check out the new Network of Care Massachusetts for a listing of mental health and substance abuse-related resources. massachusetts.networkofcare.org.